3 cups uncooked whole grain wheat or barley
1 1/2 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups canned navy beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup uncooked rice
3 Tbs dried currants
3 Tbs pine nuts
8 dried apricots, cut in chunks
8 dried figs, cut in chunks
3 cups sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
Zest of 1 orange (optional)
Zest of 1 lemon (optional) or 2 Tbs rose water (optional)
The night before, put the wheat or barley in a large pot and cover it with plenty of water. Bring it to a boil, cover and reduce the heat. Allow it boil gently for about ten minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the grain to cool and soak overnight.
The next morning, the grain should have absorbed most, if not all the liquid. Add the chickpeas, beans, rice, dried fruits, sugar and optional rose water or orange and lemon zest.
Add more water to just cover the ingredients, if needed. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir the mixture gently with a wooden spoon as it cooks until it thickens. Remove it from the heat and fill dessert bowls or a large serving bowl with the pudding.
Once it cools down and sets, cover and refrigerate it for several hours. Before serving, garnish the pudding with fresh pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, finely chopped dried fruits and ground nuts.
Some prefer their pudding more watery, some prefer it stiffer. If you prefer a stiffer pudding, add a teaspoon or two of powdered gelatin while the mixture cooks. This will give you a firmer pudding once it cools down.
Credits: Elizabeth Taviloglu