The Top 7 Must Have Armenian Ethnic Dishes

Armenian cuisine relies heavily on fresh, clean and organic fruits and vegetables which means that there are less spices and herbs used within their dishes overall in comparison to other national cuisines.

In terms of quality, Armenian dishes strive to provide a diverse and delicious portfolio of options. This means that both vegetarians and meat lovers will definitely find something to their liking. Keep in mind that if you are going to attempt to recreate any of the following dishes, they will be time consuming in nature.

Khorovats: Armenian Barbecue

If you have ever had a specific type of food that you are extremely fond of, like to eat all the time and love it because not only does it taste good but it is super simple to make? That is what the Khorovats are to Armenians. It is a comfort food that can be cooked on any occasion and is basically what we know as barbecue. It can be any type of meat, often either beef, chicken or mutton which is marinaded the day before, put onto a metal barbecue stick and then cooked on an open grill barbecue.

Khorovats are unique in that they have a very specific aromatic taste to them since they are cooked on grape coals (or in a wood fire). They are served at large gatherings such as weddings and birthdays but can be eaten just within the family. Check out a recipe here.

 

Khorovats & Recipe: Get to know the Most Famous Armenian Barbeque!


Khash: The Winter Wonder Soup

If you have ever wanted to try cow’s feet, then khash soup is your best bet! Khash is made up of fragrant spices like basil and the main ingredient is cow’s feet which take several hours of pre-soaking. It is known as the winter soup as it is used to warm up during the colder season. It is traditionally eaten in the morning but it can provide a great way to relax at night. It is extremely easy to prepare but is quite time consuming in preparation. Check out a recipe here.

Armenia Khash recipe popular food

Harissa: Porridge

Harissa is a thick porridge that is made out of either dried wheat or cracked wheat. It has a long cooking process and herbs are often used as a substitute for meat when meat is not available. Otherwise, fat-rich meat such as chicken or lamb is used in combination with the wheat. In other cases, sometimes pearl barley is used in combination with chicken. It is an extremely filling dish and can be eaten for dinner or for breakfast. Check out a recipe here.

 

Armenian Harissah Porridge Recipe

 

Gata: Sweet Pastry Dessert

These are absolutely delicious and will satiate any sweet tooth. What makes these great is that they are many ways to prepare them as every region in Armenia has a different way which makes it near impossible to have the same kind. They are made out of layers of soft dough, with each layer having both melted butter and sugar baked into it. They are often decorated and are considered a “sweet bread”. Check out a recipe here.

 

Armenian Gata Գաթա Sweet Bread Recipe

Pilaf: A Simple Rice Side Dish

Plain rice is not all that tasty, but when you add spices and seasoning to it with the addition of meat, pilaf becomes one of the most aromatic dishes in the Armenia repertoire. What makes it great is that you can serve it in many different ways, with chicken broth, with garlic, with onion or even with parsley. Check out a recipe here.

 

Armenian-pilaf-recipe

Trakht: A Patty With a Surprise!

Traditional Armenian Trakht is known for its super easy preparation and its delicious diversity. Not only can you stuff the patties with whatever type of meat you desire, you can also insert in your own surprise. The Armenians usually insert either gold coins or carrot slices into their patties as the “treasure” portion that the name implies, but you can put in whatever you desire. Minced beef, made by hand, is the traditional choice for the stuffing. The outside of the patty itself is made out of cracked wheat. Check out a recipes here.

Armenian-Cracked wheat and beef patties trakht

Spas: Delicate Soup

Spas is an extremely diverse dish as it can be served both in the summer time as well as in the winter as it does taste delicious regardless of whether it is cold or hot. It is made out of fermented matsun, often has wheat added to it and always has some form of greenery added to it like mint. The most common spa is made out of barley, mint and yogourt and will often sport either coriander or parsley on top. It is a delicate soup and is low-calorie. Check out a recipe here.

