Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chorag, Zeytoonian style

I bumped into an old friend, Joe Zeytoonian, teacher and musician, at the Armenian Genocide program last week in Boca Raton.

We began to reminisce about our dear, departed family members. Joe was saying how much he misses his mother - Rose, a gentle woman who was dedicated to her family and church - and her delicious chorag.

Joe said he and his wife tried to make a video of Rose preparing her chorag recipe in her later years, but there was some technical difficulty with the video camera, and it didn’t turn out. They were extremely disappointed.

Excitedly, I told Joe that Rose had given me her chorag recipe about 25 years ago, but that I’ve never made it. So, Joe, here’s your mother’s recipe! Give it a try - for Rose.

Rose Zeytoonian’s Chorag
3 pkg. dry yeast
7 cups flour
2 sticks butter
¾ cup sugar
1 cup milk
4 eggs

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water (about ¼ - ½ cup). Put one tsp. sugar in
the yeast.
2. Melt butter, milk and sugar. Bring to a boil, then cool. The milk mixture should be a little warm.
3. Beat eggs slightly.
4. Mix the flour with the dissolved yeast, milk mixture, and eggs until a dough is formed.
5. Cover, and let rise 3 hours.
6. Shape. Let rise again in tray - 1 hour.
7. Brush tops with egg. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
8. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until golden brown.

For a reminder on how to give chorag that special twist, check out our How To Braid Chorag video!


  1. where is the mahleb

  2. It is a shame that mahleb was unattainable in the USA . . obviously our elders did not have access to various spices unlike today! Thank you to the Zeytoonian family and Mrs Zeytoonian's legacy will carry on.

  3. you can get mahaleb in most middle eastern stores. this place online has it for sale if you don't have a mid eastern store near you

  4. Has anyone out there heard of or know how to make a chorag with a slight sweet center? Maybe some (a bit of)halvah incorporated into the center of the grandmother used to make it with the slightly sweet center and a hard boiled egg braided into the chorag...

    Any input would be appreciated


  5. room temp. butter softened. flour, sugar and vanilla. with your hands work in the flour to the butter about 1 1/2lb. when it begins to cumble add the sugar to the sweetness you desire. add 1/2 tsp of vanilla. I hope Ed this will be what you asked for. we call it KHOREEZ.

  6. Has anyone made this recipe? Is there supposed to be any baking powder in it? Other Chorag recipes i see call for baking powder.

  7. Chorag became a favorite tradition in my family as the dinner roll we have at Christmas and sometimes Thanksgiving. Though we are not Armenian I got the recipe from the mother of a young engineering student who lived with us for a summer while doing an internship at Pt. Magu Navy Base in Oxnard California. They were Armenian. That's been over 30 years ago! My 91 year old mother still asks for it on holidays when I have time to bake!