How we did our first Aşure?
1-) What is aşure? Aşure is a kind of pudding composed of white beans, chickpea, wheat, and sugar basically. Yes, the sound is strange but it is really delicious. Aşure also can be contains dried fruits, pistachios, almonds, walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, pomegranates, rice, milk, orange, apple…
There are many stories about the roots of the aşure and I will not tell them here. You can read many of them from the wiki. Actually, I have some different ideas about Aşure. In my opinion, the aşure was developed from remanent cereals after the winter around the Mesopotamia region, the center of the domestication of plants, and the animals in ancient times. Then the aşure met with religions and it found new stories for itself, like Noah, cooked this dish when their food stocks nearly exhausted. So the aşure might have different names and stories throughout history but it still alive around Mesopotamia. These ideas are all my imagination. I did not have any direct reference for the aşure and Neolithic or the ancient times. Many references about Aşure is mainly pointing to recent religious rituals, and many of them are about Islam. I could not find neolithic roots of the aşure but you can read some interesting articles about aşure, the Middle East, rituals, and history. For example https://books.google.com.tr/books?hl=tr&lr=&id=wTwQDgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT345&dq=%22Ashura%22+%22neolithic%22+%22domestication%22&ots=9kIz25JH6T&sig=ojO0JkE2xSwl0tU4zyPhfoFB8vE&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
2-) How you can cook an aşure?
Aşure does not have a stabile receipt and it varied according to location. But this is no problem, actually, you can build your own aşure receipt easily. The first thing is the cereals than you need some nuts and dried fruits and the last touch is the spices.
It is not hard to find beans, chickpeas, and wheat in kitchens. Also, you need sugar, if you do not want to use sugar maybe you can try with molasses but I am not sure if it is a good idea. Anyway, a common receipt contains sugar and it will better for the first time to cook aşure with sugar especially if you do not know the taste of the aşure.
The first step is boiling and cooking beans, chickpeas, and wheat separately. While they were cooking, you have time to prepare other ingredients which you wish. My husband cooked all the cereals for me yesterday and they are ready for the final cooking step. ( Also he boiled many more portions of cereal to store in the deep freezer so we will prepare dinner easily in next months.) For the final cooking step, I prepared some hazelnuts, peanuts, pistachios, prunes, sun-dried grapes, currants, dried figs, and rice. I cut dried fruits and left them in hot water for 10 minutes to prepare before adding pot. For the final step, I mixed all cereals and 1 tablespoon rice in a big pot and boiled them once. Then I added nuts and sugar. While they were cooking I started to prepare spices. I brewed cardamom, cinnamon stick, and 10 cloves in a hot water for 10 minutes. After 40 minutes of adding nuts to the pot, I added dried fruits and mixed. I left them to cook for 30 minutes. Before finishing cooking, I added water which I have prepared with the spices. Then I boiled all of them for 15 minutes lastly. And The aşure is ready. I filled them to bowls then left them to cool down. Bon Appetit.
Materials (For 6-7 bowls):
- 1:1:1:1 sugar, beans, chickpeas, and wheat (for 6-7 bowls; 1 water glass, if you like the sweet taste you can add 1,5 water glass sugar)
- 100-150 gr each nut
- 100-150 gr each dried fruits (if you like dried fruits you can add a little bit more :) )
- 2-3 cardamom
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 10 cloves
- 1 tablespoon rice