Keşkek is a very old and traditional dish that is made more or less the same way in many regions of Turkey. Aşur (pronounced as ashur), on the other hand, can be called Antakya-style keşkek. Although it is the same as keskek in terms of cooking and preparation methods, it contains a few different ingredients. These ingredients are chickpeas, onions, dried peppers, cumin and walnuts.
I love all kinds of keşkeks. Besides liking the taste of wheat, the special consistency and flavor of the keşkek is very special to me. It doesn't matter what flavor it has. Beef Keşkek, Chicken Keşkek, Mushroom Keşkek are the types of keşkek that I have shared so far and that I love to cook and eat. Today, Antakya-style keşkek, that is, aşur, joins among these recipes.
I used to know that Antakya-style keşkek was called aşur, but I didn't know that its recipe is so different. In a travel-cooking show that I watched a short time ago, the difference in color caught my attention when this one among hundreds of dishes and mezes of Antakya was shown blindly as aşur. After doing my research, I realized that aşur is a different dish on its own. I tried it at home as soon as possible. Of course, I was blown away by the result I got. Between you and me, there has never been anything I didn't like coming out of Antakya.
What Kind of Meat Is Used for Aşur?
The best meat that can be used for Ashur is lamb neck. But lamb neck is quite an expensive meat. Although the price is not much different from other parts of lamb, as it is mostly bone, in real it's expensive. I can't say that you should definitely use lamb neck for this. But if you have the opportunity, I recommend you to choose lamb for the best taste. I made it using leg of lamb, which is easiest to find here. Since the lambs are cut very young here, it is delicious in every way. If you can't find or don't want to use lamb, you can use the same amount of beef or chicken instead. As I said at the beginning, keşkek or aşur is a very delicious dishes in every way.
In addition to being delicious, another nice feature is that it is a very fruitful dish. Using only 500 grams of meat, I don't think there are many dishes that can easily feed six people.
In Aşur, unlike the keşkek, instead of ground pepper roasted in oil, ground cumin and extra walnut kernels are used as a sauce on top, and it suits this dish very well. Of course, if you don't like cumin, you can use ground pepper roasted in oil, just as you do with the keşkek. If you don't like walnuts, you can skip it, but it suits the dish so well...
Enjoy the recipe...
- 1 kg bone-in or 500 g boneless lamb,
- 2 cups of wheat berries,
- 1 cup of chickpeas,
- 1 onion,
- 5-6 dried red peppers (hot or sweet according to your taste),
- 1 teaspoon of cumin.
- 1 heaping tablespoon of butter,
- 1 teaspoon cumin,
- Chopped walnut kernels.
- Soak the chickpeas overnight,
- The next day, take the meat in a pressure cooker and add 1.5 lt of water at room temperature ,
- Close the lid and cook until the meat is tender,
- Open the lid and take the meat by straining it from the water with a colander,
- Add chickpeas, washed and drained wheat, coarsely chopped onions, deseeded peppers and cumin to the broth,
- Close the lid and cook until everything is soft,
- Shred the meat (separating it from the bones if it has bones),
- Open the lid of the pressure cooker and if necessary, add enough hot water to cover the ingredients and mix,
- Cook for a few minutes more, stirring,
- With a hand blender, blend it to remain still granular,
- Add the salt, mash with a solid wooden spoon on low heat, mix and cook until it starts to stretch like gum,
- Melt the butter in a separate sauce pan for the topping,
- Add cumin, mix and remove from heat,
- Distribute the aşur on serving plates, drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with ground walnuts.
Enjoy your meal...