Traditional Armenian food will be a real treat for anyone who loves good food. But you may wonder what distinguishes Armenian dishes from others. First and foremost, Armenian food has quite juicy and spicy taste.
Can you imagine that the rich history of Armenian cuisine spans across more than 1,500 years? Also, unique techniques of Armenian cooking style really stand out among other cuisines.
It’s safe to say the meat is a key component of the Armenian cuisine. Yes, Armenian love meat!
But don’t worry vegetarians, you can also find many outstanding and delicious Armenian dishes for you.
In brief, traditional Armenian food is a perfect example of how history effects on the best culinary traditions. Down below you can find authentic Armenian food and dishes that you shouldn’t miss.
Traditional Armenian Food #1 | Basturma
Armenian dried beef or as Armenians call it “Basturma” is one of the most beloved and well-known Armenian appetizers.
Basturma is especially popular during get-togethers or festive parties. It gives you the taste of beef like no other dish. It’s one of the most typical Armenian dishes that is worth trying.
It is made from dried and seasoned beef with some spices like garlic, black pepper, cumin and paprika. Although the principle of making basturma is simple, it still requires a lot of patience.
The meat needs to be dried up and covered with a spice paste, left to soak up and dry further for two weeks or even longer.
Top-quality meat is the key to the most delicious and tender basturma, since the meat of basturma. Not to mention that it is important to find the best possible cut of meat from a trusted butcher.
Thus, having a favorable relationship with your local butcher is a must. It’s also important to note that you should try this out with lavash (traditional flatbread, made in toneer -unique Armenian clay oven) and cheese for even more special taste.
Traditional Armenian Food #2 | Armenian Sausage Sujuk
Sujuk is one of the most delicious and ancient types of sausage in the world. In case you are a meat-fan, get ready to meet a snack, the incredible taste of which you will never forget.
This Armenian appetizer is a type of dry, spiced sausage. It is somewhat similar to salami and is traditionally made from ground beef or lamb. Sujuk is combined with such spices, as garlic, salt, cumin and red pepper.
One of the most popular approaches in Armenia of eating sujuk is to have it for breakfast. All you need is just to cut it into slices and fry with eggs. Also, it is common to use sujuk as a pastry topping. By the way, pizza made from sujuk is insanely delicious.
Traditional Armenian Food #3 | Tehaal, or as Armenians Call it Ghavurma
One of the oldest Armenian dishes, Ghavurma (it was prepared even by pagan Armenians) is the most perfect traditional Armenian food for winter.
For the preparation of this tasty dish the meat is cut into large pieces and then pre-treated with salt and bay leaves and left for some days.
Later on, the meat is cooked in water and then fried. Along with melted butter and mutton fat the canned meat is kept in jars.
When preparing Ghavuma, the meat should be warmed and served with boiled potatoes. Although the dish is good on its own, it can also be served as a side for rice, wheat or other grains.
Traditional Armenian Food #4 | Kyalagyosh
Kyalagyosh is a unique and mouth warming yogurt soup with Armenian flatbread lavash.
Main ingredients for this soup are matsun (Armenian yogurt), sour cream, egg, flour, onion, cilantro, thyme or mint.
It is served with crispy lavash and is especially great to try with Vodka. Although Kyalagyosh is quite simple and easy-to-make Armenian traditional food, we guarantee that you will be pleasantly surprised of how good and yummy it tastes.
Traditional Armenian Food #5 | Grilled Vegetable Salad
You can find the best and the most delicious grilled vegetables in Armenian cuisine. By the way, Armenians make this dish in different variations, either it is cold or warm, with or without herbs.
All you need for its preparation are just grilled eggplants and bell peppers, a few cherry tomatoes or medium size tomatoes, red onion and some greens, like parsley, basil or cilantro.
It’s the most popular summertime deliciousness and by the way this dish will be loved by vegans as well.
What’s more important, it is made on quick hand and doesn’t consume a lot of time. Simple, quick and delicious- what can be better?
Traditional Armenian Food #6 | Marinated Red Peppers
Armenian style marinated red peppers are a simple but yet extremely delicious summer or early fall side dish that go perfectly with your favorite meal.
This is especially perfect with fried or mashed potatoes. Red peppers are brined with celery, a little bit of parsley, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper seeds and olive oil.
Sliced peppers together with the stuffing mixture are boiled for some 15 minutes and placed in a jar or container to cool to room temperature.
Then it is placed in the fridge for 3 to 5 days to marinate. All you have to do is just to enjoy this favorite appetizer of all Armenians.
Traditional Armenian Food #7 | Nettle Soup
Here comes another healthy, vegetarian meal from Armenian cuisine that has been the inseparable part of it for decades. It’s the most beloved Armenian soup made from nettle.
Even though different Armenian regions make nettle soup in their own way, here you can find the most common way of preparing it.
All the needed ingredients are a bunch of nettle, one finely chopped onion, olive oil, 1 large cubed potato, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 beaten egg (optional), salt and black pepper.
By the way, this soup is served with matsun, as it tastes even better with this.
Traditional Armenian Food #8 | Pickled Veggies
Armenian have their all-time favorite wintertime appetizer, such as marinated peppers, pickled tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, white cabbage, okra, cauliflower.
Furthermore, these are wonderful just as snacks as well. Spicy marinated peppers are especially loved among Armenian men. They are seasoned with garlic and fresh herbs, but those who don’t like eating spicy food can substitute spicy peppers with sweet ones.
As for the stuffed pickled tomatoes it’s a real delicatessen with the most unique taste and superfine look.
It will definitely find its place on your “favorite pickled veggies” list. You can enjoy these appetizers with mashed or fried potatoes, noodles or rice.
Traditional Armenian Food #9 | Armenian Tomato Sauce
Armenian Tomato Sauce, or as Armenians call it “lecho” is the perfect base for some Armenian soups and dishes.
Nonetheless, this Armenian sauce is so tasty on its own that you can also eat it just as is. Dip a piece of fresh bread in a hot lecho and you will see there’s nothing yummier.
Lecho is also one of the main ingredients of the famous Armenian dish “tomato omelette”. Moreover, you’ll never find a single Armenian family, who doesn’t have jars of lecho in their pantry.
For the preparation of this basic tomato sauce you will need fresh tomatoes, green bell or chili peppers and some fresh parsley. For the further use, lecho is canned in sterilized jars and kept in cool, dark place for a long period of time.
Traditional Armenian Food #10 | Eggplant Dip
It will be hard to find a person in Armenia that doesn’t like a good homemade Armenian ikra (eggplant dip). This yumminess is a must-try traditional Armenian food as it’s not only very delicious but quite healthy as well.
All you need is just eggplants, green and red bell peppers, onions, garlic cloves, tomato paste, lecho, red pepper paste (optional), some parsley, cilantro, black pepper, cumin, coriander, cayenne and bay leaves.
Next, start grilling the vegetables, mix everything together and cook thoroughly (for a few hours), let it cool down and just enjoy this appetizing deliciousness.
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