Exploring The Turkish Kitchen Blog


Large bowl of cooked ashure pudding. Dressed with fresh purple figs, roasted nuts and chopped dried fruit. Whole wheatberries to the ide

The days are getting slightly shorter but the temperatures do not seem to be dropping. It feels like the summer of 2020 are never going to end.

We had one glorious hour of rain at the beginning of the month. It was so wonderful.

The thunder had been rolling in all day but it was so hot and sticky rain seemed like an impossibility, but it came, all at once. A blessing.

The Turk hid away undercover but my little explorer and I were out running and dancing, arms and legs wailing in order to absorb it all.

It was one hour of the being drenched in the most refreshing respite one can ask for after several months of long hot and humid days. 



But it didn't take long to start moaning again at the intense heat, it's almost like it was a simple mirage, a floating glimpse of the weather to come if we could just hold on with a little more patience.  

It seemed like a pretty apt time to start thinking about the day of Ashura coming up and the making of Noah's pudding (Yes that is how my brain works. 1 hour of rain leads to thinking about floods and arks and then on to the coming new year of the Islamic calendar I can't help it)


Noah's ark picture made from dried beans and pulses. A lemon acts as the sun and a child plays with duplo figures on the mat.


I've wanted to get some new photo done for the blog for my own recipe but I'm looking forward to having a go at a few other types of Aşure that are made in Turkey, so getting ahead seemed like a good idea but then we somehow got distracted so I figured it was a good time to introduce the story of Noah and his Ark.

It was fun and I'm glad we had a good play with the Duplo farm animals although it then meant that the pudding didn't finish cooking until very very late and night oops.



It's not the end of the world, because Noah's pudding needs to cool down to room temp and then several more hours to chill, I'm reading a really fun cookbook at the moment that combines two of my favourite things - Food And Fiction - so I didn't mind sitting up waiting for it to be cool enough to stick in the fridge. 

The next day we did the decorating - I keep the darker fruits and nuts for the top of my serving bowls for a little decor and to keep the colour a little fresher and I set down to think about the questions that I've heard asked about making Aşure dessert.  


A copper pan of peeled wheat on a dark background. 

Questions like 


What is Aşure and why does everyone cook it?


Aşure is a grain-based dessert which is predominately made from wheat or buğday in Turkish. It's has a porridge-like texture and is usually sweetened both with dried fruits and sugar. It doesn't have to be very sweet although sugar is much loved when it comes to making it. There are no set rules for what it should or shouldn't contain which is a good thing because if you get on with your neighbours and live in a high-density area you can expect to recipe several bowls of it. 


What is Aşurelik buğday?

Aşurelik meaning for Noah's pudding is the whole wheatberry that has had the outer shell removed.

It's used most significantly for Aşure and Keskek, A traditional wedding stew. It easily found in supermarkets here in Turkey but I'm not sure out of the country. I have seen pearl barley featured in recipes several times so I would look to buying that if I was making it elsewhere. 


When should I make Aşure?

Ashura pudding can be made and eaten any time of the year but is associated in Turkey mostly with the month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar year and specifically on The Day of Ashura. Which for 2020 is Saturday, August 29th. 


Should I make it for my neighbours? 

You don't need to, there's no obligation to make it or even to share if you do but it'll go down well should you choose too and it's considered a faux pas to return an empty dish when food has been sent to you by friends or neighbours (you'll likely be forgiven being a foreigner worry not) so it's a great opportunity to impress. 


Are there different varieties of Ashura in Turkey?

Many, including a strained version: 'Saray' meaning palace or 'Süzme'. 'Tekke' or lodge a version popular with Sufis and Alevis that often contains milk. Many of Turkey's Alevis choose to fast in the period leading up to the day of Ashura and make their dessert with 12 ingredients to honour the 12 imams associated with their sect and beliefs. Gaziantep makes theirs full of their own wonderful pistachios, on the western shores your more likely to find the inclusion of dried fava beans 'Cretan' style and in Mary Işın's Sherbet and spice book there's even a recipe for a meat-based version. 



Large bowl of cooked ashure pudding. Dressed with fresh purple figs, roasted nuts and chopped dried fruit. Whole wheatberries to the ide


Ashure / Noah's Pudding 'Aşure' Recipe


Read more on the Culture & Customs of The Day of Ashura and Noah's Pudding


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