Ashure
Alternative namesAshura, anusabur, aşure, Noah's pudding
TypePorridge
CourseDessert
Main ingredientsGrains, fruits and nuts

Ashure or Noah's pudding is a dessert porridge that is made of a mixture consisting of grains, fruits, dried fruits and nuts.

In the Balkans and Turkey Sufi Muslims make the dish during the month of Muharram in which the Day of Ashure takes place.[1] Traditionally, ashure is made in large quantities to commemorate the ark's landing and is distributed to friends, relatives, neighbors, colleagues, classmates, and others, without regard to the recipient's religion or belief system as an offering of peace and love. Ashure was traditionally made and eaten during the colder months of the year due to its heavy and calorie rich nature, but now it is enjoyed year-round. Armenians make it as a Christmas pudding and for New Year's celebrations, where it is a centerpiece.

History and traditions

In anecdotal history, it is claimed that when Noah's Ark came to rest on Mount Ararat, Noah's family celebrated with a special dish. Since their supplies were nearly exhausted, what was left (primarily grains, dried fruits and the like) was cooked together to form a pudding, what is now called ashure.

Turkish families make ashure pudding to commemorate this event.[2] Among Turkish and Balkan Sufis (especially Bektashi), the ashure pudding is prepared with special prayers for health, healing, safety, success and spiritual nourishment.[citation needed] Ashure is distributed to the poor, as well as to neighbors, friends and relatives.[3]

Evliya Çelebi says in his travelbook Seyahatname that "Ashure is a porridge (aş) that should be cooked at the tenth of Muharram."[4]

In Armenia, ashure may be garnished with pomegranate seeds and flavored with rose water, and the pudding is shared with neighbors during the Christmas season. The festive pudding is the centerpiece of the New Year's table, which is often decorated with dried fruits, nuts and pomegranates.[5]

Ingredients

Ashure porridge does not have a single recipe, as recipes vary between regions and families.[6]

Traditionally, it is said to have at least seven ingredients. Some say at least ten ingredients must be used, in keeping with the theme of "tenth", while Alevis always use twelve. Among these are wheat, barley, rice, white beans, chickpeas, sweetener, dates, pomegranates, beets, dried fruits, and nuts. However, many renditions add orange and lemon peel to add depth to the pudding. Anise seed, sesame seeds, pine nuts, black cumin seeds, prunus mahaleb, pomegranate kernels, pistachios, almonds, walnuts, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice may be used as garnish, and some variations are flavored with anise liqueur, rose water and/or orange blossom water.

In most cases, it is vegan, and it is one of the well-known and the most popular vegan desserts in Turkish cuisine.

Etymology

The word Ashure come from the Arabic word Ashura Arabic: عاشوراءʻĀshūrā’ , meaning 'tenth'.[4] In Turkish tradition, this dish is made mostly on 10th of Muharram or after 10th of Muharram in Islamic Lunar Calendar. The association with Muharram is not only significant in Islamic beliefs, but also pre-Islamic beliefs, with some Semitic stories also referencing this month.

Also in Turkish, Ash(Aş) represents mixed porridge. It is derived from Persian word "Ashur" meaning mixing.[7]

References

  1. ^ Fieldhouse, P. (2017). Food, Feasts, and Faith: An Encyclopedia of Food Culture in World Religions [2 volumes]. ABC-CLIO. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-61069-412-4. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  2. ^ Laudan, Rachel (2015-04-03). Cuisine and Empire: Cooking in World History. Univ of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-28631-3.
  3. ^ Kutlu, Halis (2014-05-26). Istanbul City Guide: Best Places Of Istanbul. Halis Kutlu.
  4. ^ a b "aşure". www.nisanyansozluk.com.
  5. ^ McWilliams, Mark (2012-07-01). "Be Merry, Around a Wheat Berry!". Celebration: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2011. Oxford Symposium. ISBN 978-1-903018-89-7.
  6. ^ "Noah's Pudding. Rumi Club. University of Massachusetts" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-11-25.
  7. ^ Saleminejad, Hossein. "جست‌وجوی آشور". www.vajehyab.com.