Adventures in Armenian Cooking - Misc Recipes

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Yogurt (MADZUN)

-Anahid Merigian

1 qt. homogenized milk
1/4 cup yogurt (starter)
1/2 pint heavy cream

Pour the milk into a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When it comes to a boil, add 1/2 pint of heavy cream, and pour into an earthen bowl or Pyrex dish. When it is lukewarm, stir the madzoon starter with a spoon until it is smooth and dilute it with some of the warm milk. Pour this mixture into warm milk and stir.

Set your oven to 200F. When heated, turn off oven and place bowl in oven. Check in 2 hours for firmness.

Makes 1 quart

Variation: Use skim milk instead of whole milk and eliminate cream.

Note: You may use commercial plain yogurt as your starter.

Yogurt drink (TAHN)

3 cups yogurt
2 cup cold water
pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients together until smooth ith spoon, beater or place in blender with 2 ice cubes.

Serves 4

Yogurt with cucumbers (JAJUKH)

2-1/2 cups peeled, diced cucumbers
2 cups yogurt
1 tsp. crushed mint leaves
1 tsp. salt
1 small clove garlic-crushed
2 or 3 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients and chill in refrigerator until serving time.

Serves 3-4

Thin, dried sheets of fruit juice (BASTEGH)

-Mari Setian

2 qts. applesauce
1/4 cup sugar
1 qt. l00% grape juice
2-1/4 cups flour

Place applesauce into 4-quart saucepan. Blend small amount of flour (1/2 cup) in 1 cup of grape juice in jar and shake. Put through strainer into applesauce. Repeat process until all flour and grape juice is used up. Blend. Bring to a boil stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Add sugar and stir while boiling for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Place 4 sheets of newspaper on table with 3O"x30" wide cotton sheet of cloth on top. Pour 1/2 mixture on one sheet. Spread evenly with long, butcher knife. Repeat the same with rest of mixture. Let set on table for 7 hours then hang cloth by edges for 5 hours. Then turn cloth and hang by opposite end and leave overnight. Check after 12 hours to see if completely dry. Peel off by dampening back of sheet of cloth which is face down on table. Stretch four sides to loosen. Turn over and peel bastekh from cloth starting from one end. Cut bastekh into desired pieces. Arrange pieces on clean cloth one layer at a time folding cloth over each layer. Store in refrigerator in plastic bag.

Pumpkin preserve (TUTUM RECHEL)

-Naomi Johnson

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

Apricot preserves (DZERANI RECHEL)

-Peggy Soukiasian

Box of dried apricots
1-1/2 cups sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon

Cut apricots into quarter pieces and soak in 2 cups of water overnight.

Next day, add sugar and juice to apricots. Cook together until apricot is the consistency of preserves. Stir frequently.

Makes about 2 cups

Watermelon rind preserves (TZMEROOG RECHEL)

-Margaret Soukiasian

6 cups watermelon rind (peeled)
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
6 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup orange juice fresh or frozen
1/4 cup lemon juice fresh or bottle
1 tbsp. rind of lemon or orange
1 tbsp. whole clove
5 cinnamon sticks

Boil water, salt; add watermelon rind (cut in 1/4" thick, 1 inch squares). Cook until rind is tender or when easily pierced with fork. Drain.

Cook sugar, juice, cloves, cinnamon and lemon or orange rind over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Boil until mixture turns to syrup, about 15 minutes. Add melon rind and boil until rind appears clear or transparent.

Cool and bottle.

Note: Leave a little pink of the watermelon on rind for color.

Fills 6 1/2-pint bottles

Mint tea (ANUKH)

-Liz Setian

4 cups cold water
2 tea bags
2 tbsp. dry mint

Bring to boil in teapot and boil for 10-15 minutes. Strain and serve piping hot

Makes 4 cups

Sweet sauce for white rice (UNGUYZOV ANUSH)

-Angel Aykanian

1/2 cup 1" strip orange peels (thick oranges)
4 tbsp. melted butter
1 cup sugar
pinch saffron
3/4 -> 1 cup water
1/4 cup pistachio nuts, skinned and slivered
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 tbsp. lemon juice

In a saucepan, cover orange peels with slightly salted water to cover 2 inches over top of peels. Cook until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water several times until bitterness disappears. Dry peels with paper towel.

To melted butter, add sugar and saffron and 3/4 cup of water. More water may be added. Add nuts, orange peels, lemon juice and cook gently until it thickens to the consistency of marmalade or until water is mostly absorbed. Set aside.

If you wish, you may add a package of dried apricots and 1/2 package of pitted prunes which has been soaked with water to cover and let set overnight Next day, add 1/2 cup sugar and cook approximately 10-15 minutes until tender and add all this to marmalade mixture. Refrigerate.

