Khorovats or barbecue in an Armenian way is something you might have heard but never tried. This is the most typical Armenian food that you may know about. You can be offered and enjoy khorovats in all the Armenian restaurants, during family celebrations and various Armenian events.
Khorovats is considered to be Armenian type of fast food. It is the food Armenians love both cooking and eating.
Khorovats might seem the same as barbecue to you. But, don’t hurry to judge: it is different and it is much more unique then the simple barbecue we all know.
Got interested? Here you will learn more about Armenian khorovats, its traditions and recipe!
Basic Information about Armenian Khorovats (Armenian Barbeque)
Armenian khorovats is a type of food Armenians are fond of. It’s not like the recipe of this dish is super easy to make but people of Armenia still love cooking it on every occasion.
As we already said, khorovats is basically a barbecue. It can be made of beef, chicken, lamb and even fish. Armenians marinade the khorovats one day before cooking and then cook it for a special occasion.
To be honest, there is no special occasion for cooking khorovats. Of course, Armenians serve khorovats on big events, such as wedding, baptism, birthday celebration and various other occasions. But, most of the times, people just get together and cook khorovats in order to enjoy themselves.
It can be eaten with friends or family, sometimes even with people you just met!
Preparation of Khorovats (Armenian Barbeque)
Khorovats recipe is easy to remember: as we already said, it is barbecue meat, like beef or chicken, lamb or fish. So, why is it so special and what makes it unique?
Khorovats Cooking Techniques and Ingredients
First of all, let’s mention the cooking techniques: Armenians make fire, and then wait it out to be become coal. It is generally believed that the most delicious khorovats is made on apricot tree coals.
Also, a quite delicious khorovats can be cooked on the coals of grape tree. So, here it is important not only how you cook it, but also what kind of wood or coal you cook the khorovats on because the wood gives special aroma to the meat.
Secondly, Armenians marinade the meat one day before cooking. This allows the meat to get all the aroma of the marinade and become softer and much more delicious. Usually, they use salt, black and red pepper, as well as chopped onions, either shallot or ordinary white onions.
The third and perhaps the most important attribute of khorovats serving process is lavash. Lavash is Armenian flatbread. Khorovats cannot be served without lavash. You have to try it, otherwise it won’t be complete.
The reason Armenians include lavash in khorovats recipes is that when khorovats is ready and the cook takes it off the fire, they put the dish on a layer of lavash, instead of a plate. Lavash gets all the aroma and the juices of the meat and becomes equally as delicious. Armenians call it wet lavash.
The fourth aspect is that Armenians don’t cook barbecue on a rack. Instead, they have large “shampoors” (metal barbecue sticks). They put a few pieces of meat on one metallic stick and put it on the “manghal” (special barbecue equipment where the coal is stored).
Another important feature with khorovats is the salad with barbecued vegetables. Vegetables can be eggplant, tomatoes, green bell peppers and, sometimes, hot green chilli peppers. Besides the vegetable salad, Armenians also barbecue some potatoes, again on “shampoors”, and serve it with the meat.
Places to Taste the Delicious Armenian Khorovats (Armenian Barbeque)
Place to try Armenian Khorovats #1: Caucasus Restaurant Complex
This is a relatively new place for food lovers. This complex is very large. The Caucasus Restaurant Complex is located on Ashtarak highway, next to Vahagni district. They have several large halls for very big groups of people who can enjoy Armenian, Georgian and Caucasian cuisine.
The atmosphere here is very warm. Usually, you can enjoy some Armenian music either live or just in the background. Of course, this complex also has smaller rooms for smaller groups of people who want to enjoy their wonderful dishes.
Armenian khorovats is very special here: they make it by following all the traditional rules of making this Armenian food. Khorovats, cooked in this restaurant, will definitely be a wonderful addition to your gathering.
Place to try Armenian Khorovats #2: Tumanyan Shaurma
For those who would like to taste khorovats but don’t really want to wait too long, there is a good option, the Tuamnyan Shaurma. This is Armenian fast food restaurant.
Tumanyan Shaurma is one of the best in this sphere. Here, you don’t have to wait for your dish to be ready too long (obviously! This is fast food) and the khorovats comes out perfectly tasty.
They serve it wrapped in lavash (the Armenian flatbread), so that it resembles other famous fast-food wraps and is very easy to eat.
Place to try Armenian Khorovats #3: Urartu Restaurant
Urartu is a complex which has both a restaurant and a hotel where you can stay after a wonderful meal, served by them. This restaurant is located on Proshyan Street, Yerevan. Interestingly enough, this street is actually famous for its numerous places where you can eat Armenian khorovats and kebab.
But, what is special about Urartu, is their chief who, as he likes to say, puts all of his soul into making this khorovats. For him, every piece of khorovats is made like for his own family (because you would make the best for your family!).
Their menu is very good, so, you can have a good meal here and taste various dishes, both Armenian and Caucasian, in general.
They also have delivery, so, you can call them and ask for their wonderful khorovats to be brought to your own place in Yerevan.
Place to try Armenian Khorovats #4: Afrikyanneri Pandok
Afrikyanneri Pandok or Afrikyans’ Pandok is a very famous place in the downtown Yerevan. This place is a family owned restaurant.
Afrikyans were a famous noble family of pre-Soviet Armenia. They were very active in the political and social life of Yerevan. Actually, it was with the help of Afrikyan brothers that Yerevan first got drinking water.
So, you can see, this place has a history beyond it and all of it is seen in the interior of the restaurant. Family relics, pictures and other objects, belonging to the family, are displayed inside the restaurant.
The cuisine is wonderful and the food is unforgettable here. You can also enjoy live Armenian folk music, performed by amazing singers, wearing Armenian “taraz” (national costume).
One disclaimer! The music might sound a little too loud for some but a lot of people really enjoy it. So, if you are looking for a place to have quite dinner, this probably would not be the place for you. But, you can definitely visit this place before 7:30 PM (this is when the live music usually starts) and spend wonderful time with your friends or family.
What Else about Armenian Khorovats?
Knowing all of these facts about Armenian khorovats, no doubt, you want to taste it now. Be sure that this isn’t the regular barbecue you might have tried somewhere else. This is special khorovats, Armenian food which you will definitely like.
Even if you’re vegetarian, you can try Armenian barbecued vegetables (eggplant, tomato, potatoes, green bell pepper and even onion).
So, choose a place where you want to try this food and let us know your opinion!
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