The Armenian national cuisine is not only barbeque and lavash, but it also suggests a large number of dishes you may have never even heard of. Our food is prepared using not only one`s imagination but also having one`s soul in it, and you can taste it in any restaurant in Yerevan and other cities of Armenia.
In National Geographic Russia magazine, you can find a very informative article about the dishes which are a must-try while visiting Armenia.
Come and visit us, and we at Go2Armenia will develop a gastronomic tour for you and show you the places where the most delicious dishes are served.
Harisa is a national Armenian dish. It is believed, that this porridge made of cracked wheat, chicken meat and melted butter helped Armenians to survive during the years of famine. The dish is incredibly simple and nourishing at the same time, that`s why you should be really hungry to eat a whole plate alone. Despite the plain ingredients, it’s not that easy to cook harisa: the porridge should be cooked for at least five hours, therefore Armenian housewives nowadays prefer not to cook it at home, but to order it in a restaurant.
Zhengyalov hats (“bread with zhengyal”).
Zhengyalov hats (translated as “bread with zhengyal”), a scrumptious flat dough filled with a variety of fresh herbs, is the visit card of Artsakh cuisine. “Zhengyalov hats” may be of spring and autumn types: depending on the season the filling is made number of different number of herbs. In spring the number may vary from 10 to 16 and in autumn there may be up to 24 types of herbs. It is important to combine a bouquet of spices correctly so that the dough is not bitter or too sour.
Gata is a traditional Armenian dessert in the form of a round pie with a delicate creamy vanilla flavor. There is no standard recipe for this dessert: the composition and the taste of gata may greatly vary in different regions of Armenia. It is one of the significant parts of New Year’s Eve table, moreover the festive gata is baked with a coin inside, which brings good luck for a whole year to a person who finds it in his piece of pie.
Ghapama is a very tasty dish, and at the same time it is beautifully served in a pumpkin. Despite the fact that the pumpkin does not magically turn into a carriage, guests still take their phones and start making photos. Ghapama was a traditional wedding dish symbolizing the plenitude. The pumpkin is stuffed with rice, dried fruits and nuts, such as chopped almonds, cornel, prunes, raisins and apricot. The cook can use any combination of fruits and nuts depending on his taste.
Any staffed vegetable, as well as grape leaves or cabbage staffed with meatballs are considered to be Armenian tolma. Traditional Yerevan tolma is made of a mixture of meat, rice, onion, greens and spices. Tolma is usually served with thick matzoon, fermented milk product, which is close to sour cream in its consistency. You can order tolma almost in any restaurant in Yerevan.
Imagine you are participating in a traditional Armenian feast. You are enjoying sudzhukh and basturma, afterwards you add the third slice of barbeque to your plate and calmly crunch a radish, when a bull`s baked head is unexpectedly brought into the hall! This is kyalla, a dish of the Armenian poor, which became a real gastronomic hit in the city of Gyumri. Everything may be used for this dish, the tongue, the brains and even the eyes of a bull. It looks a little bit scary (however, there are always people wishing to make a photo with it), but the taste is beyond all the expectations, and you will definitely ask for more of it.
Scrambled eggs with basturma.
This dish is certainly not the main gastronomic pride of Armenia, but it can attract those who consider breakfast as the main meal of the day. To understand what we are talking about you just need to ask scrambled eggs with basturma for breakfast at any Armenian restaurant in the morning.
Khash is probably the most popular soup in Armenia. This creamy and nutritious soup is made of beef legs and stomach, and is served with a great portion of garlic. It is believed that khash is a remedy for almost all health issues: it helps to overcome hangover, and even joint pain. Khash is usually eaten with lavash using hands (without fork and knife). Khash is a dish to be consumed very early in the morning with vodka.
Sorrel soup is not as nutritious as khash, but it is not less popular in Armenia. The horse sorrel is traditionally used in Armenia to prepare various dishes, starting from pies and ending with salads. In addition to sorrel, lentils, bulgur, potatoes and spices are also added to the soup.