The Armenian Cuisine
Chi Kofta - Raw grounded meat with Burghul (cracked
Armenian cuisine includes the foods
and cooking techniques of the Armenian people and
the Armenian Diaspora. The cuisine reflects the
history and geography where Armenians have lived as
well as incorporating outside influences. The
cuisine also reflects the traditional crops and
animals raised in areas populated by Armenians.
Regional influences include the Mediterranean, the
Caucasus, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and to a
certain extent also influences from the Balkans.
Armenian cuisine and traditions in turn have
influenced the culinary traditions of nearby
countries and cities such as Aleppo. The preparation
of meat, fish, and vegetable dishes in an Armenian
kitchen requires stuffing, frothing, and pureeing.
Lamb, eggplant, yoghurt, and bread (lavash) are
basic features of Armenian cuisine. Armenians use
cracked wheat (burghul) in preference to the maize
and rice popular among its Caucasian neighbors
(Georgia and Azerbaijan).
Armenian foods include small appetizers called mezze,
grain and herb salads, phyllo pastries called
boeregs, grilled meats and skewers, a large variety
of soups, stews, flat breads such as lavash, and a
thin crust pizza variant called lahmajoun.
Appetizers: Meals in Armenia often start
with mezze, a spread of appetizers served for "the
table". Lavash, extremely thin leavened wrap bread
made from wheat flour, is the usual accompaniment
a chickpea based spread.
Chechil (tel banir) braided and pickled string
cheese, similar to Georgian sulguni.
Mutabbal grilled eggplant chopped or mashed
with spices and tahini to form a coarse paste,
similar to the baba ghanoush of other cuisines.
Lahmajoun a thin-crust pizza with a topping of
Armenian fried pelmeni, cylinder-shaped with a
filling of fried minced meat; served garnished
with yoghurt and chopped garlic.
kufta (khema) a chilled raw meat dish similar
to steak tartar.
Basturma a highly seasoned, air-dried raw
beef, similar to pastrami.
Yershig a spicy beef sausage (called sujuk in
meaning meatball comes in many types, such as
Hayastan kiufta, Kharpert kiufta (Porov kiufta),
Ishli kiufta, etc.
Strained dense yogurt made from sheep, cow, or
goat milk; often served in mezze with olive oil
a sour milk drink prepared by diluting yogurt
with cold water.
-- bulgur salad, similar to the Middle Eastern
Tabouleh -- wheat and mint salad, found in the
Fattoush -- pita bread salad, found in the
Boeregs: Boeregs are
savory pies made with phyllo pastry and stuffed with
cheese (banirov boereg, from Armenian: banir for
cheese) or spinach (similar to spanakopita in Greek
cuisine). They are a popular snack and fast food,
often served as appetizer. The Sou boereg (su
boeregi, or water burek, in Turkish cuisine) is a
lasagna-style dish with sheets of phyllo pastry
briefly boiled in a large pan before being spread
with fillings. Misov boereg is a bread roll (not
phyllo pastry) stuffed with ground meat (similar to
Grilled meats: Grilling
(barbecue) is very popular in Armenia, and grilled
meats are often the main course in restaurants and
at family gatherings. Grilled meat is also eaten as
Khorovats (or khorovadz) Armenian word for
barbecued or grilled meats (the generic kebab in
English), the most representative dish of
Armenian cuisine enjoyed in restaurants, family
gatherings, and as fast food. A typical
khorovats is chunks of meat grilled on a skewer
(shashlik), although steaks or chops grilled
without skewers may be also included. In Armenia
itself, khorovats is often made with the bone
still in the meat (as lamb or pork chops).
