Persian ‘sour’ stew

Juliet Hemmati/Staff

Juliet Hemmati/Staff

Someone somewhere probably wanted stew so badly, they couldn’t even wait for their grapes to ripen. Well, this may not exactly be the origin story for Persian ashe torsh, literally “sour stew.” This stew features ghooreh, or unripe, sour grapes, a common ingredient used in Persian cooking that adds a tart punch to any meal. And while the two main notes in the dish, sour grape and beet, may draw some skepticism, trust us when we say that if you give this recipe a shot, it will prove you wrong. Regardless, you’ll at least have fun picking the tiny grapes off their stems for this dish that serves six.


Juliet Hemmati/Staff

What you’ll need:

1/2 cup sour/unripe grapes

2 1/2 large-diced medium-sized beets

3/4 bunch coarsely chopped parsley

1/4 bunch coarsely chopped cilantro

1 cup coarsely chopped spinach

2 finely chopped medium scallions

1 1/2 cups rice

3 quarts water

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup dried mint

1 teaspoon cinnamon

salt and pepper to taste

What you’ll do:

  1. Prepare the jasmine rice in a large pot, following the instructions on the package.
  2. Pour most of the water into the pot on top of the rice. Bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in the beets and wait about 20 minutes until they are tender.(null)_2
  4. Add the remainder of the water to the pot.
  5. Stir in the parsley, cilantro, spinach and scallions. Cover the pot and simmer for about 15 minutes.


    Juliet Hemmati/Staff

  6. Pour in the sour grapes and stir. Cover the pot and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  7. Stir in the lemon juice, dried mint and cinnamon. Add salt and pepper to taste.


    Juliet Hemmati/Staff

  8. Cover the pot and simmer for another five minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

Contact Juliet Hemmati at [email protected].