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Aşure or Noah’s Pudding

On the tenth day of Muharram, every Turkish household is preoccupied with cooking Aşure,—imitating the dish the very Noah once cooked in his ark at the Mount of Ararat


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"Ashura" is an Arabic word meaning "tenth", the Day of Aşure is celebrated on the tenth day of the first month of Islamic calendar—Muharram. The sacred month is considered the second holiest one after Ramadan and is dedicated to the mourning of Muhammad's grandson. The Day of Aşure has different interpretations, Turkish Muslims commemorate Noah who is said to have landed his ark at the Mount of Ararat. The story follows that he took the remains of food, including winter grains, beans, dried fruit and what not, and cooked a kind of pudding. That legend must have commenced local tradition of cooking the so-called Aşure or Noah’s Pudding for the Day of Aşure.

During that time not only every household cooks a plenty of puddings but also bakeries and pastry shops have an abundant offer. The recipes of the dish vary depending on a region and even on family traditions. For example, some decorate the dish with pomegranate seeds, some powder it with cinnamon, top it with raisins, walnuts, and some may even put crushed cloves on top. The main rule is to keep up with the ten theme, which means using ten ingredients.

Normally, the neighbours treat one another, so don't be surprised when you're offered a plate, but better take it with a smile. Another unwritten rule is you are to return the dish with some home-made dessert. In such a way the Turks strengthen relationships between neighbours and also highlight the importance of sharing in the community.

As Islamic calendar is lunar, so the dates of the Day of Aşure vary from year to year. You can find the dish all year round, however, there's no better time to try Noah's Pudding than the actual Day of Aşure.

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