Sunday, June 27, 2010


This dish is believed to be originated on Noah's ark.  They say that the last few days of the flood, most of the food was gone.  They had a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  They threw everything in a pot and made Asure which lasted them until they were able to get on dry land.  This day is declared to be a special day that is later followed by birth of Jesus on the same day.  In Turkey, Asure is made and shared with family, friends and neighbours during Asure month.  It is a celebration of God's generosity and blessings.

1/2 kg cracked wheat
1 cup dry chick peas
1 cup dry haricot beans
1/2 cup white rice
100 gr dry apricots
100 gr. dry figs
150 gr. raisins
1 kg. sugar
2 orange peels
Optional: 1/4 cup rosewater
Optional: Cooked and peeled chestnuts (for bottom of the individual cups)
For decorations: coconuts, cinnamon, pomegranate seeds, walnut pieces
  • This is not a difficult recipe to follow but you need to start the process overnight (8-9 hours before) for soak time.
  • Put the cracked wheat in a big pot.  Add water.  Water must top the wheat by about 15 cm (put 4 your fingers together as a measurement by sight).  Bring it to boil once.  Set aside for overnight "soaking"
  • Put beans ad chick peas together and add water.  Bring to boil once and set aside overnight for "soaking"
  • Next morning, drain beans and chick peas.  Add more water and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling until they are soft.  Approx. 2.5 - 3 hours.  Add more water if required.
  • In a separate pot, bring wheat to boil, reduce heat to medium and continue to boil until very soft (almost mash).  This too takes approx. 2.5 to 3 hours.  Make sure it is not covered to avoid from boiling over.  Add water as required.
  • 20 minutes before wheat is finished, add rice.
  • Add wheat, beans and chick peas together.  Continue to boil for another 10-15 minutes at low heat.
  • Cut up apricots, and figs.  Wash 2 oranges and grade skin.
  • Add  sugar, apricots, figs, orange peels, raisins, and rosewater.  Boil once and take off the heat
  • As Asure waits, it thickens.  You can add boiled water to bring to desired consistency.
  • You can serve Asure in a big pot and so it can be spooned out to smaller cups or you can make individual cups.  Optionally, you can put cooked and peeled chestnuts at the bottom of individual servings.  I personally do not like chestnuts or the pomegranate seeds in this dish
  • You can decorate with any combination of pomegranate seeds, coconut, walnut pieces and Cinnamon. 
  • You can eat it at room temperature or cold right out of the fridge in warm summer nights.  Believe it or not, some people like to eat this for breakfast.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Filling and tasty dish Chili.  Good for cold winter nights or cool spring dinners.  You can have it in a bowl or make individual servings inside buns by removing the middle of the buns to make a "hole" and filling it with Chili.  Go ahead and spread shredded cheese on top. 

250 gr. ground beef or ground chicken
1 can (540 ml) kidney beans
1 can (213 ml) tomato sauce
1 package (35 gr) seasoning mix (I use Clubhouse seasoning packages) or make your own
Optional: Shredded Cheese
               1/4 cup water if you prefer your Chili juicy

Home made seasoning mix:
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoon chopped jalapeno peppers
1 onion very finely chopped
1 green pepper seeded and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • In a skillet, ground beef over medium heat.  Cook until all the juices and fat evaporates.
  • Stir in tomato sauce, and the seasoning mix and cook for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens.  If you like your Chili a little juicy for dunking your bread add 1/4 cup water.
  • Add in drained and rinsed in cold water kidney beans and simmer for another 5 minutes
  • Spread shredded cheese on top (optional)

Sunday, June 6, 2010


This is a wonderful vegetarian recipe.  Aroma of allspice and cinnamon combined with dill and other herbs makes it appeal to your sense of smell as well as your sense of taste.  Use of different coloured peppers adds colour to your dinner table..This recipe is good for stuffing all kinds of vegetables.  Try stuffing egglplants, zucchini, grape leaves or cabbage for other varieties.  I like squeezing additional lemon juice on my stuffed peppers.  My daughters prefer yogurt and garlic sauce. 

2 cups plain white rice
4 cups boling water (1/2 for the rice, 1/2 for the stuffed peppers)
1 cup olive oil
6 - 7 medium onions
1 table spoon pine nuts
2 table spoonts currants
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 bunch dill
1 table spoon dried mint flakes
1 table spoon salt (or as you like)
1 whole lemon juice
1 teaspoon each of sugar, allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
750 gr. cubannella peppers
Optional: 1-2 Roma Tomatos (sliced to be used as "cap")
  • Note: Size and type of the peppers and the amount of rice you will need are directly related.  For example, if you are using mix of big red peppers and cubannella peppers, big red peppers will require more stuffing just because they are bigger.  You'll need to do this sizing by sight.  I used 1.5 tablespoons as average per pepper
  • Chop the onions using a chopper or grade them.
  • Stir fry onions and pine nuts in 3/4 cup oil
  • Add in rice and stir fry together a little longer.  Add in equal amount of boiling to the amount of rice you used.  For example, if your rice was 2 cups, use 2 cup of boiling water.
  • Reduce heat to low and cook until rice looks more like a pilaf.  This is approximately 10 - 15 minutes.  Be sure to stir occassionally.  Let it rest for 20 minutes.
  • While you are waiting for the rice to cool a bit wash and prepare your peppers by cutting the top parts off and removing all the seeds.  You can make a cap with the top part for presentation purposes but make sure the seeds on the inside the "cap" are all removed.  Chop parsley, and dill.  Juice the lemon, wash your currants and prepare your spices.
  • Combine all of the herbs and spices with rice.  Now you are ready to stuff the peppers.
  • Stuff all your peppers.  Put the "caps" on them.  The "cap" can be a slice of tomato or the top of the pepper.  Place them in a single layer in a large pot.
  • Pour in 2 cups of boiling water from the side of the pot.  Put the lid on a little bit ajar.
  • Cook in medium heat until all of the water is gone.  This may take 30 minutes.  You will find the peppers will soften.  In the last 5 minutes, keep an eye to make sure they do not burn or stick to the bottom of the pot.