It's 'Asure' to be delicious

  • Published
  • By Mehmet Birbiri
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
History is not always about a person or a place, sometimes it's about the cuisine.

Asure (ah-sure-eh) is one of the greatest indicators of the cultural richness of Turkey that dates back thousands of years. It's believed that asure has been cooked since Noah's time in the ark.

As told, Noah sailed in his ark for 40 days and nights during the big floods. During those 40 days, the people in the ark ate most of the food. To feed the passengers Noah gathered the remaining food from all corners of the ark and put it in a huge pot and cooked everything all together. The result was the delicious dish asure. It lasted until the waters withdrew and the ark landed.

It's believed that Noah's Ark landed on top of Mount Ararat, located in eastern Turkey. Mount Ararat is called "Agri Dagi" in Turkish.

The ark landed on top of the mountain around the tenth day of the tenth month, according to the lunar calendar.

On this day every year, in appreciation to God and in commemoration of the ark's landing, people cook asure and share the dish with family, friends and neighbors.

My family's recipe

Depending on the cook, there may be some slight differences, but generally asure is cooked the same way. This is my family's recipe:

2 pounds dehusked wheat
1 pound of chickpeas
1 pound of white beans
5 pounds of sugar
Dried fruits: raisins, apricots figs, plums, etc.
Glass of Milk (about 8 ounces)
Cinnamon to taste
Crushed walnuts to taste

Soak the chickpeas and white beans separately for one day to prepare them for cooking.

Boil the wheat in a large pot then add the sugar, chickpeas and beans. Cook for one hour adding water as needed. Add the dried fruit and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in the glass of milk. Refrigerate and serve when the mixture becomes jelly-like. Serve cold with cinnamon and crushed walnuts on top.