Cooking - Armenian Cuisine Easy Recipes

1.Stuffed grape leaves (YALANCHY SARMA / Patat)
Prepare all ingredients beforehand and allow at least 2½ hours.
Rice Filling
1 cup rice, extra long grain
½ cup pure olive oil
¼ cup veg. oil
2½ lbs. onions (chopped - equiv. to 5 heaping cups)
1 tbsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. red pepper
1½ cups water
½ cup fresh lemon juice squeezed and strained
1 tbsp. pignoli nuts ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. dried dill or (2 tbsp. fresh chopped)

Heat oil in a 4-quart saucepan (stainless steel). When piece of onion sizzles then add pignoli nuts and all of onion. Mix well, then stir in salt, black and red pepper. Cook over medium heat stirring all the time. Do not brown onion. Cook until soft or until color changes from pure white to off-white. Now add washed and drained rice. Mix well. Add chopped parsley and dill mixing well with ingredients in pan. Add 1½ cups water and cook approximately 15 minutes, stirring often so bottom and sides won't stick to pan or burn. Now add lemon juice. Mix well. Remove from heat. Empty ingredients into open pan. Line bottom of another 4-quart stainless steel pan with grape leaves. (This helps prevent burning.) Wrapping leaves: (1 cup rice uses up a 9 ounce grape eaves). Cut stems off leaves and unfold. Fill grape leaves with rice mixture using tablespoon. Mix rice occasionally so oil will be evenly distributed. Hold leaf on left palm with stem side away from you and vein side up. Place tablespoon of rice on top end near stem. Now fold top down and the two sides over, then roll toward the inside of your palm covering all the rice. Make a firm roll in shape of cigar. Lay wrapped grape leaves end to end in circle in bottom of pan, covering first the bottom, then start 2nd row continuing in circle pattern. when all wrapped leaves are arranged in pan, add 2 cups of water and cover pan with inverted 10" plate over sarmas and cook until it comes to a boil, then reduce heat and cook ½ hour. Turn off heat and let set for approximately 15 minutes. Remove plate. Let cool. Using same system of arranging in cooking pan, empty rolled leaves carefully and place on shallow serving dish or pyrex bowl.* Cover with saran wrap. Refrigerate. Serve cold or at room temperature. Garnish with lemon wedges or parsley sprigs.
Makes approximately 60 sarmas, using small leaves.
NOTE: or use following method:
Place shallow pan over top of pan. Hold firmly by both handles and quickly invert away from you with a good firm twist of your wrists, without disturbing the rows of sarmas.

2. Cured spiced meat (BASTERMA)
1 slice of beef (about 2 lbs.)
¼ cup bagged granulated salt

Select very tender cut of beef from rib part, about one and a half inch thick, any length you desire (approx. 8"). Insert heavy string through one end and make a loop. Rub meat with salt and let stand in refrigerator for 3 days placing a heavy item on top and turn once a day. Wash meat well with cold water and leave in clear water for one hour. Then drain and press between towels to remove moisture. Continue until meat is quite dry. Hang in cool airy place to dry about two weeks.
Chairnen mixture:
3 tbsp. chaimen
2 tbsp. paprika
½ tsp. red pepper (opt.)
½ tsp. salt
½ tbsp. blk. pepper
½ tbsp. kimion (cumin)
½ tsp. allspice 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup water
Combine all above ingredients, adding water a little at a time to make thick paste. Soak meat in it for 2 weeks. Hang in airy place for 2 more weeks. May be used immediately, refrigerated, or frozen.
NOTE: A cheese cloth casing may be used to slip meat into before hanging.

3. Armenian spiced dried sausagess (SOUJOOKH)
10 lbs lean ground chuck or undercut
1/3 cup salt
1 can curry powder (1½ oz)
1 can cloves (1½ oz)
1 can kimion (1½ oz)
1/3 cup blk. pepper
2 tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup allspice
¼ can paprika
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Mix all spices and sprinkle over meat. Knead until well blended. Refrigerate overnight. Mix again and add more spices according to taste. Again refrigerate overnight. Prepare two cloth bags 10x14 inches. Divide meat in half and fill bags. Take two sticks (about 12" long), one for each bag, and place at open end of bag. Wrap cloth around stick firmly and sew in place, leaving ends exposed. with a rolling pin spread the meat inside bag to all corners to fill air space lake some string loops on extended ends of stick and hang out to dry in cold, dry sunny weather. Bring bags in at sundown and refrigerate overnight. Repeat this process for 2 weeks, then cut bags away from meat and then cut up partially dried meat into quarters. Thread a string through each piece and hang out to dry uncovered for one more week, refrigerating at night. when done, wrap each in aluminum foil and refrigerate or freeze. Use as needed.
NOTE: Casings may be used instead of cloth bags.
Makes 8 5x6 pieces.

