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Pomegranate Soup (Osh-e Anar)



  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup mung beans or yellow split peas
  • 1/4 cup barley
  • 1/4 cup lentils
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 bottles (31 fl.oz) pomegranate juice, (or 1/4 cup grape molasses dissolved in 8 cups water)
  • 1/4 cup rice
  • 1 beet, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups fresh parsley
  • 4 cups chopped fresh cilantro, or 1.2 cup dried
  • 2 cups chopped fresh mint, or 1/4 cup dried
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spring onions
  • 3 tablespoons ground golpar
  • 1 onion, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup coarsely ground walnuts
  • 1 pound ground lamb or chicken
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint flakes
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 tablespoon ground golpar


  • 1. To make the broth: Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat, and brown the onions and garlic. Add the beans, salt, pepper, turmeric, and cinnamon, and sauté for 1 minute. Add 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add pomegranate juice and rice, cover, and continue to simmer for 40 minutes. Use a handheld mixer to partially puree the beans and rice.
  • 2. To make the meatballs: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place it next to you on the counter. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs. Knead lightly (do not over mix), and, with moist hands, shape into walnut-sized meatballs and place them gently on the baking sheet as you make them.
  • 3. Gently add the meatballs to the pot and bring back to a boil. Add the beets, parsley, cilantro, mint and spring onions, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 50 minutes longer. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  • 4. Add the golpar to the pot, stir gently, and simmer uncovered over medium heat for 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste (it should be sweet and sour, if too sour, add some grape molasses). Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
  • 5. To prepare the garnish: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until golden brown. Add the turmeric, give it a stir, and remove from heat. Crumble the fried mint flakes in the palm of your hand and add them to the skillet. Stir well and set aside.
  • 6. Pour soup into tureen. Decorate on top with the garnish and pomegranate arils. Stir the garnish in just before ladling the soup into individual bowls.
  • Vegetarian Variation: Eliminate the meat from the meatball ingredients and replace with 2 eggs, 1 cup bread crumbs, and 2 tablespoons oil. Add these to the rest of the ingredients for the meatballs. To avoid overcooking, add these vegetarian balls in step 4.
  • Note: If using dried herbs, place a sieve in a bowl of lukewarm water and soak the herbs for 20 minutes. Remove the sieve from the bowl and use the herbs. For the best results, make the osh a day in advance to give the flavor a chance to meld. Reheat it just before serving.
  • **This recipe is taken from renown Persian chef, Najmieh Batmanglij's "New Food of Life". Available for sale on our site**