Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Saving the World With a Sweet Soup - עשוראא

It is believed that Noah, on his cruise to save the living, cooked Ashura with the left ingredients in the ship: wheat, sugar, rice, chick peas, beans, nuts, dried fruits.. A mixture that could be brought together after any disaster on my beautiful fruitful land of Anatolia.
For the rememberance, every year, there is a fixed Ashura day where the pudding like dessert is cooked and shared with neighbours, friends and family  around here. The date is the 26,27th of December according to the Greagorian calendar and according to the lunar muslim calendar, on the 10th day of Muharrem, hence the name Ashura which means 10th in arabic. I like the armenian meaning of the name which is the "sweet soup".
This is my Jo's favorite sweet in Turkey and thus I have put the hebrew name in the title as a personalized gift.
And am sharing the recipe as promised to Jo !

Last year I cooked Ashura for the first time when I first moved in to my flat for the sweet traditional thought that "Ashura brings wealth to home" with its big variety of ingredients, every basic ingredient in your home. Do not worry if you dont have nuts or dreid fruits, try substitutes.

The recipe I am sharing is a modified version from my favorite traditional cook Umit Usta's Agiz Tadiyla book that I strongly recommend. You will need:
wheat, 2 cups
rice, 1 cup
chickpeas, 1 cup if dried, if cooked almost 3 cups
beans, 1 cup if dried, 3 if cooked
sugar, 5 cups
wheat starch, 1/3rd cup
milk(to whiten), 3 cups
hazelnuts, 1 cup
walnuts, 2 cups
dried figs, 10 of them
dried apricots, 10 of them(could be related to the date 10th of muharrem :)
dried raisins, 1/3 cup
almonds, 1/2 cup ( I put more)
cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon
cloves, 5 of them
butter, 1 Tablespoon
rosewater (optional) , 1/3 cup ..or any aroma like vanilla with its own amount

I love the making, with sweet memories of my first cooking times guide Umit Usta's serials on tv.

Messages: to Jo- come to pick yours up which is the one in the white bowl, I will keep it for 3 more days for you in the fridge. to Ali- Yours is the pink one behind Jo's, thank you for sharing your home with crazy&drunk strangers. To Serkan&Inci: the biggest one on the first row thanks for this lovely presence in my home this year. to Oguz- for being so tolerant and giving to me.

The Making:
DON'T GIVE UP STIRRING the soup all the time..
1-Soak nuts and almonda from the night before toIf the beans and chickpeas are dried ones, soak them from the night before(for about 8 hours or so), then change the water and cook them separately.
2- If you will use cooked beans and chickpeas, soak the wheat from the night before, cook it well without changing the soaking water(it contains a natural starch that you will need).
3- When the wheat is cooked , add the cooked beans and chickpeas and bring to a simmer. then add gradually the sugar. If the sugar is added all in once this will thoughen your beans.
4- Miix the starch with the amount of milk and add it to the soup.The soup must be a dense one but feel free to add some extra water or milk if the cooking water of the wheat has not been enough for all.
5- Add the rose water or your aroma of pğreference. 5- Add all the nuts and dried fruits and spices giving them enough time to the taste wthin the boiling mixture.
6- Last ingredient: add butter.
7- Put them in your designated containers for your very precious neighbours and friends..Share!

And save the world.. Once more..

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your kind words about my post. She was a lovely woman.

    I have visited your blog several times and love your stories and recipes. I'm sorry I haven't signed up to follow you yet, but I am rectifying that today. I look forward to your posts in 2010.


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