4. Eggplant yogurt dip (PATLIJAN (SEMPOOG) MADZOON MEZA)

4 med. eggplants
4 cloves garlic
chopped nuts or chopped parsley (opt.)
2 8-oz. cartons plain yogurt
salt to taste

Broil eggplant until softened. Cool, peel and mash. Blender may be used. Crush garlic, eggplant, salt and 1½ carton of yogurt thoroughly. Place into serving bowl. Spread remaining yogurt over top and garnish with chopped nuts or chopped parsley.
Serves 12-14
5. Eggplant dip (PATLIJAN (SEMPOOG) MEZA)

2 Sm. eggplants
4 lge. onions, sliced
2 carrots, grated
5-6 tbsps. olive oil
salt, pepper to taste
½ cup parsley, chopped
2 8-oz. cans tomato sauce
1 tsp. fresh or dried dill

Bake eggplant in oven or cook on fire. Peel and mash well. Brown onions in oil in skillet and add all ingredients. Cook one hour over low heat until smooth, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Use Armenian or Syrian bread to dip into eggplant dip. Serve hot or cold.
Makes 3 cups.

6. Bean salad (FASSOULIA (Lupia) SALATA)

1 can white pea beans, washed and drained
1 can fava beans, washed, drained, peeled
1 can chick peas, washed, drained and peeled can
1 can whole string green beans or French style
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 lge onion, sliced
1 lge green pepper, sliced
1/2 bunch scallions, chopped
1 lge clove garlic, minced 1
/4 cup parsley, chopped fine
salt, pepper to taste
3 tomatoes, quartered
pinch of dried mint

Toss everything together very lightly, being careful not to crush beans. Add your favorite dressing. This salad keeps well in refrigerator.
Serves 8-10

7. Tomato salad (MARASH SALATA/Aghtzan)

4 tomatoes, diced
4 sprigs of parsley, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 med onion, chopped
salt to taste
Toss together and serve cold.
Serves 4

8. Armenian potato salad (KEDNAKHNZOR SALATA/Aghtsan)

8 large unpeeled potatoes, boiled
3 stalks celery, chopped fine
2 large onions, chopped fine
1 green pepper, chopped fine
1/2 cup parsley, minced
1-1/2 tsp. mint, minced
2 tbsp. lemon juice (or to taste)
4 tbsp. salad oil
salt, blk. pepper to taste

Sprinkle salt on onion, let set for awhile, then rinse and squeeze dry. Peel potatoes after thoroughly cooked and dice. Mix remaining ingredients with potatoes. May be prepared ahead of time. Flavor improves.
Serves 10-12


1 leg of lamb, boned and cubed (l"-l½" cubes)
6 - 8 whole green peppers, cut in half and deseeded
6 -8 whole red tomatoes
1 med. eggplant, cut in 1½" cubes
2 lge. onions, sliced and coarsely chopped
½ bunch fresh parsley, cleaned and chopped
salt, pepper to taste
1 tsp. red pepper (opt.)
juice of 1 lemon

When cubing lamb, cut out all gristle, leaving a little bit of fat (not skin). Mix meat with parsley, onions and pepper. Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight. Three or four hours prior to barbecuing, add lemon juice and mix well. The salt is added just before skewering meat. Place meat on skewer (not too tight) . Green peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant are placed on separate skewers. Do not combine vegetables on same skewers because each one cooks at a different rate. Remaining onions and parsley may be used as garnish. Place all skewers on a hot charcoal grill turning often to cook evenly. Lightly oil all vegetables with a pastry brush while cooking to prevent them from burning. After 15 minutes remove one piece of meat from skewer and cut in half so as to test to see if well done. After shish kebab and vegetables are cooked, remove from skewers into large roasting pan. Serve immediately to insure the utmost of quality and flavor.
1 pound of bone-in lamb will serve one adult.

10. Barbecued lamb (SHISH KEBAB)

7-9 lbs. leg of lamb
2-3 lge. onions, sliced
8 or 10 oz. wine
salt, pepper to taste
3 or 4 tomatoes
3 or 4 green peppers

Sprinkle sliced onions with salt. Crush with hands and set aside. Bone and cube lamb in 1½-2" pieces. Cut out all gristle and muscle. If lamb has good flaky white fat, leave some on meat. Sprinkle cubes liberally with sliced onions and add approximately 5 oz. of wine. Mix well. Cover and let marinate in refrigerator 2 or 3 hours. Later add 3 or 4 more ounces of wine. Mix well, cover and refrigerate again until ready to cook. When fire is ready, skewer meat and barbecue. Skewer vegetables on separate skewers as they will cook faster. Add cooked tomatoes to cooked meat, crushing them so juices will blend in with meat. Peel peppers, cut and serve on side.
Serves approximately 10-12

