There is insufficient historical information about the origin of Shole (an Iranian food). But some people believe that Shole Mashhadi was invented in the Khorasan region (Wikipedia) during the Mongol invasion of Iran.
During this period, due to shortage of time and food, Khorasanians poured, mixed and cooked any available food in large pots.
Many people think that Shole Mashhadi is a Mongolian food. But in fact, being Mongol here means that it was invented at the time of the Mongol invasion. On the other hand, some believe that almost 80 years ago, this food was cooked for the first time in Mashhad by a chef. Because the process of preparing Shole Mashhadi is very laborious and expensive, it is usually not cooked at home.
The main ingredients of Sholeh are meat, pulses and a lot of spices. Some cow bone marrow can be added to make the food more delicious and nutritious.
Ingredients For Sholeh Mashhadi:
Calf Shanks: 3 kg
Pinto beans: 250 gr
Mung beans: A quarter of a cupful
Peas: 500 gr
Salt/Pepper: As much as needed
Cinnamon: 20 gr
Cooking Steps For Sholeh Mashhadi:
Put the meat and chopped onions along with salt and pepper in 2 litres of water to be cooked through. Then shred the meat. The pulses, which have already been drenched, are left on the flame to be half cooked. Then add bulgur to it till it begins to boil. Then add rice and keep stirring the food to keep it from getting burned and stuck to the bottom.
After it is cooked, add the meat and spices, and put the dish on low heat while keeping stirring it until the food becomes stretchable. Then turn down the heat and leave the dish on low flame until it is cooked through.
Additional points on cooking Shole Mashhadi :
- This food is native to the city of Mashhad and mostly served in religious ceremonies. As the Muslim holy month of Ramazan has begun, the food could be served at fast-breaking time at dusk.
- Bear in mind that pulses must be drenched for at least one day before being cooked.
- Lamb fat could also be added to make the Mashhadi pudding more delicious. Minced fat can also be used in addition to the meat.
- The Mashhadi pudding should taste spicy, so more pepper, ginger and nutmeg is used in making this food.
- Some Gheymeh (Read more) stew is usually put on top of Sholeh Mashhadi as decoration.
6. The cooking pot should be quite large and spacious so that the ingredients have enough space for cooking.
7. Due to the different cooking times of the āsh ingredients, be careful in the order of adding the ingredients to the āsh.
8. During the whole cooking time of the Shole, its constant stirring is very important, especially after the time of adding the semolina, because it settles very quickly.
9. In preparing Shole Mashhadi āsh, the more the meat, the tastier and more elastic the Shole becomes. Note that during cooking, if the Shole needs extra water, boiled water must be added to it.
10. Shole Mashhadi can be served with sugar or salt.
11. You can use red beans instead of pinto beans in preparing the flakes. Note that it must be boiled separately and after cooking, the red water must be discarded so that the color of the flakes does not change.