Monday 12 July 2010


One of the lovely Persian comfort foods that I learnt at my mother-in-law's elbow is Adasee. A lovely hot, spicy lentil soup/casserole that we serve drizzled with olive oil and a big squeeze of fresh lime juice, chunks of sweet red onions and Persian flat bread.
Mama always cooked as though she was going to serve a multitude. This means that I often have to halve or quarter the volume of ingredients in her recipes. She also cooked by instinct and so sometimes it was just a list of ingredients with no exact quantities, or a handful of this or that.....

Her food was cooked with love and patience. Patience is probably one of the main qualities required to cook Persian food well. The recipes aren't usually very difficult to make. Sometimes the ingredients are a little bit difficult to come by and often there is quite a bit of preparation necessary, lots of chopping of vegetables and herbs....often vast quantities of them. But it's always worth all the effort.

To make mama's Adasee for four people, you will need:

Two cups of green lentils
Six cups of water
Sea salt and crushed black pepper
Olive oil
A lot of garlic, mama would have used one whole garlic for this amount of lentils I'd use three or four cloves of garlic
Two onions.
The juice of a fresh lime or lemon.
Fresh chili

. Peel and slice the onions finely and then cook them in olive oil for about ten to fifteen minutes until they are soft and caramelised and brown in colour.

. Add the turmeric and cook out so that it doesn't taste powdery.

. Cook the crushed garlic ensuring that it doesn't burn.

. Add all the other ingredients except the lemon juice. Bring to the boil and them simmer for about half an hour until the lentils are tender. Check occasionally and add a little water if necessary.

. Serve with a drizzel of olive oil and fresh lemon juice and warmed flat bread.


  1. Sounds like just the ticket for a cold Winter's day over here. Will give it a try soon.

  2. This is one of the Persian foods that we eat more than any other. So simple to make and yet so tasty and nutritious, and cheap!