Why do we love Armenian cuisine so much?

Why do we love Armenian cuisine so much?


Yeghishe, an Armenian historian and thinker who lived at the turn of the fifth and sixth centuries, describes his native language as "delicious and able to absorb all languages." Delicious! And how else? Even the names of national dishes here are bright, sonorous and juicy. They seem to be full of the elusive sunny aroma and the persistent spirit of this Transcaucasian state. Kololik, khash, kufta, khoshlama, lovajo, mutabal, boraki, tzhvzhik, hapama, matkanash... Whether you tried them or not, you managed to capture in your memory the satiety and sanity of Armenian dishes - in this case, it does not matter. The main thing is that you want to try and cook this food, or at least learn more about it.

Life with an Armenian accent


As soon as you begin to list the juicy names of Armenian cuisine to yourself, you already see a strong wooden table in the courtyard of an old good-quality house somewhere in Yerevan and a sprawling mulberry tree nearby, where the tanned knees and elbows of local children flash in the leaves. And at the bottom, on the spread fabric, there are berries of white or black mulberry (or mulberry in the local way), from which efficient mothers and grandmothers will then cook jam. There is no empty space on the table itself – everything is filled with plates and bowls full of food, and there are no empty places around the table. After all, here, if they sit down to eat, then the whole big family - from home - and even the neighbors will be invited and someone from the younger ones who looked in on the occasion of a classmate – those same dirty and stained in the juice of sweet berries kids. Everyone will be seated and will be fed heartily. And women will look into the eyes of their dear men, and try to anticipate their desires, not for the sake of encouragement and gifts, but because they have been taught this way since childhood. That's probably why the food prepared by the caring hands of these women is so delicious. After all, she is preparing for the sake of love and kindness in the house.


Boraki with beef

Kitchen features: herbs, salt and spices


It is estimated that Armenians use about 300 wild plants (herbs and flowers) for cooking. At the same time, not only as seasonings, but also for independent dishes. Take, for example, snacks from aveluk (wild sorrel) or the famous spinach phali.


A striking feature of this kitchen is also the active use of salt. In many dishes, salty is the dominant taste. Plus spicy shades that are added almost universally used cumin, cloves, saffron, thyme, cardamom, red hot pepper, black pepper and bay leaf.

Aveluk with walnuts


One of the types of sorrel – aveluk, growing on the territory of Armenia, is actively used in the national cuisine. It is harvested twice a year, woven into braids and dried outdoors. Salads, snacks and soups, including lentil soup, are prepared with aveluk.


Aveluk with walnuts


To prepare 4 servings , you need:


    400 g dried aveluk (sorrel)

200 g onion

    150 g of peeled walnuts

100 ml of sunflower oil

    salt, freshly ground black pepper


    Soak walnuts in warm water for 20-30 minutes.

    During this time, unravel the dried aveluk, rinse in warm running water. Boil in salted water until fully cooked. Flip into a colander, pour over with ice water, cool and finely chop.

    Finely chop the onion, fry in vegetable oil until soft. Add the aveluk, pepper, stir and fry for another 5-8 minutes.

        Remove the shell from the walnuts, chop the nuts and add them to the pan. Quickly warm up and remove from heat. The dish can be served both hot and cold for a snack with tortillas.


Ghee - Armenian everything


Many ingredients are prepared separately at first (and for a long time and painstakingly: they are ground, whipped, fried, dried, baked, stuffed), and then combined in a common dish. Their tastes open up and enrich each other, which is greatly facilitated by the ghee, on which almost everything is cooked here. It is used in soups, for stewing and frying meat, poultry, vegetables and, of course, for baking. Even the usual products cooked on it will sound completely different – more noble. Try simply frying fried eggs with onions and tomatoes, peeled from the skin, in melted butter, as Armenian housewives do, and you will feel the difference.


Butter is churned not only from cow's milk, but also from sheep's milk. Vegetable ones are left for fish, beans and eggplants.

Acharov plav, spelt with mushrooms


In Armenia, the spelt, which many remember only from the fairy tale of A.S. Pushkin, has not been forgotten and is called achar. And they also prepare "plav", which should not be confused with pilaf. The Armenian dish is prepared from crumbly cereals or grains. Additives to achar can be different: from chicken to vegetables. 


Acharov plav, spelt with mushrooms


To prepare 4 servings , you need:


    500 g of spelt

    200 g onion

    200 g of champignons

200 g of melted butter



    Rinse the spelt thoroughly. Dry on paper towels and fry with 70 g of ghee, 2-3 minutes.

    Fill with drinking water (for 1 cup of spelt – 1.5 cups of water) and cook until soft, 40 minutes.

    Finely chop the onion and fry in the remaining melted butter until golden brown.

    Add the mushrooms cut into medium pieces and fry for another 4-5 minutes .

    Put the hot spelt on a plate, top with mushrooms and onions. Serve immediately.


What is hidden behind the names of Armenian dishes


Many dishes got their name due to the cooking method or the dishes used for this.


    Hashlama (lamb stewed with vegetables) and hash (rich broth with meat) from "hashel", which means "to cook".

    Horovatz (baked vegetables or grilled meat) from "horovel" - literally "on fire".

    Putuk or kchuch are all clay pots of small size and at the same time the names of the soup and the main hot dish.

    Yes, and it's right to say "tapaka chicken", not "tabaka", because that's the name of a small cast-iron frying pan with a heavy lid on which chicken is fried.

    Interestingly, if there are no special dishes, and the dish is prepared simply on the table, for example, pita bread with a filling wrapped in it, the name is taken from the serving size. "Burum" from "bur" ("fist") is something that can be held in a fist. It is this kind of burum with herbs and cheese that is the most popular and favorite breakfast for many children.


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