What to Learn
There is so much to learn from the residents of Artsakh who have so much optimism for the future. Hungry for more? Check out these amazing dishes.
Jengyalov hats (the grain flat cake with greens) – is a popular pastry in Artsakh during the whole year, that you won’t meet in other regions cuisines. Jengyalov hats is a dish almost ceremonial, the basic meaning of its preparation is collecting together relatives and taking part in the overall activities, which are to get united once more, to talk about that and this, to exchange different news and simply to warm soul next to the loving hearts.
The whole ceremony of its preparation is made by aged, skilled women who pass the personal secrets of baking to their daughters and daughters-in-law. As if by magic the pastry, is rolled out in a flat cake, thin as a paper, and then it is filled with a mix of almost twenty sorts of finely cut various wild and green-staff with vegetable oil. It is baked on the burning hot brazier named "sadj", and this way in some few minutes the "pie" is ready - hot, steaming and appetizing. But the tastiest is to eat it burning hot, directly next to the sadj. Home-made red wine completes the whole picture and stirs up appetite; only have time to bake. Jengyalov hats is especially popular during the great post.
Dough Ingredients: Yields 4 flatbreads
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup water
1. Mix together flour, salt, oil and water to form a dough. If the dough seems too dry, add a bit more water. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour at a time.
2. Knead until dough is smooth.
3. Divide dough into 4 equal-sized balls.
4. On a very well-floured work surface, roll each ball into a very thin circle or rectangle – as though you were making lavash. The shape tends to be more rustic than uniform.
The two essential ingredients are chervil and chrchrok (water grass). Other ingredients can be improvised according to taste and availability. The amount of each of herb used is also according to taste, even though it is advised to use relatively large quantities.
1. Wash and spin-dry or towel-dry the herbs.
2. Coarsely chop the herb assortment, and sprinkle with salt to taste, but don’t over-do it. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Mix together.
3. Set aside until ready to use.
Assembling and Cooking Directions:
1. Place enough of the herb filling to almost cover one of the circles. Do not spread it all the way to the edge of the dough.
2. Fold the dough over the herb mixture, pinching the dough closed. Gently re-roll the dough to secure the herbs into the dough.
3. Coat a large non-stick skillet with vegetable spray, and bring to a medium to medium-high heat.
4. Place filled dough in skillet and cook on until brown spots appear on the dough’s surface. Carefully flip and cook on the second side.
Khorovats is a traditional Armenian dish no less popular, that is made of pork, mutton or veal
in advance pickled in a mix from onions, salt, red and black pepper, and afterwards fried on coals. Armenian khorovats is usually served with salad from eggplants, tomatoes, Bulgarian peppers and greens baked on coals.
Khash is one of the most traditional dishes prepared from beef shin by the men of family who cook it all the night long, and in the morning the saturated flavored broth called khash is served with garlic, dried out lavash (unleavened thin bread) and vinegar.
Kurkut ( cereal) is one more traditional dish, which wonderful taste will never forget whoever tries it. Long process of its preparation consists of soaking grains of wheat, their crushing, and then their cooking with pork, goose or turkey all the night long.
Dolma, being very popular in Artsakh, is a seasonal dish. Here it is prepared as “summer” – stuffed with eggplants, tomatoes and peppers stewed in bouillon, as well as “winter”- minced meat is rolled in vine or cabbage leaves. According to tradition dolma is usually served up with matsoni sauce (sour milk) and garlic.
Khashlama is another meat dish, which is predominantly prepared from beef and mutton, stewed with tomatoes, peppers, onions and carrots. Some hostesses also add prunes for piquant taste, as well red wine or beer.
Artsakh cuisine is also very rich with its vegetable dishes and salads. Particularly, it is not possible not to taste the horse sorrel, mallow, which are at first dropped in some boiled water for several minutes, afterwards either a soup or different salads are prepared from them, or they are just dressed with onions and eggs. Such kinds of dishes are usually served with yoghurt and nuts.
An interesting component of the cuisine of Artsakh is a special kind of bread called tonrahats, which is a thin flat bread baked in special cylindrical form clay ovens dug in the ground (tonirs). Its preparation is a laborious ritual process and tonrahats is made only in Artsakh. Another kind of bread is also popular in Artsakh, this is the traditional for all Armenians lavasհ.
Artsakh is well-known for its excellent wines - red, white, dessert or dry, which are made of Khindoghni and Muskat sorts of grapes. Also well - known are berry wines - made of blackberry, pomegranate, etc. Artsakh's mulberry vodka of 50 - 70 percent is non - replaceable on the table, especially, when there are guests at home.