Armenian cuisine, as well as the country itself, has a history of thousands of years. It is considered to be the most ancient in the Caucasus region. The choice of the national dishes is really great, however, today we’ve prepared the top list of the most popular winter dishes.
Just take into account that almost all of them are prepared of meat and are high-calorie. Such nutritive dishes are perfect for cold months, they are very satisfying, give energy and help to keep warm. So, what are the most popular Armenian dishes that are worth trying during your winter tour to Armenia?
The most popular meat dish, which is usually eaten during the cold season, is Khash. The season of Khash starts in September and ends in April. Armenians that in any month that has the letter “r” you can and you should eat Khash.
Khash is not just a dish. Preparation of Khash is a ritual that lasts for hours. It is prepared from beef leg, which is cleaned and cooked all night. Bouillon is changed for several times to get rid of the characteristic smell of meat. The result is a fatty soup with meat.
The dish serving is another ritual. It is served in a large bowl with dried pieces of lavash, garlic and homemade vodka. Dried lavash is crumbled into Khash so that the soup becomes thick and you can eat it with your hands, covering your head with a towel.
It is better to eat Khash early in the morning because it is quite a fatty meal. The organism digests Khash the whole day. After Khash you will feel very sleepy, so traditionally people gather to eat Khash on weekends.
Another popular Armenian dish, which is eaten during the cold season, is Khashlama. A simple but very tasty and satisfying meal is prepared from vegetables and lamb meat (beef can also be used). Meat and vegetables are cut into large pieces and cooked with a glass of white wine. Khashlama is served as a broth or without bouillon. This is the main dish of holidays and funerals.
Ghavurma is one of the oldest Armenian dishes that are prepared even by pagan Armenians. Ghavurma is a perfect winter dish, which is prepared and stored for winter months. Ghavurma is an Armenian stew, which is made from lamb and calf.
The meat is cut into large pieces and pre-treated with salt and left for a couple of days. After that, the meat is boiled and fried. Then melted butter and mutton fat are added to meat and the canned meat is kept in jars or clay pots. To prepare Ghavuma it should be warmed and served with boiled potatoes.
Kchuch with lamb
Kchuch with lamb is like a meat stew. It is prepared from mutton and vegetables. The only difference is that the dish is cooked in an oven on low heat: it makes the dish wonderfully flavoured and tasty at the same time retains all the vitamins and useful properties of vegetables.
Meals are served in clay pots, which keep the dish hot even on a cold weather. The dish is quite satisfying in spite of the fact that the vegetables and lamb are considered dietary.
We promised to present you only meat dishes, but let’s think about vegetarians. Starting from fall, Armenians start to prepare Ghapama, a very colourful and tasty dish created from pumpkin. A big pumpkin is cleaned from the flesh,and then it is filled with rice, dried apricots, raisins, nuts, butter and honey. Pumpkin is baked in the oven covered with a lid of the pumpkin. The dish turns out very tasty and nutritious. It is a wonderful decoration on any holiday dinner.
All these dishes can be tasted in any Armenian restaurant, but it is best to visit the small village taverns and restaurants, where dishes are prepared according to ancient recipes. Rent a car in Yerevan and travel across the country with comfort.