Recipe: Aash-e-Jow (Persian Barley, Rice, & Bean Soup)

Last updated: January 30, 2024, at 2:04 p.m. PT

Originally published: January 30, 2024, at 2:04 p.m. PT



  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup white basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup pearled barley
  • 1/2 cup French green lentils
  • 8 cups water, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 sweet onions, sliced in half-moons
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • Plain Greek yogurt, for serving


  1. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and salt and cook until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add black pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander, and ground turmeric. Stir until the spices coat the onion, about 1 minute more.
  2. Add basmati rice, barley, and lentils, and stir until well combined. Add 8 cups water and bring to boil.
  3. Cover and reduce to a simmer until the grains and lentils are al dente, about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the caramelized onions by heating remaining olive oil over medium heat and add onions, water, and a pinch of salt. Stir until golden brown and beginning to caramelize and set aside.
  5. Add the chickpeas, spinach, parsley, cilantro, and dill to the rice mixture. Stir and bring back to a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally and making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot, until grains are tender and cooked through and soup has thickened a bit.
  6. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed.
  7. Serve, garnished with mint, a dollop of Greek yogurt and the reserved caramelized onions.