Note: This sauce may be used as topping for white pilaf or sponge cake.

Makes 1-1/2 cups

Homemade noodles (YERISHTA)

-Eva M. Merigian

6 eggs
1-1/2 tbsp. salt.
2 cups water
8 cups flour

Combine ingredients and knead well. Bake 12 balls of dough. Roll each ball out on floured table to 1/2" thick circles of 13" diameter.

Cook on hot grill for 1/2 minute on each side. Enclose in towel to keep warm. Take each cooked circle one by one and starting from one end, fold over and over to 2-inch wide strip. Slice crosswise into approximately 1/8 inch noodles.

May be used right away. To store, spread out on tablecloth for a day to dry.

Khavits (Toasted Cream-of-Wheat)

by Antoine Terjanian, Խավից, also known as Mamounié – Semolina - Porridge. Eaten for breakfast.

  • 1 cup ground wheat (wheat farina, more popularly known as cream of wheat)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup (or less) granular sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Fry 1 cup of wheat farina (cream of wheat/Մատնի) in 1 table-spoons of butter till red, stir constantly.

Boil 4 cups of water; add 1 cup of granular sugar (or less) and stir and a teaspoon of lemon juice. (you can substitute any murapa or other sweet syrup).

Pour the fried wheat hearts in the boiling water, let simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve hot (serves 4 people)

Serve with heavy cream or sour cream and mixed crushed nuts (choice of pistachios, walnuts, and pecans). Nice with bread and cheese and black tea.

Armenian demitasse (Surj)

5 tsp. pulverized coffee
5 demitasse size cups of water
3 tsps. sugar

Combine above ingredients in a jezveh or a 1 quart saucepan. Stir the ingredients and place the pot on moderate heat. Bring the coffee to a boil 3 times, removing pot from heat each time before it overflows. Pour the foam from the top of the coffee, dividing it equally among the deritasse cups and then pour in the coffee.

Serve immediately.

Serves 5

Armenian tea (DARCHIN TEA)

-Liz Setian

6 cups cold water
5 whole cloves
2 sticks cinnamon
3-4 tea bags

Bring water to boil in teapot. Add cloves and cinnamon. Simmer 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and add 3 or 4 tea bags. Let stand for 5 minutes, remove bags and serve piping hot.

Makes 6 cups


Put 1 pound of butter in saucepan. When melted, skim foam and then pour off butter (Liquid) into bowl. Discard sediment.

Note: One pound (2 Cups) of unclarified butter equals 1-1/2 to 1-2/3 cups clarified butter.

The Following Recipes Are From AGBU's "Treasured Armenian Recipes"


Use 2 quarts, ripe, firm strawberries. Stem and wash carefully. Scald them in boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain. Add 4 cups of sugar and boil 2 minutes when it starts bubbling. Remove from fire and when bubbling has stopped add 2 more cups of sugar and boil 5 minutes more. Then add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, pour into a shallow pan and let stand over-night. Next day pack into clean jars. This method of scalding keeps the berries plump and retains their color.


4 Cups grape juice
1/2 Cup flour

Dissolve flour in 1 cup of lukewarm juice. Bring the rest of juice to a boil. Add sugar if more sweetness is desired. Add the dissolved flour to the hot juice gradually, mix well, and simmer on very low fire, stirring frequently, until it begins to bubble. Spread a heavy muslin piece or pieces on a table or any flat surface, pour the thickened juice over them and flatten to 1/8 inch thickness with the back of a spoon. Let them dry over-night. Next day hang the muslins from a line to dry more for another day. To remove the pastegh from the cloth, spray water on the back side, wait a few minutes, then pull off the pastegh from the muslin. Sprinkle cornstarch on the side of pastegh that touched the cloth to absorb the moisture caused by the spraying of water. Cut or fold any way desired and keep in closed jars. This is good eaten with walnuts.

You may also sprinkle chopped nuts on the pastegh before it begins to dry.

Grape juice is also good mixed with crab apples and pears that have been cooked, mashed and strained.


Grape Molasses and Nut Roll (ROEJIG / Kakhts'r Sujukh)

3 qts. white grape juice (or other fruit juice)
3 cups sugar
1 cup corn starch
3 cups flour (Gold Medal)

Blend flour, sugar and cornstarch together, then add juice and mix well until smooth.

Soak walnuts in water for 1/2 hour, then shell. Try to get the nuts out in complete halves. Take a strong string with big needle to string the half nuts only. The first two half nuts should come back to back in the middle of the string. Then string the rest of the nuts in the same position as each of the first two. Tie the ends of string to a stick leaving a space of 3 inches between them in order to keep the row of nuts apart and also to hang conveniently. Nuts should be facing upward so the thickened grape juice clings on.

