In the Qur’an, the holy book of Muslims, we read the story of the Prophet Noah and the Ark. The account is not at all dissimilar to the one that Christians and Jews may know from the book of Genesis in the Old Testament and the Torah. Prophet Noah is sent to warn his people to abandon their wicked ways and avoid God’s punishment. They will not listen and mock him as he begins to build the ark as instructed by God. Prophet Noah takes in pairs of animals, male and female, and supplies of food. The flood waters rise and Prophet Noah, members of his family and the few who believe his words are saved from drowning. After the flood, the Ark comes to rest on the mountain Al-Jūdī on the day of Ashurah. God sends Prophet Noah and his companions out of the Ark with blessings to flourish and multiply. According to the tradition, as the waters began to recede, Prophet Noah and his family gathered up all of the food remaining on the Ark and made a delicious meal out of it.
In remembrance of Prophet Noah and as a thanksgiving to God, the people of Anatolia have made it a custom to prepare Noah’s Pudding, traditionally known as ‘Ashurah,’ on this day and share it with neighbors and friends. The story of Noah’s Pudding and the custom of preparing such a pudding and sharing this with neighbors and friends is Muslim tradition and not a religious practice. However, it is a pleasant custom that is most useful for bringing people together around a commonly known story. Whether one believes in Prophet Noah or not, most will have heard of the story of the Great Flood.
1 cup of pearl barley
⅓ cup of chickpeas
⅓ cup of dry white beans
2 tablespoons of rice
12 ½ cups of water
10 pieces of dried apricots
5 pieces of dried figs
½ cup of raisins (seedless)
1 small orange
1 ⅔ cups of sugar
2 tablespoons of rose water
⅔ cup of walnuts (not crushed)
½ small pomegranate
Wash the pearl barley, chickpeas and dried beans. Soak them overnight. Soak the beans and chickpeas separately in 1 cup of water each and the pearl barley in 2 cups of water.
Add 3 cups of water to the pearl barley and 2 cups of water each to the chickpeas and beans and cook them separately on the hob. Cook the pearl barley until the grains break up and the starch comes out. If necessary boil the chickpeas in a
pressure cooker. Cook the rice.
Wash the dried fruit and soak for 2 hours in 1 ½ cups of water
Mix the cooked ingredients and the dried fruit in a pan and cook for 15 minutes
Peel the orange and cut the rind, including the white inner part, into strips 3-4 cm long and 1cm wide. Divide the orange segments into 4-5 pieces.
Add them all together to the mixture and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the sugar and cook for 1-2 minutes and then remove from the hob. Add the rose water and stir.
Pour into pudding bowls. Garnish with walnuts and pomegranate. Best served cold.