What Is Ashure?

J. Airman

Ashure, or ashura, is a Turkish dessert made with sweetened dried fruit, nuts, and grains or legumes. It is sometimes called Noah's Pudding because it is most often made on or around the Day of Ashura, which commemorates many significant events in Islam, including the day the Prophet Noah first reached land after the flood. This dish can also be made for other religious holidays observed in Turkey.

Ashure often includes garbanzo beans.
Ashure often includes garbanzo beans.

The dried fruit used in ashure usually includes apricots, raisins and figs. Normally, the pudding grain used for ashure is wheat, but other favorite grains can be substituted. Types of beans used in this dish are typically light in color, like white beans or garbanzo beans.

Dried apricots are commonly used to make ashure.
Dried apricots are commonly used to make ashure.

Preparing ashure starts by soaking the grains and legumes that will be used to make the pudding, usually overnight. Once they have been soaked, they are boiled until their skins soften enough to be removed. The raisins are soaked, then added to the boiling mixture, after which the nuts are added. Finally, the figs and apricots are added to the mixture before it is flavored with cinnamon, sweetened with sugar and served. The end result is a soft, sweet pudding with crunchy nuts and chunks of softened dried fruit.

In Islamic tradition, the Day of Ashura is the 10th day of Muharram, which is the first month in the Islamic calendar. Ashura is also known as Noah's Pudding Day. In Islam, Noah is sometimes known as the Prophet Nuh. Though fasting is not required on this day, many Islamic participants observing the holiday choose to fast to atone for the sins of the previous year.

The Day of Ashure marks many significant happenings in Islam, but it is mainly observed in honor of Noah, or as a day of grief and mourning for the death of the prophet Muhammad's martyred grandson. Though the Day of Ashura falls on the 10th day of the month of Muharram, Ashure is often made throughout the month of Muharram. Like Ramadan, Muharram is a sacred month in Islam.

Islam is a monotheistic religion that worships Allah as God, and regards the Prophet Muhammad as the primary messenger from Allah. It is the second most popular religion in the world, with its highest concentration in the Middle East, as well as parts of Africa and Asia. Practitioners of Islam are called Muslims. The sacred book of Islam is the Qur'an, which is considered by Muslims to be the pure word of Allah.

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