Simcha Yosef's Ashure. Photo: Leonardo.
Simcha Yosef's Ashure. Photo: Leonardo.
Recipe

Ashure

Nona prepared this sweet wheat porridge for Tu B'Shvat and distributed it to neighbors and friends, so that everyone could bless the seven species

Ashure is a celebratory dish prepared for Tu B’Shvat – slow cooked wheat porridge, stewed until tender and thick, to which dried fruit is added. In the past the dry fruit was added sparingly since it was expensive, so it was just enough to bless the seven species, but today since such items are readily available and cheaper you can add any, and however much, you like.

Nona, who learned to make Ashure from her Turkish neighbor, would prepare a large batch and share it with friends and neighbors who weren’t able to come celebrate in person; a sort of Tu B’Shvat misloach manot, to ensure that everyone could eat their portion and share in blessing the seven species.

Some people call Ashure “B’Lila” and prepare it when a baby cuts its first tooth.

Ingredients for Ashure

  • 1 cup wheat
  • 2½ cups water
  • ¾ cups Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rosewater
  • ½ cup flour

To decorate:

  • 3 Dates dried, pitted and cut into strips
  • 2 Dried Figs cut into strips
  • 3 dried apricots cut into strips
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ⅓ teaspoon cinnamon ground

Instructions

  • 1. Cover the wheat with plenty of water and leave to soak overnight.

  • 2. Drain the wheat well.

  • 3. In a deep, wide pot add two cups of water and the wheat and cook for about an hour, until the liquid begins to thicken slightly.  

  • 4. Add the sugar and rosewater to the pot, mix well, and continue to cook until the wheat is soft.  

  • 5. Please note: check the mixture occasionally, as with slow-cooking you might need to add a little water so that the wheat does not burn  

  • 6. In a separate cup, mix ½ cup water with the flour into a uniform paste.  

  • 7. Gradually add the flour mixture to the pot and stir until uniform and thick.

  • 8. Transfer the porridge to a pyrex dish, or portion out into individual servings, garnish with the dried fruit and sprinkle with cinnamon.

  • 9. Transfer to the fridge and serve cold.

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The recipe is taken from the book “Bendichas Manus [Blessed Hands] – Flavors from Nonna’s House” compiled by the grandchildren of the late Esther Raphael (née Vivanta) – Chaim, Revital, and Assaf – and carefully preserved by her daughter, Simcha Yosef.

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