11. Stuffed meatballs (KARPET POROV KUFTA)

Ingredients for outside layer:
1½ lbs. ground leg of lamb not too lean, ground twice
2 cups fine bulghour (cracked wheat)
1 egg sized onion, minced
1 tbsp. crushed, dry parsley flakes
¼ tsp. blk. pepper
¼ tsp. red pepper
1 tbsp. salt
1 lb. lamb patties or ground lamb (shoulder preferred)
2 cups onions, finely chopped
½ cup fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. salt
pinch of blk. pepper
pinch of red pepper

Saute meat for filling in frying pan until all moisture is evaporated. As meat starts to brown in its own fat, add onions and cook until softened and slightly golden colored. Add parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Stir and re move from heat and let cool at least one hour in a cool place.
Outside layer:
Mix onion, parsley, peppers and salt together and crush with fingers. Add this mixture to ground lamb and cracked wheat and mix thoroughly. Start adding a little water at a time (approx. 1 cup will be used) and knead mixture about 5 or 10 minutes until it becomes soft and sticks together well. Make balls the size of a medium egg (about 25). Working with one kufta at a time, make an indentation in center of each ball with index finger and keep pressing round and round to make a round opening with a thin wall. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling inside each opening and gently close opening, sealing well, smoothing surface and moistening fingers with water as you work. After all kuftas are completed, boil 2 quarts water or lamb broth with 1 tsp. salt in a 4 quart saucepan. Drop kuftas into boiling liquid 12-13 at a time. When liquid starts to boil again, cook for 10 minutes. The kuftas will rise to the top when they are done. If needed, add more liquid for second batch.
Serves 5-6

12. Savory lamb or beef (TASS KEBAB

2 lbs. leg of lamb, boned and trimmed (use top part or stewing beef)
1 tomato, skinned
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
4 oz. corn oil
1 tsp. white pepper
½ tsp. fresh thyme
4 oz dry white wine
1½ cups bone stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. garlic salt
½ tsp. ground cloves
2 shallots (green onions or scallions)

Cut trimmed meat into pieces the size of a walnut. Put in a 4-quart saucepan with shallots, seasoning, herbs and spices. Mix well to marinate in a cool place for 2-3 hours. Heat oil and add to saucepan. Saute contents for 5 minutes, shaking pan all the time. Add tomatoes and wine. Cover tightly and cook over low heat for 4 hours. Serve with pilaf.
Serves 6
13. Lamb Roast (KHAVOURMA)

6 lbs. leg of lamb
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 onion, cut in half

Rub leg of lamb with salt and pepper and a cut onion. Leave the onion in the pan. sprinkle rosemary over roast. Roast at 375o for about 2 hours in an uncovered roasting pan. Remove roast and onion. Pour hot water in roast pan to loosen brown gravy. Thicken with small amount of cornstarch and water. (1 teaspoon cornstarch to 1 cup water or broth) Stir until thickened.
Serves 8
14. Braised beef and lamb (KHAVOURMA)

5 lbs. beef, cut in 1" cubes
5 lbs. lamb, boned, cut in 1" cubes (leg of lamb)
½ lb. beef fat (suet), cut up
3 tbsp. coarse salt
In large kettle, melt cut-up pieces of beef fat, then add beef cubes. Cook 45 minutes. Add the lamb cubes and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the meat from scorching. Cover and cook together another 45 minutes to an hour. This meat should be cooked in fat only. Do not add any water. When it is tender, put in Corning Ware or Pyrex bowl. Press down. When fat comes to top, drain off. This meat keeps well. Can be eaten hot or cold.
Number of servings depends on use
Note: This meat may be served with pilaf, noodles, potatoes, etc.

15. Butter cookie (KURABIA)

1½ cups shortening
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
6 heaping tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. B.P.
4 cups flour

Combine shortening, egg, vanilla, baking powder and sugar in blender and blend thoroughly. Place in mixing bowl, add flour, mix well with hands. Shape dough into 50 balls and flatten each one slightly. Place on cookie sheet about 1½" apart and bake in preheated 350F oven 15 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool and sprinkle with confectionery sugar.
Makes 50

16. Armenian stick cookie (SIMIT)

5 cups flour
3 tsp. B.P.
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 can evap. milk
1 yeast cake
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp. either vanilla flavoring, anise seed or mahleb
½ lb. butter
½ cup shortening
For basting:
2 eggs
¼ lb. sesame seed

Mix dry ingredients. Melt shortening and butter. Add milk, sugar, yeast mixture and flavoring. Knead until dough leaves sides of bowl. Dough should not be too soft. Cover and set aside to rise until double - about three hours. Break off walnut size pieces. Roll into pencil shape. Line up rolled simit close to each other so as to baste with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seed. Then place on greased cookie sheet in U-shapes. Bake in preheated 350F oven about 35 to 40 minutes.
Bakes 40-50
17. Baklava 1 (PAKLAVA / Tertanoush)

