Ashure or Noah’s Pudding

The festive vegan pudding ashure, or Noah’s pudding, is especially prepared for Christmas Eve. It is said that ashure contains all the food that was left in Noah’s ark when it landed on Mt Ararat.

1 cup (250 ml) wheat berries
4 cups (1 l) water
1/2 cup (125 ml) walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (125 ml) dried apricots, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup (125 ml) natural sugar, such as Sucanat or Rapadura
1/2 cup (125 ml) dried figs, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup (125 ml) raisins
1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) rose water
Currants, apricot pieces, pomegranate seeds and walnuts, chopped, for garnish

Soak wheat berries, nuts and apricots in separate bowls of water overnight; drain. In a pot, cook wheat berries in water for 45 minutes until tender but not mushy. Add walnuts, hazelnuts, apricots and sugar then bring to a slow boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add figs and raisins, simmer for five minutes longer.

Remove from stove, let cool then add rose water and transfer to a serving bowl. Let pudding stand for at least one hour to thicken.

Before serving, garnish with currants, small pieces of apricots and chopped nuts, arranged like spokes in a wheel, with half a walnut or a dollop of pomegranate seeds in the center.

Source: alive #230, December 2001

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