Khash is a traditional Armenian dish. It is very unique and special. Actually, according to Armenians, khash is very healthy, too.
Khash or “The Armenian Winter Soup” is one of the tastiest Armenian national dishes. If you want to eat special, tasty and interesting breakfast soup, you should definitely try Armenian khash. This special soup has not only interesting tradition of preparation, but also a unique way of eating․
To know more about Armenia and its people, here is some information about Armenian Khash.
What is Armenian Khash?
The name khash originates from the Armenian verb khashél, which means “to boil”. Armenians have been making this dish for ages. A number of medieval Armenian authors, including Grigor Magistros (11th century), Mkhitar Heratsi (12th century), Yesayi Nchetsi (13th century) mentioned khash in their works.
Khash is a dish, which is widely spread in many other countries, such as Georgia, Azerbajian, Bulgaria and Turkey. But it is only in Armenia where you can find unique traditions of when and how to eat khash.
“Rules” for Eating Khash
The main “rule” is that khash is exclusively eaten during the cold season of the year. Armenians eat it as a relaxing and warming dish. However, in other regions it is acceptable to eat khash in other seasons as well. In Armenia people say, that you should only eat khash during months the name of which contains the letter ‘r’. These include all the months from September to April. You can see, these are usually the coldest months of the year in Armenia.
The other “rule” is that Armenians mainly eaten khash for breakfast, but there are individuals that like to eat it in the afternoon or in the evening. As Armenian khash is a very heavy dish, traditionally it’s acceptable to eat it in the morning.
Preparation of Khash
The main ingredient for preparing khash soup is feet of cow, in Armenian “votner”. However, while preparing khash other parts of the cow can also be used. The other ingredients of the khash soup include onion, garlic, salt, water, chili pepper, dry chives leaves.
Khash preparation in Armenia is like a ritual. First of all the cows’ feet are thoroughly cleaned, cut and kept under running cold, clean water. The meat is kept under the running water for more than 10 hours or for the night. Keeping the cows feet overnight in the water makes cooking time shorter.
Khash Soup Recipe #1
For the preparation of this fantastic dish, you should thoroughly follow all the rules, described in the recipe.
- 1 onion (diced)
- 1 garlic (diced)
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsb dry chives leaves
- 1 cow foot (cut and washed)
- 1 chili pepper
- Wash and put the cut meat into a deep bowl.
- Pour cold water and allow the meat to soak overnight or for at least 8 hours to soften.
- Wash thoroughly, put into a pot with onions, pepper, water and garlic,and then cook until meat is tender and can be easily extracted from the bones.
- Add salt to taste and serve warm with chives sprinkled over the soup.
Khash Soup Recipe #2
- 8 pounds beef hooves
- 2 pounds beef tripe
- 1 bulb garlic cloves, crushed
- Salt to taste
- Thoroughly wash the meat and make sure that it’s clean.
- Cut the tripe into small chunks. Put the feet, tripe, and fat into a large kettle.
- Cover with cold water.
- Bring to boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Skim the surface regularly of any foam, add more water if necessary.
- Simmer for about 10 hours.
- Garlic and salt are the only added ingredients.
What makes Armenian Khash So Special
Armenian Khash Special Feature #1: The Color
Armenian chiefs clearly know khash secrets. They say that good khash should be viscous, white in color, almost like milk. This is kind of the ideal every khash maker wants to reach. Khash is one of the three Armenian special dishes, other two are Spas and Harissa. Notably, salt is almost not used while making these dishes.
Armenian Khash Special Feature #2: Khash+Alcohol
In Armenia it is accepted, that Khash should be eaten with alcohol, usually vodka or “tti oghi” (mulberry vodka), which helps digest this heavy food better. You, probably, won’t find a family who serves khash without alcohol. It is basically unacceptable.
Armenian Khash Special Feature #3: Eating Skills
Many of Armenian kitchen specialists say that eating khash requires some sophisticated skills. First of all you need to add salt and garlic to your taste. After that the feet (the meat of the feet) should be removed from the soup plate and put on another plate. The meat is then covered with soft lavash to keep it warm. Dried lavash is crumbed into the soup until the whole thing becomes like a sponge. Generally khash eaters don’t eat this soup with a spoon. They usually say, khash tastes better when you eat it with your hands.
Armenian Khash Special Feature #4: The Toasts
As we previously mentioned, khash eating is like a ritual and it is accepted, that three toasts should be said while eating Armenian khash. The first one is “Nice to meet each other”, the second one is “Let the khash be good” and the third one is “For the well-being of those, who cooked the khash and stayed awake the whole night “.
Armenian Khash Special Feature #5: Healthy
Khash food is very healthy and useful, because it is full of vitamins. Armenian people argue that khash is very good for bones. Khash is mainly used by people who have problems with bones and joints. It is important to mention vitamins and minerals, that can be found in Armenian khash. These are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron.
Special places to taste this unique Armenian dish
You can to visit Armenia and taste Armenian khash almost in all Armenian restaurants, especially if you choose the cold seasons of the year. Now, in many regional taverns Armenian khash is available for a minimum of 1,500 drams (or about $5). In some restaurants in Yerevan khash is served for up to 5,000 drams (about $16).
Armenian khash place #1: Tavern Yerevan
Tavern Yerevan is a very cozy place. The atmosphere is nice and warm. You will immediately feel home here. And where else can you best enjoy your khash if not home. So, this place is a wonderful venue to enjoy a traditional Armenian dish such as khash.
Armenian khash place #2: Burmunk Restaurant
As we mentioned earlier, khash is a winter soup and one of the most beautiful winter places in Armenia is Tsaghkadzor town. The khash eating process is more pleasurable in this beautiful place. One of the restaurants where you can try very good khash is “Burmunq” restaurant. Here they have small cottage-like rooms right in the woods of Tsaghkadzor. So it really feels like you’re out in the woods eating khash.
Armenian khash place #3: Old Erivan
And the third place, where we advise you to go is tavern“Old Erivan”. As the name already says, the tavern is very special with its atmosphere of old Yerevan. So, eating khash will be pure joy here.
Plus, it has its branches in Ashtarak, Tsaghadzor and Garni. So, you can taste their wonderful khash in these towns as well.
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