" Recipe courtesy of Hatice Bingol Alev/UK"
According to the legend Asure was the the first dish to be made after the landing of Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat. It was made with leftover grains, dried fruits and nuts. In Turkish “as” means any kind of cooked dish, and “ure” means to increase. According to one anecdote while stirring this dish people chanted “as, ure” wishing for the food to increase and be enough for everyone. In Turkey, asure is made on the 10th of Muharrem (the first month of Islamic Lunar Calendar) and distributed to the poor, the neighbors, friends to show appreciation for what we have. Also in Arabic ashura means the tenth.. Asure is made in large quantities because it is meant to be shared.
Though the ingredients list is pretty rich, I believe whatever grains, pulses and dried fruit you have in your pantry will do. And if you are short of time, why not using good quality pre-cooked chickpeas and beans in cans; I am all up for it if it helps making this wonderful dessert. Adding the pomegranate seeds over the top give a festive touch and make the dessert refreshing too.
Rinse the wheat, put in a big sauce pan, pour some boiling water on it, cover and let stand overnight. The next morning the wheat would be plump, return the pot to the stove, bring to a boil and let simmer until it is completely soft, add the beans and chickpeas. I use canned beans and chickpeas, because in this recipe I like the texture better. Simmer for another 15 minutes.
At the same time, in different sauce pans boil the figs, apricots, raisins and until soft but not mushy. Drain set aside.
Add the sugar into the wheat/bean mixture. After the sugar dissolves add the salt, orange zest, cooked fruit and chestnuts. Mix gently and thoroughly, remove from heat. Mix in the nuts.
Pour into individual serving bowls, garnish with pomegranate seeds, share with friends, family and neighbors.
Asure can be eaten warm, at room temperature or cold.