The legend regarding the origins of Ashura, the dessert, goes as follows:

When the flood finally subsided and Prophet Noah’s (pbuh) arc settled on Mount Ararat in today’s Turkey, those on the vessel wanted to hold a celebration as an expression of gratitude to Allah (swt). But alas, the food storage of the ship was practically empty. So they made a soup with all the remaining ingredients they could find and thus ended up with Ashura.

Today, following the legend, Ashura is prepared by cooking 15 or more ingredients together. Rice can be substituted for wheat or it can be used in combination with it. In addition to dry white beans and chickpeas, dry broad beans and black-eyed beans can also be added. In some regions molasses replaces sugar and in others different ingredients like milk and resin gum are added. The pudding can also be enriched with almonds, hazelnuts and currants.

In a normal, non-pressure pot, cooking time can vary between 1 to 2 hours depending on the type and quality of the ingredients that are used. Due to this fact, cooking dry ingredients separately would be a better idea. If a pressure cooker is to be used, all dry ingredients can be cooked together. In order to reduce the cooking time of this special dessert, canned goods (chickpeas and beans) can be used as well. 

Here is our ingredients for this simple but delicious dessert that can generously serve 12 people: 


  • 2 cups wheat
  • ⅓ cup dry chickpeas
  • ⅓ cup dry white beans
  • 10 pieces of dried apricots
  • 10 pieces of dried figs
  • ½ cup raisins 
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup crushed walnuts
  • 1 small pomegranate 


  • Wash the wheat, chickpeas and dry beans. Soak them separately overnight.
  • Next morning, cook them in separate pots until tender,  then drain.
  • In the meantime wash all the dried fruits, cut them into bite size pieces. Soak separately until soft, then drain.
  • Combine all cooked ingredients and soaked fruits in a large pot, add water until the ingredients are covered. While continuously stirring, bring to a full boil. 
  • Add sugar, stir again and remove from the heat. 
  • If desired, 2 tbsp of rosewater and 10 pieces of cloves can be added before pouring into serving cups. 
  • After cooled down, garnish with ground cinnamon, walnuts and pomegranate.
  • Serve cold.

Bon Appetit!