Everything about Armenian food!

Celebrating a heritage of Armenian recipes

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pumpkin Kadayif by Chris Coyle

How ironic is it that my oven is out of commission? 
A food blogger, with a 3-year-old oven that doesn’t work properly. Why? ‘Because’, said the nice repairman, ‘the oven door hinges are no good. Nothing is made to last anymore.’ He ordered two new hinges, but only one came in – so I wait. I’ve been using GE appliances for decades without a problem. I fear our relationship may be coming to an end.

I’m bothered by this inconvenience because I wanted to bake a nice Armenian-style pumpkin recipe for you. Instead, my food-blogging friend, Chris Coyle, of Hye-Thyme CafĂ© fame, came to my rescue when I asked if I could share her post for Pumpkin Kadayif with you.
She was happy to oblige, offering, with a chuckle, her condolences on the state of my oven.

It is kind-of funny, but, at the same time, extremely frustrating!

With Chris’s permission, I offer you her delectable ‘Pumpkin Kadayif’ recipe. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Kadayif, a recipe and photos by Chris Coyle from Hye-Thyme Cafe.

Pumpkin Kadayif by Chris Coyle

First set of Ingredients:
1 pkg. Kadayif (Katayifi) dough (available at Middle Eastern markets or bakeries - some restaurants- depneding on where you live)
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted

Filling Ingredients:
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 can (15 oz.) Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground clove
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs

2 c. sugar
1 c. water
1 Tbsp. lemon juice


Shredded Dough:
Cut dough into 3 or 4 sections. Shred all of the dough into a large bowl. 
Pour the melted butter over the dough and work it through with your hands to distribute. Press half of the buttered dough into a casserole dish, sheet pan, large cake pan, etc.  It's really just a matter of how "high" you want it - if you're trying to "stretch" it to serve more people, etc.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with the sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the pumpkin and spices and continue beating to incorporate.  Add the eggs, one at a time.

Spread all of filling over the dough in your pan. 
Evenly distribute the remaining dough over the pumpkin filling.

Baking and Preparing the Syrup:
Bake at 375°F for about 45 minutes until golden.  When it just starts to brown, or just comes out of the oven, bring your sugar and water to a boil, then squeeze in the lemon juice and continue to boil for about a minute, stirring.  You want to boil it long enough to cook into a syrup, but not so long that it turns into candy!  Better too thin than too thick.
Poke some holes in the top of the Kadayif with a small paring knife or lobster pick – or a fork - then pour the hot syrup over the top while the Kadayif is still hot.  The holes are to make sure the syrup soaks all the way through.

Chris’ comment:  For some reason, the use of Phyllo or Kadayif dough with syrup has been the subject of much discussion over the years.  I was always taught to pour hot syrup over cold Paklava to prevent sogginess but to pour hot syrup over hot Kadayif.  Others will tell you to pour cold syrup over hot Paklava or hot syrup over cold Kadayif, etc.

To Serve: Garnish as desired and serve warm or cold. 

Note: In the picture at the top of this post, Chris topped the Pumpkin Kadayif with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and a few pumpkin seeds that she candied in a pan with a little brown sugar, cinnamon and butter.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Easy Creamy White Bean Soup

I enjoy a good, heart-warming bowl of soup as the temperature cools. I also like a good-tasting soup which requires only a few key ingredients and  few preparation steps.
Looking through our abundant supply of canned goods (we’re always prepared during hurricane season), I counted 8 cans of white beans. White bean soup became the logical solution to use of some these nutritious legumes. After searching for just the right recipe, and using on-hand ingredients, Easy, Creamy White Bean Soup was born.

Easy, Creamy White Bean Soup (Photo from Williams-Sonoma.com)

Easy Creamy White Bean Soup
Adapted from a recipe from Williams-Sonoma .com
Servings: 4


4 cups cooked white beans, such as cannelloni or navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme or ¼ tsp. dried thyme
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup plain yogurt or heavy cream
¼ cup tahini
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Olive oil or Sesame oil for drizzling, if desired


Place the beans, broth, yogurt (or cream, if using), tahini, and thyme in a food processor or blender; process until smooth.

Pour into a saucepan and warm gently over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Do not boil! Season with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil or sesame oil, if desired.

Variation (based on the time of year): Click here for a recipe for Chilled Chickpea and Tahini Soup

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

'Winter Red Lentil Soup with Browned Onions' by Christine Datian

If you subscribe to The Armenian Mirror-Spectator, you know that Christine Datian submits recipes regularly to the ‘Recipe Corner’ section. She notified me of her recipe which appeared in the September 17th issue (page 14), and asked if I would post it here. I happily agreed!

With autumn officially upon us, the time is right to think about soup. Perhaps Christine’s ‘winter’ soup recipe is a bit premature, but I’m sure you’ll find it delicious anytime.

If you’re looking for more lentil soup recipes, check the list below and click on the recipe's name.

Christine Datian's Winter Red Lentil Soup with Browned Onions as made in The Armenian Kitchen.

Winter Red Lentil Soup with Browned Onions  by Christine Datian
Serves  8 to 10 - or more!

Robyn's Note: Since I was cooking for two, I made half the amount of Christine's original recipe and it yielded 5 to 6 hefty servings.


2 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed, drained, (and sorted to remove any unwanted particles)
1/4 cup coarse or medium bulgur
4 cups low sodium chicken or beef broth, or 2 quarts lamb broth, if available
4-5 cups water
2-3 stalks celery (plus green tops), chopped or diced
2-3 medium carrots, chopped or diced
1-2 teaspoons dried mint, crushed
Dash of (dried) sweet basil
Sea or kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Paprika, cayenne or Aleppo pepper to taste

1 large yellow or white onion, chopped
a few Tbsp. butter

Garnish options: Chopped fresh parsley and mint
      Lemon wedges

Bring the broth and water to a full boil in a large pot.  Add the lentils and bulgur to the boiling liquid with the remaining ingredients- except the chopped onion and butter. Stir. Reduce heat to medium-low.  Stir again and cover pot. Cook for 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
Onions cooking in butter

Before serving, sauté a large chopped yellow or white onion in a few tablespoons of butter until the onions are browned.

Browned onions

Add the browned onions to the soup 5 minutes before serving, and top with chopped fresh parsley and mint, if desired.  

Serve soup with lemon wedges on the side and extra paprika, cayenne or Aleppo pepper.

The following list represents some of our favorite Lentil Soup recipes which have been posted over the years: