Extremely popular in Turkey, Ashura (Asure in Turkish) is a very convivial dish. It is a traditional dessert consisting of a mixture of seeds, dried fruits and fresh fruits. It is especially prepared during the month of Muharram, which is the first month of the Muslim calendar, the tenth day of this month being “the day of ashoura”. For Shiism, this day marks the anniversary of the death of Hussain Ibn Ali (Hüseyin), a 7th century revolutionary leader killed in the Battle of Karbala.
This dessert is also known as “Noah’s Pudding”.
According to legend, this preparation dates back to the biblical flood. Noah, before returning to solid ground on Mount Ararat, decided to gather all the ingredients he had in his possession on the Ark, and to make an atypical dish. Thus he married wheat with chickpeas, white beans, grapes, apricots, figs. The preparation of Ashoura may vary depending on the communities that carry on the tradition.
For example in Greece, this dessert is prepared following a death; in Armenia, it is consumed at Christmas and New Year.
It is traditionally prepared in large quantities and offered to friends, neighbors, colleagues. It thus symbolizes friendship, good relations between neighbors, peace and mutual understanding.
Very consistent and nutritious, it is easy to make, but a little long. Formerly, it was distributed to the population by the dignitaries of the palace and by the brotherhood of the dervishes, in the religious schools and to the soldiers.
Palace asure in general was more liquid. It was poured into crystal or porcelain carafes, which are now exhibited in the showcases of the Topkapı Palace.
To present it, we decorate the cup of Asure with care: walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, currants, pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, cloves, without forgetting to sprinkle with cinnamon powder.
In Turkey, legumes and fruits such as wheat, beans, chickpeas, apricots, nuts, raisins and figs cook for a long time; ingredients may vary by region. For example, you can add rice or an orange zest.
For those who don’t have time to prepare this elaborate dessert, you can find packaged asure in major stores: the ingredients are pre-cooked, all you have to do is follow the cooking method indicated on the box.
Here is a very easy Asure recipe to make:
(For 6 persons)
150 g of wheat
150 g of chickpeas
150g dried white beans
250 g caster sugar
150 g raisins
150 g of dried figs
150 g of dried apricots
15 g of starch
8 g cinnamon powder
Almonds, walnuts, crushed hazelnuts
Pistachios from Antep
The day before, soak separately in the containers filled with water, the wheat, the dried beans and the chickpeas. Drain.
Cook separately in saucepans filled with water, the wheat for about 3 hours, the chickpeas and the beans for about 2 hours; everything must be well softened.
Cut the figs and apricots into small cubes. When the wheat is cooked, place the diced apricots and figs in the pan, add the raisins.
Cook together for 15 minutes, then add the chickpeas and dried beans to the preparation.
Stir gently, add sugar, cloves.
Bake another 15 minutes.
On the other hand, in a bowl, mix the starch, 70 cl of water to pour into the preparation, leave on low heat for another 10 minutes.
Your pudding is ready to pour into bowls.
Leave in a cool place for at least 1 hour. Decorate, sprinkle according to taste.
Serve warm or cold.