TURKISH NOAH’S ARK PUDDING (ASHURE): THE OLDEST DESSERT IN THE WORLD

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Ashure

Pakistani’s rightfully take pride in making their desi desserts on Eid, but adding something unusual is a thing every Eid trolley always needs. So, how about borrowing a recipe from Turkey this time and it sounds very suitable provided the whole nation is already in awe of Ertugrul.

The Turkish legend has it that, Ashure or Noah’s Ark Pudding came from history when Hazrat Nuh (AS) and his companions whilst traveling on the ark fell short of food and water, so whatever ingredients were left were put into a pot and cooked. The outcome was a pudding that has traveled through the ages known by many cooking in modern Turkish kitchens. (Ref. Daily Sabah)

Ashure symbolizes continuity and stability in tough times. Every household in Turkey cooks Ashure on occasions of delight and sorrow.

Ashure or Noah’s Pudding is a Turkish dessert porridge that is made of a mixture consisting of grains, fruits, dried fruits and nuts. In Turkey it is served all year around, especially during Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, as the 10th of Muharrem corresponds to the Day of Ashure. (Ref. Wikipedia)

So, here’s the recipe straight from the Turkish Tradition:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 A cup of hulled wheat
  • 1/2 cup of chickpeas
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1.5 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup roasted and chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/3 cup of golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup dry figs
  • 1/3 cup dry apricots
  • 1/2 cup orange peels
  • 2 tablespoons of rosewater

FOR GARNISHING:

  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup blanched and slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

PREPARATION:

  • Soak chickpeas overnight.
  • Wash and soak rice and wheat.
  • Soak figs, apricots, and orange peels in hot water for a half-hour and reserve the soaking water. Chop and keep these aside with golden raisins.
  • Cook chickpeas over medium heat in water until tender. Boil 2.5 quarts of water separately and add in wheat and rice. Simmer over low heat and keep stirring frequently.  When the mixture becomes tender combine with chickpeas.
  • Add reserved soaking water, sugar, hazelnuts, pistachios, and pine nuts and simmer over medium flame stirring all the while for 30 minutes or more. Let it gain consistency until it resembles a thick soup. Now add vanilla, raisin, fig, apricots, and orange peels. Cook for 20 more minutes stirring constantly. Turn off the burner and stir in rosewater. Leave it on room temperature for an hour or more. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and slivered almonds.

Relish the different tastes of this dessert this Eid and do not forget to share the happiness of Eid with those underprivileged.

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