Noah's Pudding (Aşure)

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The legend is that when Noah and his animals were about to run out of food on the arc, he mixed whatever ingredients were left and cooked them all together to feed his voyagers and the resulting dish was the pudding described in this recipe.

Asure is a classical, most cherished Turkish dessert, which is a staple item of every "muhallebi" shop in Istanbul. It is a "must" if you need to brag about your knowledge of the Turkish cuisine.

This recipe yields twenty four 6 oz servings of asure.


INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups wheat kernels
  • 1/2 cup great northern beans
  • 1/2 cup chick peas
  • 1/2 cup rice (short grain)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 18 cups water
  • cinnamon
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1.5 cup dried apricots
  • 1.5 cup dried figs
  • 1 tablespoon orange rind
  • 1 pomegranate


DIRECTIONS:

  1. Choose a pot large enough to take all the dry ingredients and 8 pints of water.
  2. Measure 10 cups of water into the pot. Bring the water to a boil.
  3. Wash the wheat kernels thoroughly under running water until the water runs clear. Add the grains to the boiling water, cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and leave the grains in this water overnight.
  4. Wash the rice under running water in a wire mesh strainer to remove most of the starch. In a seperate pot, boil 4 cups of water. Add the rice to the boiling water, cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and leave the rice in this water overnight.
  5. Wash the great northern beans and soak them in water overnight.
  6. Wash the chick peas and soak them in water overnight.
  7. Begin the next day by cooking the chick peas and the great northern beans in plain water. We recommend using a pressure cooker. The beans and the chickpeas need to be cooked separately because it takes less time to cook the beans. In our pressure cooker, we use 15 minutes for the beans and 30 minutes for the chick peas. It is important to note however that the cooking times may change between different pressure cookers. If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can boil the beans and the chick peas in separate pots until they are fully cooked. When they are fully cooked, discard the water and set them aside.
  8. While the beans and chickpeas are cooking, dice the dried apricots and the figs into 1/4" cubes - see the picture for reference.
  9. Remove the skins of the chick peas. If they are properly cooked, a gentle squeeze is sufficient to remove their skins.
  10. Add 4 more cups of water into the main pot with the wheat, add the chick peas, the great northern beans, the rice and the orange rind. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the temperature and continue boiling for 15 minutes.
  11. Add the sugar, continue boiling for another 15 minutes.
  12. Add the raisins and half of the the dried apricots, continue boiling for 5 minutes.
  13. Add half of the dried figs, turn off the heat.
  14. Let the asure rest for about an hour, then pour it into small, 8 oz bowls.
  15. Garnish with cinnamon, chopped walnuts, currants, pine nuts, remaining half of the dried apricots, remaining half of the dried figs and fresh pomegranate seeds.
  16. Serve at room temperature.


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