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What would you do, if you want some pudding in the middle of the winter, made of something other than milk? But you have beans,chickpeas, wheat, raisins, dried appricots, dried figs.. in your cellar, don’t you? Oh yes, oranges are on the market, what about the fantastic aroma of orange peels? Even more you can add: peanuts, hazelnuts, actually I should say, whatever the nut you love, pinenuts, for instance..! Then red currents, cinnamon, cloves.. Red currents and cinnamon bars maybe put in the puding or stay on top, but you can add cloves while cooking (in a small bag, to take it out after cooking is over.) Is it autumn ? So you have also pomegranate to decorate you pudding.. I feel like hearing the question ‘are you sure that all that stuff should be in one ‘pudding’? Oh, I have not yet mentioned of the rice, milk, almonds, dried plums..the list of the ingredients becomes longer, depending on the creativity of housewives, or the locality you live. Actually the basic combination includes wheat, beans, chickpeas, raisins and a few other dried fruits, if available, and sugar. Although no starch is added, it is as thick as a pudding, owing to wheat : the special kind of wheat used for that purpose is called ‘aşurelik buğday’. ‘Aşurelik buğday ‘ is soaked in water overnight. Then the water is replaced with fresh water. It is simmered for 45 minutes, uncovered. After the heat is turned off, it should stay in this hot water for another 3 hours. This process gives it the pudding consistency. (There are alternative processes of boiling wheat to ensure consistency). Beans and chickpeas should be boiled separetely, and mixed with the boiled wheat. The other material should be added considering the time needed for cooking: nuts and cloves afterwards and finally the dried fruits and sugar. And you can decorate your pudding with pomegranate seeds, nuts, red currents, cinnnamon.. I can give some rough measures, but the amount of water will be fixed by experience, if you hesitate, you can decide on it while it is still processed , before nuts and fruits are added as the latter will not have much effect on consistency. As to the amount of nuts and fruits, don’t ask me, as I would fill it with orange peels and roasted hazelnuts! Ok, a rough measure: for two units of wheat, 1 unit of beans and 1 unit of chickpeeas, 1 unit of raisins , 2 units of other dried fruits like figs and appricots, ½ unit of peanuts, some small amount of pinenuts and red currents. 4 units of sugar. Just a minute, someone is knocking on my door, my neighbour with a large bowl of aşure, hopefully?
Aşure (ah-shuh-reh) pudding is, according to legend, what Noah made when food was getting scarce on the ark. He mixed what was left, including apricots, raisins, currants, figs, pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, chick peas, and navy beans. Then he threw in some sugar and fruit juices. It is probably the oldest desert in the world. It is also a symbol of friendship. When someone makes Aşure, they typically make a lot of it, expecting to share it with many friends. Today you can find Aşure pudding in patisseries throughout Turkey.