Armenians call barbecue “khorovats”. Of course, all nations have barbecue in their menu, but each of them prepares this dish differently. Armenia is not an exception. Armenian khorovats is worthy of all praise, and the preparation of this delicious meat dish is a ritual for all the Armenians. Here it is prepared only by men, who go to buy the freshest and the best meat beforehand. Meat can be either pork, beef or mutton, it depends on individual preferences.
After purchasing all the necessary products, it is time to prepare the special marinade for meat, after which it is put in the refrigerator for some time. The other interesting individual peculiarity of Armenian khorovats is a special side dish: Armenians roast on fire not only meat but also vegetables, tomatoes, eggplants, green pepper, which are served with meat. The aroma is incredible! By the way, the meat is served in lavash (pita bread) with onions and herbs.
Often prepared around Christmastime, ghapama is a stuffed pumpkin dish. The guts of the pumpkin are removed, and then it is stuffed with boiled rice and dried fruits like apple, apricot, dates, plums, and raisins together with nuts. The pumpkin is baked until it softens.
Dolma is a traditional Armenian dish. It also occurs in the cuisines of the neighboring countries, but with different interpretations. The main ingredients of dolma are beef and rice, which are wrapped in grape leaves or stuffed in vegetables such as eggplants, tomatoes and pepper. You will not get enough of it because it tastes heavenly. Dolma is usually served with red dry wine, bread and yogurt.
Basturma is an air-dried, highly seasoned smoked beef. The preparation method calls for letting the salted meat dry for up to 15 days. Afterward, the meat is covered with a paste that is a blend of different spices including cumin, garlic, hot paprika, and pepper.
For Armenians khash is not just a dish, it is a real ritual which gathers all the friends and relatives around one table. This wonderful dish is prepared from beef feet and rumen, is cooked all night and served with garlic and herbs.
By the way, the khash is also prepared only by men, and women only enjoy the fragrant broth at the end. Khash season starts in Armenia in late autumn and lasts during the winter. It is also important to note that traditionally Armenians eat it only in the morning. This amazing dish is credited with many medicinal properties. It is even prescribed to people with a variety of fractures or bone problems.
It is impossible to imagine a full meal without a dessert. Armenia has what to offer in this case. Delicate gata impregnated with sugar filling is what you need! Sweet tooth will not be disappointed. Gata has melting soft dough and each layer is impregnated with melted butter and sugar.
By the way, there are different varieties of this cake in Armenia, it can be circular and decorated (you can find when you travel to Garni / Geghard) or in a rhombus shape (originally in Sevan region). Do you want to taste real gata? Then visit gata festival in October and have a good time!