Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ashure (in Turkish: Aşure) or Noah's Pudding

Noah’s Pudding
15 October is Muharram/Islamic New Year
Ashura is a holiday celebrated annually in Turkey. It signifies many events for Muslims, amongst the most significant being the day Noah's Ark set on dry land. The month long festivities center on promoting friendship, good relations between neighbors and universal peace and understanding. In Turkey, a traditional dish is prepared during this month known as Noah’s pudding. It is meant to symbolize the celebratory meal Noah made when he came off the Ark. It is a sign of peace, of community, of peace, and of a bright future.
Noah to build a ship. Inspired by God, Noah built the ship. Godordered him to take two of every creature, the believers, and hisfamily, except his wife, in the vessel. Noah again told people about the flood, and warned them against it. But their response remained same. The believers and animals boarded the ship and supplies were loaded. Then, God said to the sky “O sky! Let your water pour down”. He said to earth “O earth, hold your water”. The water started rising. As all nonbelievers were drowning with their all vices, a long and hard journey was awaiting Noah and the believers, a long, tumultuous journey. Days had passed, and food was scarce. They were facing starvation. No food by itself was enough to make a good meal. Noah gathered all the foods and, mixing them, obtained a delicious meal. Believers survived through famine. The very next day, flood receded. Today we call the meal Noah prepared “Noah’s Pudding”. It is also called as “Ashura”.
Since that day, Muslims cook it in every year on the month of Muharram according to the Islamic calendar in remembrance of what Noah and his people went through, mixing all the dry beans and wheat they can find, making this pudding and sharing it with their neighbors. Ashure porridge does not have a single recipe, as recipes vary between regions and families.
1 cup barley
1 cup white kidney beans (in a can), washed and drained
1 cup chickpeas (in a can), washed and drained
1 cup sugar
1 pkg vanilla or 1 tsp vanilla extract
10 cups water
10 dry apricots, soaked in water overnight, cut in pieces
10 dry figs, cut in pieces
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup walnuts, crumbled
Put 4 cups of water in a large pot along with the barley. Get it to boil on high heat. Then as soon as it boils, turn it down to medium-low heat and cook for about half an hour. Add the beans, chickpeas, vanilla, apricots, raisins, figs, sugar and 6 cups of hot water. Cook for about 45 minutes on medium-low heat. Stir occasionally. Pour into a large service bowl and let cool. Keep Noah's Pudding refrigerated. When serving, garnish with crumbled walnuts.
This recipe is one of the oldest and best known desserts of Turkish Cuisine. It's original name is "Asure". When we cook Asure, it is traditional to give some away to friends and family.

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