3 cups flour
1 tsp. B.P.
½ cup milk
½ cup water
l egg
Pinch of salt
1½ cups shortening, melted (set aside)
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp. sugar
½ to 1 cup cornstarch

Dough: Grease hands with a little shortening and knead. Make 10 small balls and let stand in bowl for one hour covered with damp cloth. Take five balls and roll each ball to diameter of 5 inches. Lightly cover top of each one with cornstarch and place on top of each other. Take stack of 5 and roll out until paper thin - diameter at least 36 inches. While rolling, occasionally sprinkle cornstarch between layers to prevent sticking. Carefully fold each layer and set aside covering with dry cloth to prevent drying. Repeat procedure with remaining 5 balls. Five pieces of 36" rolled out dough will be the bottom half and the remaining five pieces will be the top half. The walnut stuffing will be placed in the center.
Pan: 8"x12"
Take 2 pieces of rolled out dough from first set of five and evenly place over pan and cut to exact size of pan. Set aside. These will be used for final layers before placing walnut mixture. Repeat procedure with second set of five and set aside tray size pieces for top finishing layers Grease bottom of pan with some of the melted shortening. Carefully tear remaining pieces of first set to approximately 4"x6" pieces and arrange in tray. There will be a little overlapping, but try to arrange evenly. For every 2 layers sprinkle melted shortening. When all pieces are used from first set, arrange the 2 previously cut tray size pieces. Cover with walnut mixture. Repeat same procedure with second set of rolled out dough for top half ending with the 2 tray size pieces. Finish remaining melted shortening by generously sprinkling top layer with shortening. Cut into diamond pieces or in squares. Bake in 425F oven until golden pink. Drain shortening. Cut through layers again to separate squares. Gently add sugar syrup while warm.
Variation: Banirli
Follow same recipe as for paklava EXCEPT stuffing is sliced white American cheese instead of walnuts. Cut in squares. Pour syrup while Banirli is still warm and serve warm.
SHAKAR Choor (Sugar syrup for paklava)
Place in saucepan:
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp. lemon juice
Stir and boil for one minute. Gently pour over warm paklava when syrup is lukewarm.

18. Baklava 2 (PAKLAVA / Tertanush)

½ cup heavy cream
½ cup veg. oil
2 eggs
2 tsp. B.P.
1 cup water
½ tsp. salt
1 level tbsp. sugar
5 full cups flour
Nut Mixture:
1 lb. chopped walnuts
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. sugar

Cornstarch for rolling dough
Mix together above dough ingredients. Roll into walnut size balls. Should make 55 balls. Place on floured wax-papered trays. Cover trays with dish towel so they won't dry out. Let rest one hour. Roll out 5 balls, one at a time. Sprinkle with cornstarch. Top each rolled out ball with cornstarch, stacking on top of one another. Spread shortening on round l6"xl6" pan. Roll out stacked dough into one big round circle 16"x16". Place on bottom of pan. Sprinkle a layer of nut mixture on dough. Continue rolling out balls, stacking 10 until all rounds have been used up. Do not place nuts on top and final layer of 10 rounds. Cut into diamond shaped pieces. Melt 1½ lbs. shortening and 1 cup vegetable oil. Heat until very hot but not smoking. Cut a circle of brown paper (a bag) and place on top of unbaked paklava. Put into preheated oven just long enough to heat pan. Pour heated shortening and oil mixture between the cut sections of paklava. Place brown paper on top again and bake at 400F for about one hour or until golden brown. Take out of oven and remove brown paper and place a cheese cloth on top and drain the fat out. The idea of the cheese cloth is so the paklava won't fall out of pan. After draining, place tray on an angle to drain additional fat out. Leave cheese cloth on top. soak up fat with paper towels. Let baked paklava cool. After cooling, pour syrup mixture on top.
SHAKAR CHOOR (Syrup mixture for paklava)
4 cups sugar
2 cups water
4 tbsp. lemon juice
Boil sugar and water together for 10 minutes, add lemon juice and boil a minute longer. cool until lukewarm.

19. Pumpkin preserve (TUTUM RECHEL)

3 lbs. pumpkin
5 cups sugar
2 tbsp. powdered lime* (mixed in 2 qts. cold water)
1 stick cinnamon
4 whole cloves
juice of half lemon

Cut pumpkin, remove seeds and skin; then cut into 3 to 4 inch slices a quarter inch thick. Soak the slices in 1 gallon of water with the lime solution. Leave overnight. Following day drain and wash pumpkin. Bring sugar and water to a boil. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and lemon juice. Cook 3 to 4 hours. Cool. Bottle and refrigerate.
Makes approximately 2 pints
*may be purchased at drugstore

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