Aush-e Jo (Barley and Vegetable Stew) | Shelbyville Multimedia

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Adapted from the film Welcome to Shelbyville
directed and produced by Kim A. Snyder

Aush-e Jo (Barley and Vegetable Stew)

by Sahar Driver

“Oftentimes, when you tell your Iranian host that you don’t eat meat, they’ll respond happily with something like: ‘Oh, don’t worry, this only has chicken in it!'”

Every single time I go home, I ask my mom to make me Aush-e Jo. It is hands-down my favorite dish and nobody makes it like my mom makes it. I’m a vegetarian and this dish almost always has beef in it, so I can’t get it anywhere else. Vegetarianism is unfamiliar to many older Iranians. Oftentimes, when you tell your Iranian host that you don’t eat meat, they’ll respond happily with something like: “Oh, don’t worry, this only has chicken in it,” as they serve you a good and generous portion! This makes me appreciate my mom’s cooking so much more. Every meal she makes for me is a negotiation between cultures and generations. Whenever my mom prepares a traditional Iranian dish without meat, it’s an expression of deep love and respect for me and my choices… and I love her for it.

Ingredients:
Spinach (1 frozen chopped box)
Parsley (1 bunch fresh, washed and chopped)
Leaks (1 bunch, washed and chopped)
1 zucchini chopped
1 turnip chopped
Onion (1 whole, chopped, sautéed)
Garlic (½ clove, chopped and sautéed)
¼ cup of dry lentil beans
¼ cup of any other dry bean of your choice
½ cup of barley
2 liters of chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon of tumeric
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon of flour mixed in cold water

Garnish Ingredients:
Yogurt (to taste)
Lemon juice (to taste)

Directions:
Step 1—Mix all stew ingredients (but not the flour) in a big pot.

Step 2—Begin to cook on low-medium heat and stir periodically.

Step 3—Continue to add more water or broth as needed and cook until all the vegetables are soft and the mixture is thick (you will know it’s ready when the beans and barley are cooked through).

Step 4—When it looks like the soup is almost ready, mix 1 tablespoon of flour with cold water, then add to soup for thickening.

Step 5—Serve with lemon juice and a spoonful of yogurt on the side, to taste. This is a great dish for winter time.

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