Everything about Armenian food!

Celebrating a heritage of Armenian recipes

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pakla-ov Beurag or Payleh Bereg (A Fava Bean, Potato and Onion Turnover)

Pam Moroukian wrote in asking for a recipe for payleh bereg (spelling varies). She referred to a story she’d read on The Armenian Kitchen written back in 2011 about Nina Yousefian where this recipe was briefly mentioned.

Pam searched through her aunt’s recipe box, but found no recipe for payleh bereg, and hoped I could help find one.

Since I didn’t have this recipe, I contacted Nina directly. She was happy to oblige and sent me the following recipe and photos.

Nina consulted with her priest and others fluent in Armenian, and learned that ‘fava’ translates to "Pakla or Bakla", so the correct term is "Pakla-ov Beurag".  This recipe was handed down by is Nina’s grandmother, Arousiag Setian Shelengian, who would make it every year during Lent. Armenians who lived in West Philadelphia, PA for about 40 years until the late 50's-early 60's came from different villages in Turkey. They all shared cooking skills with each other and passed down family recipes to their children or grandchildren.  This dish was more prevalent in the village of Sepastia.    

Nina Yousefian's Payleh Beregs

Pakla-ov Beurag (Fava bean, potato, and onion turnover) from Nina Yousefian
Yield: about 45 pieces

Filling Ingredients:
2 lbs. fava beans, shelled and cooked (NOTE: 2 cans fava beans, drained and rinsed may be substituted. However, Nina says that canned fava beans tend to give a dark appearance, and suggests that white beans are a good substitute.)
5 lbs. potatoes, cooked and peeled
3 lbs. onions, thinly sliced, and sautéed until golden in approx. ½ cup olive oil and ¾ cup vegetable oil

 Filling Directions:

   In a large bowl, mash together the beans, potatoes, and onions.
     Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add a dash of red pepper, if desired.

        Dough Ingredients:
2 envelopes of yeast
3 1/2 cups warm water
2 eggs beaten
1 cup shortening, melted, including some butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. salt
5-6 cups of flour

Egg Wash: 2 eggs, beaten
Garnish: Sesame seeds, optional

Dough Directions:
Dissolve yeast in about 1/4 cup (from the (31/2 cups) warm water. Mix liquid ingredients together, add salt, add flour, 1 cup at a time until you have a soft dough. Knead dough until it is smooth and elastic. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours; punch dough down once, and let rise again, about 1 hour.  Shape dough into balls the size of walnuts. Let stand and rise, about 30 minutes. 

Dough and Filling:

Working on a floured surface, roll out balls, one at a time, into 6-inch circles.  Place a spoonful of filling on one half, fold dough over filling and pinch edges together to form a seal.  Prick tops of each with fork. Brush with beaten egg on top.  Sesame seeds may be sprinkled on top, if desired.

Bake in a preheated 425° F oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Armenian Kitchen wishes everyone a Blessed Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Preparing for Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches, it’s time to dust-off some tried and true recipes, and add a few new ones to the dinner menu. Being American-Armenian, we often mix-and-match our menu items to express our gratitude to our birth country and our ancestral home.

Here’s a list of recipes to use as a guide in planning this year’s mix-and-match Thanksgiving feast. My recipe for Cranberry-Orange-Pomegranate Relish follows.

Basic American Menu:    
Roasted Turkey with Stuffing                                                         
Potatoes -white and/or sweet                                     
Green Bean Casserole, Brussels Sprouts                   
Cranberry Sauce                                                         
Pumpkin or Apple Pie    
Apple Pie for Thanksgiving
Basic Armenian Menu:

Cranberry-Orange-Pomegranate Relish
Boorma, another Thanksgiving dessert option!

Cranberry-Orange-Pomegranate Relish

Cranberry-Orange-Pomegranate Relish
Yield: about 3 cups

1-12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest and juice from 1 orange
½ cup water
½ cup 100% pomegranate juice
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
Garnish: 1/2 cup pomegranate arils, optional


Sort through cranberries; discard any that are soft. Rinse and drain.

Preparing the relish
In a non-reactive saucepan, stir together the cranberries, sugar, zest, orange juice, water, pomegranate juice and cinnamon stick. Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer gently and stir occasionally, about 10-15 minutes or until cranberries begin to burst. Discard cinnamon stick. 

Transfer to a bowl and allow mixture to cool for about 15 minutes. Mixture thickens as it cools. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. 
Garnish with pomegranate arils, if desired.