Aşure is on the tenth day during the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Muharram. In Arabic, “Ashura” means “tenth”. During this time of year Aşure dessert is made in large quantities to commemorate the ark’s landing and is shared among friends, relatives, neighbors and colleagues.
If you believe in Noah and the Ark then you’ll find it interesting to discover that Noah’s Ark landed and came to rest on Mount Ararat in Eastern Turkey. When Noah and his family arrived they celebrated by making a dish from the ingredients they had left from their journey. Grains, beans and dried fruits were cooked together to form a pudding, what is now known as Aşure or Noah’s Pudding.
Today this dish symbolizes sharing, diversity and friendship and is prepared with prayers for health, healing, safety, success and spiritual nourishment.
Similar to trail mix or gorp there is no standard recipe to follow. Recipes vary between regions and families but the foundation traditionally includes at least ten ingredients (keeping up with the ten theme). Among these are dried fruits and nuts, mixed with either wheat, rice, beans or chickpeas. Popular toppings include pomegranate kernels or cinnamon.
We enjoyed a recipe with wheat, walnuts, raisins, dried apples, dried apricots, cinnamon (and more). Besides being delicious and not too sweet, it’s reminiscent of a fall or winter dish, I think because of the cinnamon.