 

Spas - Madzoon (Yogurt) Soup with Grains
Although these are the most popular and commonly enjoyed dishes, there are plenty of others that should be tried if you come across them. For instance stuffed chicken wings Armenian style are absolutely amazing as is their nutmeg cake recipe.

Armenian Cuisine – Delicious Ethnic Food of Armenia

Rich Tangy and Intense Food

 

Like many other cuisines, the Armenian history has strong ties to other regions’ food and has adopted many influences from Caucasus region. Armenian cuisine relies heavily on how fresh its ingredients are and relies less on spices and more on the quality of the ingredients used.

Armenian-Cuisine-Food-Recipes

Fruit, wheat, and fresh herbs are served year-round while legumes of all kinds are served liberally. The Armenian culinary traditions spans thousands of years and use difficult cooking techniques like stuffing, whipping, thermal processing and puree. A lot of their dishes can be rather time consuming to make as most dishes are traditionally cooked over an open flame.

Armenian Cuisine Facts and History

 

Armenian cuisine is the oldest in Caucasus history, forming about 2,000 years ago. The Armenian Highland was the homeland and Asia Minor and the Iranian Plateau were neighboring territories.

During the early years, agriculture grew many grains, vegetables and used over 300 different wild herbs and flowers as spices. The fertile valleys allowed spelt, barley, rice, wheat, beans and lentils to grow and stock raising was highly developed which lead to a lot of meat and dairy products being used in national dishes.

For instance, spas or soups were often made from fermented milk and cracked wheat, whereas other soups like khash was made from beef, garlic and spicy greens. Armenia is also known for its fresh fruits, like apricots, melons and pomegranates and its large variety of breads.

Armenian Cuisine Menu

 

Breakfast

 

• Bread with jam options,
• Coffee,
• Cold meats,
• Fish,
• Vegetables,
• Omelets (whipped eggs with tomatoes is popular),
• Yogurt,
• Tonrahats (thin flat bread),
• Harisa (porridge made with wheat and sodden fibered chicken),
• Lavash (unleavened wheat bread),
• Kurkut (cereals),
• Khash (boiled bovine shanks made into a stew, served with unleavened bread),
• Choreg (sweet bread)

Lunch

• Dolma (lamb and dried fruit wrapped in cabbage leaves),
• Yogurt barley mint soup,
• Trakt (cracked wheat and beef patties),
• Stuffed chicken wings,
• Peal barley and chicken stew,
• Lentil Salad,
• Walnut based soups
• Ghaurma (boiled/fried meat with butter),
• Khorovats (Barbeque both meat and vegetables)

Dinner

• Khashlama (lamb dish),
• Veal with Pomegranate sauce,
• Kofta (beef meatballs),
• Tolma (stuffed eggplants/cabbage/grape leaves mixed with ground beef, onions, rice and spices – seasonal dish),
• Pasuts Tolma (chickpea, bean, lentil, cracked wheat, peas, rice and maize stuffed cabbage/eggplants/grape leaves)
• Qufta (meat balls made from stewed beef),
• Lahmajo (patties with ground meat, tomato sauce and pepper),
• Ghapama (pumpkin dish),
• Kchuch (vegetable and meat casserole)

Armenian-Cuisine-Recipes-Food

Snacks

• Gata (cookies – no two are identical),
• Jengyalov Hats (grain flat cake stuffed with greens),
• Fruit sujukh (shelled walnuts dipped in grape syrup),
• T’tu Lavash (sour plum puree, rolled),
• Byorek (a pie stuffed with cheese or other fillings),
• Cheburekis (deep fried flat round bread with spicy meat stuffed inside),
• Shashlik (grilled mutton and greens stuffed into bread),
• Khachapuri (fried eggs stuffed into chewy bread)

Desserts

• Baklava,
• Nutmeg Cake,
• Barley Pudding,
• Alani (dried peaches stuffed with sugar and walnuts),
• Ghataif (shreeded dough with cheese, soaked in sugar with walnut filling),
• Pastegh (fruit leather)

Drinks

 

