This could well be the oldest pudding in the world. The Turkish name aşure means ‘ten’ because you’re supposed to eat it on the tenth day of the first month of the Islamic calendar (which, being lunar, changes every year). It’s staggering how many important events need to be remembered on that date—Moses crossed the Red Sea;
It’s the last event that explains why the full version of this pudding has forty-one ingredients. To celebrate his return to dry land after forty days on the water, Noah cooked up all the remaining supplies in the ark—nuts, pulses and dried fruits, but definitely no animals—and shared the resulting stew with everybody who had survived the flood. We’ve simplified Noah’s recipe, but the spirit of generosity remains—you’re supposed to offer this dish to anybody who could smell it cooking.
Soak the white haricot beans and chickpeas in water overnight, in separate bowls. Strain and rinse under cold running water and then place the beans and chickpeas, together, in a saucepan. Cover with water, bring to the boil over medium heat, then boil for 40 minutes until they are soft.
Crack the cloves with a wooden spoon and soak in warm water for 1 hour. Finely chop the dried figs and apricots, and then place in a bowl with the currants and sultanas. Cover with lukewarm water and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and
Wash the barley in cold running water to remove the excess starch. Half fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil over high heat. Add the barley and cook for 10 minutes. Strain the barley, half fill the pan with fresh water and boil the barley again for 10 minutes. Strain the barley a third time, add to the pan with
Next, add the strained dried apricots, sultanas, currants, figs and sugar. Dilute the cornflour in the milk, then add to the cooking mixture. Simmer for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the strained cloves, honey and orange zest. Simmer for another 7 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken.
Divide the pudding into each serving bowl and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Decorate the top of the pudding with cinnamon, sesame seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, chopped dried apricots, pomegranate seeds and orange zest, and serve.
© 2015 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.