Preserves & Pickles, Recipes

Ab Ghooreh: Sour Grape Juice


After making a few recipes with the Ab Ghooreh that you buy from the supermarket I decided that much like doogh, it is just not for khareji people- YUCK. Luckily a friend let me try the supermarket kind and the kind her family makes in Iran side by side, and it turns out that Ab Ghooreh is actually DELICIOUS. It’s an alcohol-free way of introducing a distinctive sourness to Persian dishes – wonderful as a marinade for fish, in both vegetable and meat khoresht, and a must for salad shirazi.

Grapes grow almost everywhere in the U.S., and someday I’ll figure out where to forage them locally. For now, I ordered my sour grapes from Ben Kordnavasi has built this AMAZING TREASURE of an online grocery store that ships to the US, Canada, and Europe. The grapes arrived fresh and gorgeous, ready to be juiced!

One of the challenges of fresh juice, especially if you’re using a centrifugal juicer, is that it doesn’t keep very long. The heat from the blades causes oxidation, and after a few days the juice loses its brightness and tastes more like a vinegar. You can still use it, but it won’t be the same.

To help your ab ghooreh last for a long time in the fridge, you will need a little citric acid. If you really want it to hold up for 6 months or more, add the winemaker’s friend: sodium metabisulfite, which is available at any winemaking shop. This is the “sulfites” you see on wine labels. If you are sensitive to them, skip it.

I learned the hard way that you should not store ab ghooreh in a container with a metal lid. If you must, please put plastic wrap between the juice and the lid. Ab ghooreh is highly corrosive and extensive contact w/metal—even stainless steel quality—containers could cause micro-particle metal leaching which could result in inadvertently ingesting micro-metal particle corrosion. I use the word “contact” loosely here – my lids corroded with the jar only half full. A better option would be a bottle like this:

Ab ghooreh container with non-metal lid

Check out Afsaneh Hojabri’s inspirational tutorial, here!


Ab Ghooreh: Sour Grape Juice

When life gives you unripe grapes, make ab ghooreh.

  • Author: kharejigirlfriend4840



12 pounds unripe grapes

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon citric acid

1/2 teaspoon sodium metabisulfite


Wash the grapes and remove the stems. Drain and pat dry.


Extract the juice by grinding the grapes in a blender, food processor, or juicer. If you use a blender or food processor, pass the pulp through a fine or medium-fine sieve. I don’t mind if the juice has some pulp.


Pour into a non-reactive pan, add the salt, and bring to a boil, stirring often. Cook only one minute and remove from the heat.


Add the citric acid and sodium metabisulfite, if you are using them.  Stir well to mix everything in.


Pour into sterilized bottles. Seal the bottles (boiling in a water bath, if you like.) Keep in a cool and dark place.


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