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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

ST SARKIS DAY – The Armenian version of Valentine’s Day

Aghablit - Salty Wafers



It’s almost St. Sarkis Day again! This feast day on the Armenian Church calendar, is celebrated 63 days before Easter - somewhere between January 18th and February 23rd. This year, St. Sarkis Day falls on Saturday, February 15th.

I’ve written about St. Sarkis Day over the past few years offering recipes for Kumba cake and St. Sarkis Halva

This time around, I want to share a recipe I found which is made expressly for this day.
The recipe is called Aghablit – a salty wafer or bread.This recipe comes from Sarkis Kolanjian, owner of Sarkis Pastry, Pasadena, CA. 

Here’s the very short story related to this feast day:
Aghablit is eaten on St. Sarkis Day by single girls who ultimately go to bed thirsty. They hope to dream about a special someone who would bring them water to quench their thirst. This dreamy vision would provide a glimpse of their future spouse. If there was no such dream, chances for a marriage looked rather dim. 

(There’s much more to this story, so if you are interested, I highly recommend Irina Petrosian’s book, “Armenian Food: Fact, Fiction, and Folklore”.)

I thought I'd give these a try, and I have to say ...I'm glad I'm already married, because these salty, chewy morsels were not very pleasing! 

Sarkis Kolanjian’s Aghablit
Makes about 20-24 pieces

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used about 1 1/3 cups flour as the dough was quite sticky)
1/2 cup water
1 heaping teaspoon salt

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a bowl, mix together water, flour and salt until a dough is formed. Place dough on a flat surface and cover with a cloth. Allow to rest about one hour.
3. Flatten dough with your hands or a rolling pin to about 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters or a small glass cut dough into small shapes or circles.
4. Bake about 15 to 25 minutes (depending on size of shapes) or until golden brown.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Robyn...I am in the process of making these right now! I had gotten the recipe from my instructors at the Armenian Virtual College (I didn't see your post until now). Their recipe called for 1 tablespoon of water and 1 tablespoon of salt. I ended up using more water because it was so sticky! I also didn't let the dough sit for an hour, so I don't know how these will come out!!! I'll be sure to send an update!! :) -Lindsay Peckham

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    1. Hi Lindsay! Mine were sticky too, so I added more flour, as you will read in the recipe. Just glad that I'm already married and don't have to depend on eating aghablit to find a husband! LOL !!
      I'm looking forward to your update.

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    2. Hi Robyn! Yes I added more flour too! When they were done I tried one, but only managed one bite. Wow was it salty!!! Luckily I didn't make that many. I'll email you a picture.

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  2. I made these last night with my girlfriend and they were so salty! I dreamt of a man that handed me a glass of milk instead of water?

    I love how you included the history behind this recipe. Thanks so much!

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