Western Armenians outside Armenia generally cook
the meat with bones taken out and call it by the
Turkish name shish kebab. On the other hand, the
word kebab in Armenia refers to uncased
sausage-shaped patties from ground meat grilled
on a skewer (called losh kebab or lule kebab by
diasporan Armenians and Turks). In Armenia
today, the most popular meat for khorovats
(including losh kebab) is pork due to Soviet-era
economic heritage. Armenians outside Armenia
usually prefer lamb or beef depending on their
background, and chicken is also popular.
khorovats slivers of grilled meat rolled up in
lavash, similar to the Middle Eastern shawarma
and the Turkish doner kebab; this "shashlik
Ghars style" takes its name from the city of
Kars (Armenian: Ghars) in eastern Turkey, close
to the Armenian border.
made from yogurt, hulled wheat and herbs
(usually cilantro), and aveluk, made from
lentils, walnuts, and wild mountain sorrel
(which gives the soup its name). Kiufta soup is
made with large balls of strained boiled meat (kiufta)
is considered an Armenian institution. Songs and
poems have been written about this one dish,
which is made from ham hocks and herbs made into
a clear broth. Tradition holds that khash can
only be cooked by men, who spend the entire
night cooking, and can be eaten only in the
early morning in the dead of winter, where it
served with heaps of fresh garlic and dried
is a very special and old traditional food, made
from t'tu lavash (fruit leather, thin roll-up
sheets of sour plum puree), which are cut into
small pieces and boiled in water. Fried onions
are added and the mixture is cooked into a
purée. Pieces of lavash bread are placed on top
of the mixture, and it is eaten hot with fresh
lavash used to scoop up the mixture by hand.
is a local soup made in the town of Vaik in the
Shirak province. This is a walnut based soup
with red and green beans, chick peas and spices,
served garnished with red pepper and fresh
garlic. Soups of Russian heritage include
borscht, a beet root soup with meat and
vegetables (served hot in Armenia, with fresh
sour cream) and okroshka, a yogurt or kefir
based soup with chopped cucumber, green onion,
Arganak chicken soup with small meatballs,
garnished before serving with beaten egg yolks,
lemon juice, and parsley.
Blghourapour a sweet soup made of hulled wheat
cooked in grape juice; served hot or cold.
Bozbash a mutton or lamb soup that exists in
several regional varieties with the addition of
different vegetables and fruits.
Brndzapour rice and potato soup, garnished
Dzavarapour hulled wheat, potatoes, tomato
puree; egg yolks diluted with water are stirred
into the soup before serving.
beef soup with coarsely chopped spinach leaves
and cherry-sized dumplings (Armenian: flol) made
from oatmeal or wheat flour.
porridge of coarsely ground wheat with pieces
of boned chicken.
Katnapour a milk-based rice soup, sweetened
a milk-based rice soup with cinnamon and
Kololik soup cooked from mutton bones with
ground mutton dumplings, rice, and fresh
tarragon garnish; a beaten egg is stirred into
the soup before serving.
soup made from sauerkraut, hulled wheat,
potatoes, and tomato puree.
Mantapour beef soup with manti; the manti are
typically served with yogurt or sour cream (ttvaser),
accompanied by clear soup.
mutton cut into pieces, dried peas, potatoes,
leeks, and tomato puree, cooked and served in
Sarnapour pea soup with rice, beets and
Snkapur a mushroom soup.
Tarkhana flour and yogurt soup.
Vospapour lentil soup with dried fruits and
Ishkhan Sevan trout (endangered species),
served steamed, grilled on a skewer, or stuffed
and baked in the oven
Sig a whitefish from Lake Sevan, native to
northern Russian lakes (endangered species in
Karmrakhayt (alabalagh) a river trout, also
produced in high-altitude artificial lakes
(e.g., the Mantash Reservoir in Shirak
an indigenous Lake Sevan fish of the carp
family, also called Sevan khramulya (overfished)
Fasulya (fassoulia) a stew
made with green beans, lamb and tomato broth or
Ghapama pumpkin stew.
Kchuch a casserole of mixed
vegetables with pieces of meat or fish on top,
baked and served in a clay pot.
Moussaka baked dish consisting
of spiced ground meat (usually lamb) between
layers of eggplant slices.
Mujaddara cooked lentils and
Tjvjik a dish of fried liver
and kidneys with onions.
Satsivi - pieces of roast
chicken in walnut sauce, taken from Georgian