Known as Noah’s Pudding in the western world, Aşure is a desert made of cereals. Served at a special time of the year, dessert comes with a religious and social importance. Derived from “aşara” meaning “tenth” in Arabic, the day falls on the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar. According to the belief, after the flood Noah made a pudding dish for everyone to survive with the last ingredients left. From that day on, in the memory of this day, they continue to cook ashure every year.
Photo Credit (http://www.gurmerehberi.com/gurme-rehberi/yiyecekler/asure-nasil-yapilir/)
Tradition is still very much alive and has a binding social value. Istanbulite who live in apartments cook ashure and share this dessert with their neighbors and relatives. Each cook has her own preferences for the ingredients so there occurs many variants. Basically though, it is a mixture of sugar, wheat, rice, white beans, grains, chickpeas and hazelnut. Almost anything goes, it depends on what you got in your kitchen.
In this month of Muharram, we made a list of best places to eat ashure for those who want to be a part of this meaningful tradition;
1. Topkapı Palace Konyalı Restaurant
One branch in Topkapı Palace Museum and the other one in Kanyon, Shopping Center, Konyalı Restaurant is welcoming its guests with its award-winning Ottoman cuisine and breathtaking view of Bosphorus. Launched in 1897 as a family business, restaurant brings along four generations of expertise and a century of experience. Its location and history provide an extraordinary ambience to enjoy ashure that also dates back to centuries ago.
Photo Credit (http://www.konyalilokantasi.com/)
2. Hacı Abdullah
Located right across the Beyoglu Aga Mosque, Hacı Abdullah is one of the best places in Istanbul serving finest Ottoman-Turkish cuisine. First launched in Karaköy Pier during the last period of Ottoman Empire, restaurant has passed from the master to the apprentice. Their recipe of ashure roots back to the old masters and chefs of the restaurant. So get ready for a great flavor journey in your month once you taste this traditional dessert.
Photo Credit (www.haciabdullah.com.tr)
3. Hafız Mustafa
Ashure, baklava, rice pudding, cakes, dried fruits, profiterole, candies and every kind of Turkish delight you could possible imagine are served in Hafız Mustafa, a fascinating place located in the same spot it was launched in 1864. It is a challenge to decide where to start as you step in but not this month of the year. Delicious ashure will be dominating the whole scene.
Photo Credit (http://lezzetkasifleri.com/sehrin-en-lezzetlisi/sutlu-tatlida-en-lezzetli-adresler/)
Regularly appearing in top ten lists of Istanbul, we are all familiar with the name. Founded in 1953, company’s top priority is to preserve the traditional cuisine and to update it according to current culinary culture of the city. They serve ashure to mosques and churches on special occasions such as religious festivals and holy nights. A great choice for those who prefer organic products cause ingredients they use are supplied daily and from their own farm.
Photo Credit (http://www.sutis.com.tr/)
5. Saray Muhallebicisi
First launched in 1935, today Saray serves traditional desserts with its 19 branches. So there is high chance of coming across one of the branches of Saray in your neighborhood; just let yourself in.
Photo Credit (http://www.saraymuhallebicisi.com/)
6. Faruk Güllüoğlu
The most well-known place for baklava, Faruk Güllüoğlu is a brand probably every Istanbulite dropped by once in their life either for themselves or for the loved ones. Definitely recommended if you want to eat some delicious ashure.
Photo Credit (http://www.farukgulluoglu.com.tr/)
7. Tarihi Sarıyer Muhallebicisi
Ingredients supplied daily from the farm, Tarihi Sarıyer Muhallebicisi serves one of the finest ashure of Istanbul since 1928. Simple on the outside but its taste is… just perfect.
Photo Credit (http://www.tarihisariyermuhallebicisi.com.tr/)
Last but not least, Özsüt’s ashure is free of all kind of food additives and one of our top choices for this special month. Enjoy!
Photo Credit (http://www.ozsut.com.tr/)