Asure: Noah’s Pudding
For a taste of Persian cuisine, why not try this recipe for the traditional Turkish dessert, Asure? It’s a delicious recipe with a story attached.
The tale goes that supplies on Noah’s Ark were running out when it went aground on Mount Ararat. Hoping to eke out a final meal whilst the waters were subsiding, Mrs. Noah emptied the ship’s stores and created this – a magnificent, nutritious pudding.
In Turkey Asure is seen as a meal to share, and is consumed during the holy time of Muharram. The pudding was originally made with bulgur wheat, but barley is used here as it cooks so well.
A generous quantity to feed 10
1 Firstly put your dried fruits to soak in water, and do the same with your rice, whilst you prepare the other ingredients.
2 Drain the pre-soaked beans and chickpeas, put them both into the same pan and bring to the boil with some fresh water. Simmer for about 45 minutes until tender, then drain them.
3 Place the barley together with its soaking water into a big pan, and bring to the boil. After fifteen minutes add the drained rice, followed 15 minutes later by the beans, chickpeas and the chopped (drained) fruit and nuts. Allow the mix to cook for another fifteen minutes, then add the sugar.
4 Blend the cornflour to a paste with a little cold water, then add this to the pudding, mixing well as you do. Finally stir in the rose water, and if it’s looking a bit too stodgy, dilute it with a bit more water or a splash of milk. Let the whole thing cook through for a few minutes more before taking off the heat.
5 Pour the asure into a bowl, sprinkle with the garnish and pop it in the fridge to chill. Buyurun! (a Turkish word for all sorts of things, including ‘there you go, enjoy…’)