Also known as asure, this unique Turkish dessert is made with barley, legumes, dried fruits, and nuts. Traditional folklore holds that Noah gathered all of the remaining foodstuffs to make this sweet pudding when he and his family left the ark. Today it is customary to share the dish with others.
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
1 tablespoon long-grain rice
4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
1/4 cup dried figs, finely chopped
1 tablespoon rose water
3 tablespoons chopped almonds
3 tablespoons chopped pistachios
3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
How to Make It
Place the barley and rice in a medium bowl, and cover with water to 2 inches above barley mixture. Cover and soak overnight. Drain.
Place barley mixture, 4 cups water, and salt in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes. Remove from heat, and drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 2 1/4 cups cooking liquid.
Place 1 1/2 cups barley mixture and 1/4 cup reserved liquid in a food processor; process 2 minutes. Return pureed mixture to saucepan; add remaining barley mixture, remaining 2 cups reserved liquid, sugar, and next 5 ingredients (sugar through figs), stirring to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in rose water, and sprinkle with nuts and pomegranate seeds.
Wonderfully different! It was hard to imagine how the beans and dried fruits would taste good together, but the flavor combination worked really well. It was really the rose-flower water that made the dish - like eating a rose petal with every bite.
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