Cook half the amount of the grape juice until thick. Dip the strung nuts into this juice several times then hang to dry overnight. Cook the remaining juice the second day, dip the nuts several times and hang to dry overnight. Takes several days to dry well. When dry, cut any desired length and roll in powdered sugar.

Slice round slices for eating. Keep in covered jars.

A Confection (LOKHUM)

8 cups sugar
8 cups water
1-1/2 cups cornstarch
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 or 4 drops of oil of bergamot

Heat the water. Mix cornstarch and sugar together and dissolve in the heated water. Cook on low fire until thickened. Then lower the fire to very low, and stir continuously while cooking for one hour. Ten minutes before it is done add the bergamot and the lemon juice. Pour into a shallow pan and cut into small squares while still warm. Dip into powdered sugar before serving.

You may add pistachio nuts to the mixture when you take it off the fire.


The grape leaves should be picked in late May or early June when they are tender. The time may vary in different climates.

Wash the leaves well. Stack them over each other, about 30 of them, the stems together side by side in a row. Fold once or twice and tie with a string. Bring to a boil in 2 quarts of water and 1/2 cup salt. Drop the bundles of leaves into this boiling water and take them out again, one at a time. Let cool a little. Then put them in sterilized pint jars, tightly packed. Pour the boiling salt water over it and cover immediately. Each pint of leaves will serve ten to twelve people.

Sweet Whole Walnut Preserves (UNGUYZ MURAPA)

-Irina Della Rossa

100 Green Walnuts (in shell)
3 kg sugar
10 gr. cloves
10 gr. cinnamon
10 gr. cardamon
0.5 kg burnt lime (quicklime, or gir)
75 gr. alum (sheeb)

Peel green walnuts with peeler, like you would a potato, and place them in water for 6-7 days, until they will get really dark, almost black. Water must be changed 3-4 times a day. On 6-7th day drain the water and place walnuts in pickling lime (in Armenian it is gir or kir), you need 0.5 kg of this pickling lime (gir) dissolved in 5 liters of water and strained). Leave walnuts in this solution for 24 hours. Next day wash walnuts thoroughly, pierce each one with fork 3-4 times, rinse them again and place them in boiling alum water (sheeb in Armenian) (75 gr of alum (sheeb) for 5 liters of water). Cook them for 10 minutes, than strain them and place in cold water for 1 hour. Meanwhile make a syrup with sugar, bring to boil and place the strained walnuts in this syrup, add cinnamon, cloves and cardamon, boil for 5-8 min, remove from heat and leave for 24 hours. Next day bring all to boil again, boil for 5-8 min, and leave again for 24 hours. Repeat that operation once more on the next day, and on 4th day cook until ready (you can try the walnut to see if it's ready - it must be soft but crunchy).

NOTE: Whole fresh walnuts have a green skin around them (which is what you have to peel off, and which can stain clothes badly) and are often available at middle eastern stores.

Thanks to Irina Della Rossa who submitted this recipe.

More commonly known as Popoki Muraba in Armenia.

Sweet Rose Petal Preserves (Vartanush - ROSE PETAL MOURAPA)

-Irina Della Rossa

1 kg of tea rose petals
6 kg sugar
8 g. lemon salt (lemon acid)

For this mourapa you will need tea rose petals. Cut the lower (white) part of petals with scissors, make sure there are no dry petals. Place the petals in strainer and by shaking get rid of pollen. Rinse them thoroughly with cold water, place petals in cooking pan, add water (2 l of water for 1 kg of rose petals), bring to boil and cook for 5 minutes. Add sugar and cook until ready. Add lemon salt to keep petals color.

Thanks to Irina Della Rossa who submitted this recipe.

Sweet Eggplant Preserves (EGGPLANT MOURAPA)

-Irina Della Rossa

1 kg baby eggplants
1.5 kg sugar
400 gr water
cloves, cinnamon, cardamon
Lime water: 0.5 kg burnt lime (gir or kir) for 5 liters water

Choose baby eggplants no bigger than 5-6 sm. Peel them with peeler and place in lime water for 40 minutes. Rinse with cold water and strain. Boil water and place strained eggplants in boiling water, cook for 5-7 minutes, drain the water and cool down the eggplants. Make syrup, bring it to boil and place cooled eggplants in it. Cook 30-35 minutes, remove from heat and keep it like that for two hours. Repeat that operation 3 more times, add spices and cook until ready.

Thanks to Irina Della Rossa who submitted this recipe.