Friday, August 21, 2009


Armenian Herisah and Lahvosh

I made this meal on Friday, August 21st. I chose these two dishes because, according to wikipedia, they are the national dishes of Armenia.

I was a bit worried about the outcome of the Herisah. The original recipe said to soak the zezads (also known as wheat berries or whole wheat kernels) overnight. I forgot to do so, so I put them in the crockpot on low with four cups of water for about 5-6 hours. Also, when buying them, I didn't know whether to choose soft white wheat berries or hard red wheat berries (both found at Whole Foods). I went with the former. So, I'm not positive that the recipe turned out the way that it was supposed to, but it was really good: very simple and hearty. Andy and I both cleaned our plates.

I was also worried about the Lahvosh. The original recipe didn't give times, and I didn't let the yeast (which totally grosses me out, by the way) fully dissolve before adding the sugar and flour. But it rose well, so I guess it didn't really matter, and the end result was quite tasty! They tasted a bit like saltines, but were rather chewier. The sesame seeds all fell off once the lahvosh were baked, so I would suggest either mixing them into the dough or not using them at all. They were kind of a pain to make. I had to roll out and bake each lahvosh individually. It was rather time consuming. But, like I said, they tasted good, so it was worth it.

Without further ado...


-1 c. zezads (also knowns as wheat berries or whole wheat kernels)
-4 c. chicken broth
-4 c. water
-2 c. shredded chicken breast
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 T. butter
-1 tsp. paprika

1) Wash zezads and soak overnight in hot water. Keep covered in a warm place. Drain water.
2) Bring chicken broth and water to a boil. Add chicken and zezads. Simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about an hour and a half.
3) Add salt and pepper. Beat the mixture until it becomes smooth like a well cooked mush. Add more water if necessary to make mixture smooth.
4) To serve, melt butter with the paprika and pour over each serving.

The herisah before I beat it


The lahvosh pre-baking

-2 c. warm water
-1 package active dry yeast
-2 tsp. sugar
-5 c. all purpose white flour
-1/3 c. melted butter
-1 T. salt
-1/4 c. sesame seeds

1) In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar.
2) Add flour and stir until moistened.
3) Add butter and salt.
4) Knead the dough until it is very smooth.
5) Cover and let stand in a warm place for 4 hours.
6) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
7) Divide the dough into balls the size of two hands cupped together. (This recipe makes about 8-10 balls.)
8) On a floured board, roll out the balls until they are the size of a 14" pizza pan.
9) Place the dough on the 14" pizza pan and slit the dough in several places with a fork.
10) Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 5-6 minutes.
11) Move to the middle rack of oven and bake until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.

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