1/3 cup oil
3 large onions, chop 2 onions, slice one to use as garnish
1 tbsp garlic mashed
salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
2 cups each chopped parsley, cilantro, scallions
1 cup chopped mint
1 beet, peeled and chopped (I skipped it)
1 cup red lentils (recipe calls for 1/2 cup yellow split peas)
1 cup rice ( I used Egyptian medium-grain, but Basmati-type rice is probably more authentic)
1 lb lamb shanks (recipe calls for ground beef or lamb or veal, made into meatballs with some onion and salt and pepper)
4 cups pomegranate juice (fresh and sweet is recommended)
OR 2/3 cups pomegranate molasses
1/3 cup sugar (did not use any, my pomegranates were very sweet)
2 tbsp angelica seeds (gol-par), I skipped, not easily found in the country
1. Heat the oil and fry the chopped onions till almost caramelized; add the garlic and turmeric and meat; stir-fry for a few minutes then add about 2 quarts of water. Bring to a simmer and let it bubble-up gently till the meat is completely cooked and tender, about one hour or longer.
2. Add the rice and lentils, simmer for 25 minutes; add the herbs and pomegranate juice (or molasses or both) and simmer for another 25 minutes. The taste should be sweet and sour. Adjust according to your liking, adding more sugar or none. If using ground meat or meatballs, these can be added with the rice and lentils, as they take less time to cook.
3. Serve with a garnish of fresh herbs, pomegranate arils, and caramelized sliced onions if you like (my version) or by heating the garnish as in Mrs. Batmanglij’s instructions at the last minute.
Recipe also calls for a garnish, which I skipped, made of 2 Tbsp oil, 5 cloves garlic, 1 tsp dry mint, 1/2 tsp turmeric. Heat the oil, add the garlic and spices and drizzle over the soup right before serving.