• Coffee,
• Kefir (fermented milk),
• Kvass (fermented bread drink),
• Tahn (yogurt drink),
• Jermuk (mineral water),
• Tarkhun Soda (tarragon flavored soda),
• Beer (Kotayk, Kilikia, Gyumri),
• Brandy (Ararat, noy),
• Vodka (Mulberry),
• Wine (fruit wines mostly)

Holiday Menus

 

Christmas

 

• Harisa (traditionally was a holiday dish),
• Nsxar (bread used for Holy Communion),
• Tanabur (yogurt and wheat soup),
• Rice,
• Fish,
• Nevik (green chard and chickpeas),
• Rojik (shelled walnuts on a string covered in grape jelly),
• Bastukh (grape jelly, cornstarch and flour dessert),
• Annooshaboor (Christmas pudding),
• Khozee Bood (glazed ham),
• Dried fruits.

 

Easter

 

• Samir (cracked wheat and cream served with cinnamon and mulberries/grapes),
• Qyalagosh (lavash bread, lentils and dried buttermilk),
• Harisa (traditionally was a holiday dish)
• Jajukh (cold soup).

Armenian Most Popular Dishes

• Khash: a breakfast dish that is made out of beef feet and often served because of its medicinal properties.
• Lavash: a flatbread that is served with a lot of different dishes.
• Gata: a sweet soft dough treat that is layered with sugar and butter.
• Harisa: a porridge dish that is more like a soup that is made from roasted cracked wheat.
• Dolma: mined meat mixed wrapped in eggplant/tomato/cabbage leaves with rice.

Most Used Ingredients

Meats/Fish: Lamb, trout, sturgeon, whitefish, chicken, organs (beef lungs/lamb intestines), carp, Cow, mutton, pork.
Vegetables: Grape leaves, cabbage leaves (stuffed), eggplants, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, peppers, onions, potatoes, pickles, Swiss chard leaves, wheat grouts, green beans, green peas, pumpkin, leeks, artichokes, asparagus, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, okra, spinach, turnips, grape leaves.
Fruits: Pomegranates, dried apricots, fresh quince, fresh apples, pomegranate seeds, cantelope, dried peaches, grapes, figs, dates, melons, currants, prunes, raisins, cherries, berries, citrus fruit, plums, pumpkin.
Other: Walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pine nuts (Cilicia), tomato sauce/paste, yogurt sauce, Tahini sauce (crushed sesame seeds), mayonnaise, pepper, garlic, cumin, pearl barley, salt, dried mint, coriander, sumac, cinnamon, cloves, mahleb, dill, parsley, tarragon, basil, oregano, thyme, rice, honey, beans, chickpeas, lentils, cashews, cheese, milk, yogurt, sugar, olives, mussels, flour, egg noodles/pasta, paprika, saffron, ginger.

Armenian-Food-Cuisine-Recipes

Travelling Foodies: What to Eat When You Travel to Armenia

Any tourist who travels to Armenia is going to experience an exotic experience when it comes to eating any of the dishes that you come across.

Almost all of the dishes will be different in some way or another. Armenia has a lot to offer when it comes to choosing what you would like to eat, from soups to meat dishes to fruit filled desserts. Almost all food that you will come across will be fresh, clean and organic in nature as a lot of their food comes from fresh local sources.

When visiting, you have to try the Khorovats which is a meat barbeque dish that is roasted over a fire and served with a bread that has onions and herbs. It also comes with roasted vegetables that are done over the fire. Another dish that is a must try is Tolma, which us either beef, pork or mutton wrapped in grape leaves that are stuffed with minced herbs and vegetables like oregano, rice, basil, tomatoes, eggplants and green peppers.

You should also try out Khash which is a dish that is prepared from beef feet and is served with a fragrant broth. It is traditionally served at breakfast time. Finally, you must try out Gata, a soft dough that is layered with butter and sugar.

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Are you from Armenia? Maybe you visited there? Please feel free to comment and add your own thoughts on Armenian food.

Annania Tumanyan

 

7 Most Popular Armenian Dishes