This month our recipe is the Turkish dish Aşure (Noah’s ark pudding)! Our version is based off Elizabeth Taviloglu’s recipe at the Spruce Eats.
Our missionaries in Turkey love gathering with their friends and neighbors for potlucks. “Having everyone bring something different makes it fun to learn about other people and try new foods,” one missionary says. “Also, miraculously, we always have the right types of food that we need!”
Turkish neighbors often bring this dish over in their own bowls. When the missionaries finish eating it, they often make a new dish in the same bowl and return it to their neighbors full of deliciousness. It ends up being a great opportunity to build relationships.
Building relationships with people in Turkey is important because just 0.7% of the people in this country are Christians. As new friendships form, this opens the door for deeper conversations about faith and religion. So, while you are enjoying this traditional Turkish dessert, take time to pray for missionaries reaching out to their Turkish neighbors!
Here’s how to make Aşure (Noah’s Ark Pudding):
- 3 cups uncooked whole grain wheat or barley
- 1 1/2 cups canned chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
- 1 1/2 cups great northern beans (canned navy beans to be more traditional) (rinsed and drained)
- 1/4 cup uncooked rice
- 3 tablespoon dried cranberries (currants to be more traditional)
- 3 tablespoon pine nuts
- 2 cups dried apricots cut into chunks
- 3 cups of sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Zest of 1 orange (optional)
- Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
- 2 tablespoon rose water (optional)
- 8 dried figs (optional)
1. The night before, put the wheat or barley in a large pot and cover it with water.
2. Bring it to a boil, cover and reduce the heat. Allow it to boil gently for about ten minutes.
3. Turn off the heat and leave the grain to cool and soak overnight.
4. The next morning, the grain should have absorbed most, if not all the liquid. Add the chickpeas, beans, rice, dried fruits, sugar and optional rose water or orange, and lemon zest.
5. Add more water to just cover the ingredients if needed. Bring the mixture to a boil.
6. Stir the mixture gently with a wooden spoon as it cooks until it thickens.
7. Remove it from the heat and fill dessert bowls or a large serving bowl with the pudding.
8. Once it cools down and sets, cover and refrigerate it for several hours.
9. Before serving, garnish the pudding with fresh pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, finely chopped dried fruits and/or groundnuts.
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