He stated, “Most Armenians make Topig, which calls for a filling. However, Siserov Kufteh requires no filling. Basically, it involves boiling ground chick peas in water, and forming into tennis-sized balls. When cooked and cooled, the balls are crumbled into a spinach-rice soup. In addition, the balls, when cooled may be sliced and fried in olive oil...”
CK, here is a recipe for Seesere Kufta, sent to me by Alice (Doramajian) Bakalian. It was her mother, Baidzar’s recipe.
Alice wrote this in a most amusing way; I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I did! A second recipe from Alice follows this one.
#1: Seesere Kufta
by Baidzar, as written by Alice Bakalian with a sense of humor!
- Mint - not too much or it will taste lousy.
- Salt and coriander
- Seesere must be soaked for 3 days - at least!
- Each day water must be changed twice or you are in BIG trouble.
- After soaking comes the grinding with the medium blade on your machine.
- Whatever water accumulates in the machine, pour into ground seesere.
- If machine is water tight, you are LUCKYYYYYY!
- If leaking, then I would suggest you pull up a chair and place a pot under the machine to collect seepage.
- Just thought I’d remind you: Before grinding the seesere, prepare a very large pot with briskly boiling water to which 1 ½ Tablespoons of cornstarch has been added.
- To continue: Mix all ingredients together.
- Knead everything with a little water (very little).
- After mixing, you will form mixture into balls the size of your hand - rounded on top, flat on the bottom.
- Put these cute little concoctions into the boiling water - Don’t overcrowd! They should swim around like dolphins.
- While boiling, get yourself and Eberhard #2 pencil. Break off the metal and eraser, then break off the point - making both ends flat.
- Now strip off all the paint on the pencil and you are ready. (If no pencils are around, a bamboo skewer will do.)
- After 20 minutes of boiling, take one of your dolphins out and insert your surgically prepared pencil (or bamboo skewer) into it gently.
- If it slides off, pick up the pieces from the floor and throw it back into this inferno for about 10 minutes. Try this procedure again.
- When it sticks to the pencil, you hang out a flag and call all the neighbors because you probably (scrupulously) forgot to wash and cut the 2 pounds of spinach.
- Certainly they’ll help you! Let them do it in the living room; the kitchen is a disaster area by now!
- By now your kuftas are done (about 5 hours) and you’re left with this strange gurgling liquid (UGH).
- !!!!!Don’t Panic!!!!!
- Do not drain, I repeat, Do not drain!
- Leave as is.
- I assume you’ve put some sumac in the water and brought to a boil, then cooled.
- This has been sitting around, festering, while all of this nonsense is going on.
- Drain the sumac and add liquid with a can of tomato paste. Add lemon, to taste, to the gurgle.
- Cool this (uh, I really don’t know what to call it).
- ANNYYYWWWWAAAYYY, cook until spinach is soft - and now you’ve got it made!
PS: Cut about 2 pounds of onions, very fine. Cook until quite brown in oil. Mince garlic into some water and let it soak for a while. These can be added to each individual dish, if they are so inclined, of course.
#2: Seeserov Kufta with Parsley and ScallionsInstead of placing the kufta (chick pea) balls in the spinach, they can be prepared as follows:
Chop scallions and parsley; mix well into the ground seesere along with some flour, dried mint, ground coriander, salt and red pepper. Form into flat patties. Fry in olive oil until done.