Harissa in the Armenian way is something very special everyone should at least ones try. This chicken and wheat soup is the perfect dish for winter.
Usually when starting a journey we tend to plan everything in details. We make a to-do list. We plan,beforehand, where to go what to see, and most importantly,what to eat. Visiting a foreign country, a foreign culture and not tasting typical dishes of that region means you are missing half of the pleasure of your journey.
Actually, there are many Armenian dishes that are worth tasting during your visit in Armenia, but we are pretty sure that the “harissa” must be among them.
What is Harissa?
As Armenians love to say “harissa” is a very special, powerful and historical Armenian dish and is considered to be the symbol for Armenia’s courage. It is a thick porridge made from dried or roasted cracked wheat (Armenians call it “korkot”) and fat-rich meat, usually chicken or lamb. In Armenia, nowadays, one can taste “harissa” anytime, but there is a special day that is dedicated specially to Harissa.
Once a year the Armenians gather to commemorate the resistance of Musa Ler Mountain during Armenian Genocide in 1915. Hundreds of people and tourists from all over the world gather in Armenian region Armavir, every third Sunday of September, to try this special dish, they sing patriotic songs, dance Armenian traditional dances and so on.
The history of this dish goes back up to ancient times and the stories differ. The name of harissa translated from Armenian would be “Stir it”. Once Harissa has been also offered as a charity meal. The extremely long cooking process is an essential part of the harissa tradition. Like other ritual dishes, the time taken for preparation is part of its cherished value. The dish is traditionally served on Easter day as well.
The Ingredients and Cooking process
Usually there are 2 ways of making Harissa. First of all this delicious dishis made with two simple ingredients: peeled wheat and meat. It is said that harissa it is made with sacrificed lamb. Before making this dish the lamb is being blessed by a priest and only after that is served to people.
The second way of making harissa is the way of using the chicken. Being that simple in ingredients one needs much patience as well. Harissa requires a good amount of time, patience and love. Harissa should be cooked for 6 hours until chicken meat is so soft that falls into thin fibers. And we have to admit, it tastes scrumptious. But we also advice you to eat it only for breakfast. Harissa is so dense and rich that you can get extra kilos.
If you love to make dishes yourselves, then we could give you some instructions for making harissa alone at home, and who knows maybe you can surprise your family or your friends with a new and tasty Armenian dish.
So, to start preparing harissa you will need the following…
Where to eat Harissa?
If you don’t want to prepare this special dish by yourself, then you can surely trust the famous Armenian cooks in wonderful restaurants. Here are 4 most popular places where you can taste harissa.
Armenian Harissa Place #1:Tavern Yerevan Restaurant
This restaurant is a very famous place as it serves only typical Armenian dishes and is a proper place for harissa. Tavern Yerevan has many restaurants all over the Yerevan. The perfectly right Armenian atmosphere will help you enjoy yourself greatly.
Yerevan Tavern cooks do their best to surprise you with the unique and at the same time very usual taste of Armenian harissa. Visiting this place you will understand why Armenians like this dish so much.
Armenian Harissa Place #2:Our village restaurant
This restaurant is another place where you can taste harissa anytime you want. The name says it all. Here you find yourself in a small Armenian village atmosphere; a perfect place to taste a traditional Armenian dish. This restaurant is the very center of Yerevan so you wouldn’t have any difficulties on finding it.
Armenian Harissa Place #3:Karas National Food chain
Karas is also one of the most famous and most visited places in Yerevan. They have their chain restaurants at every corner of Yerevan. The food there is quite cheap, this is kind of Armenian fast-food chain, just liek McDonald’s. So, you should visit one of the restaurants of Karas National Food.
Armenian harissa place #4:Caucasus Tavern
Actually it is difficult to sort out the places where the harissa is better. This is because this dish is unique by itself basically everwhere. However Caucsus Tavern is another place where you can eat harissa.
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