Asure - A Turkish Pudding
Updated: Oct 29
"Asure is the coming together of different tastes and colours"
Asure is a Turkish dessert porridge that is made of a mixture consisting of grains, fruits, dried fruits and nuts, enjoyed since ancient days in Turkey. It is a dish that symbolises unity and equality, and is served all year around in Turkey especially during the Muharram month of Hijri calendar, when Alevis fast and mourn for 15 days every year. Three days are spent fasting for all oppressed children (Masum-u paklar), one day is spent fasting for all oppressed women (Fatma Ana) and the remaining twelve days are spent fasting and mourning for all oppression against people around the world symbolised by the 12 Imam’s and Kerbela. Traditionally, Asure is made in large quantities and at the end of fasting is distributed to friends, relatives, neighbours, colleagues, classmates, and others, without regard to the recipient's religion or belief system as an offering of peace and love.
In most cases, Asure is a vegan dish and it is one of the well-known and the most popular vegan desserts in the Turkish cuisine. According to the Alevi belief, Asure is the celebration of diversity, and they commonly use twelve ingredients to prepare this dessert, including wheat, barley, rice, white beans, chickpeas, sweetener, dates, pomegranates, beets, dried fruits, and nuts. However, many renditions add orange and lemon peel to add depth to the pudding. Anise seed, sesame seeds, pine nuts, black cumin seeds, prunus mahaleb, pomegranate kernels, pistachios, almonds, walnuts, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice may be used as garnish, and some variations are flavoured with anise liqueur, rose water and/or orange blossom water.
(Inspired by Turkish Foodie)
Prep Time - 30 minutes
Cook Time - 1 hour
Total Time - 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings - 8
Calories - 344 kcal
100 g sugar or honey
1 1/2 cups canned chickpeas rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups canned navy beans rinsed and drained
3 cups hulled barley (husked removed barley) soaked overnight in plenty of water
1 cinnamon stick
3 tbsp pistachio nuts / almonds
3 tbsp pine nuts
3 tbsp currant
6 dried apricots cut in chunks
6 dried figs cut in chunks
8 tbsp walnuts well crushed
8 tbsp pomegranate seed
Put the hulled barley in a large pot with plenty of water and soak overnight.
Put the hulled barley and its soaking water into a large, deep pan and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 50 minutes (until the barley gets tender). if it is necessary, you can add some water during cooking.
Add the sugar, canned navy beans, canned chickpeas and bring the mix to boil again. If it is necessary, you can add some water. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Stir the mixture slowly until it thickens. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and make sure the surface of the mix is flat and leave the pudding to cool at room temperature.
Once the pudding gets cool, put the chunked dried figs, chunked apricots, pistachio nuts and crushed walnuts over the top.
Sprinkle pomegranate seeds generously and serve chilled or at room temperature.