Adventures in Armenian Cooking - Rice

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Classic Armenian rice (PRINZOV PILAF)

½ stick butter
¼ cup curled vermicelli noodle, crumbled [thin spaghetti]
1 cup rice
3 cups chicken broth
salt, pepper to taste

Brown vermicelli in melted butter until well browned. Add rice, stir until well coated. Add broth, salt and pepper, bring to boil. Stir once and simmer for 15-20 minutes until broth is absorbed and rice is soft. Let rice set for about 20 minutes before serving.

Serves 4

[To make it a bit fancier, you can also brown a few pine nuts or sliced almonds with the vermicelli as well and add at the end]

Cracked wheat side dish (BULGHUR PILAF)

by Sara Setian

½ stick butter
½ cup crumbled fine curled vermicelli noodle (tel sheriyeh) [thin spaghetti]
l cup coarse bulghur
2½ cups lamb broth or chicken broth
salt, pepper to taste

Brown vermicelli in melted butter in 3 qt. saucepan until very well browned, stirring constantly. Add bulghur to this and stir until bulghur is coated with butter. Add hot broth to which salt and pepper has been added. Bring to boil, lower heat to simmer and cook until all liquid is absorbed, approximately 20 minutes.

Serves 4

Pilaf with sauteed onions (SOKHERANTZ PILAF)

by Sonia Arakelian

1 qt. boiling water
1 tbsp. lemon juice
8 oz. long-grain rice
pinch of salt
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
½ tsp. white pepper

Add lemon juice to boiling water and add washed rice and salt. Roil until rice is tender. Strain off excess water.

Heat the oil, fry onion and green pepper for 10 minutes over a moderate heat. Stir in the white pepper. Add mixture to the drained rice, fluff with fork and serve immediately.

Serves 6


by Naomi Johnson

¼ lb. butter
2 lge. onions, sliced
1 cup bulghur
2½ cups chicken or beef broth
¼ cup tomato paste
1 lb. can whole tomatoes
1 lge. green pepper
¼ cup chopped parsley
salt, pepper to taste

Melt butter, add onions and sauté until onions are browned. Add washed bulghur and sauté 5 minutes. Add chopped peppers, parsley, cut tomatoes and tomato paste. Add seasonings. Add heated broth. Bring all ingredients to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until all the broth is absorbed. Let it sit 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serves 4-6

White rice (JERMAG PILAF)

by Angel Aykanian

2 cups long grain rice
¼ lb. butter
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut in thin rounds or Armenian Bread (Pahtz Hatz)
1/8 lb. butter, melted

Early in morning, soak rice in plenty of salted water to cover. Set aside.

Two hours before serving, boil 6-8 cups of water in large kettle with few drops of oil. Drain soaked rice and add to boiling water. Boil 8-10 minutes or until rice is tender. Drain again. Rinse with cold water. While rice is in strainer, melt the ¼ pound butter in kettle.

Cover bottom of kettle with potato or bread. Put rice on top of potato or bread in a mound. Pour melted butter over rice. Cover kettle with dish towel and cover with lid. Cook for one hour in low oven or simmer on stove. Remove lid and dish towel and kettle upside down and serve in pie wedges.

Serves 8

Note: Sweet sauce may be used over this rice. See miscellaneous section for recipe.

Cold bulghour pilaf (BAGH BULGHUR PILAF)

by Baydzar Tarpinian

½ cup chopped onions
¼ cup veg. oil
1 lb. can stewed tomatoes
1 cup bulghur (cracked wheat)
2 cups hot water

Sauté onion in oil until soft. Add 1 pound can stewed tomatoes. Simmer 10 minutes. Add 1 cup washed bulghur, stir, add salt and pepper to taste. Add 2 cups hot water.

Lower heat, simmer about 15 to 20 minutes until water is absorbed and bulghour is cooked.

Serves 4-5