Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hassa – Our Family's Recipe for Christenings

Our family is happy to announce the start of a new generation! Our nephew and his wife had a darling baby boy recently, and we just returned from attending his christening.

Being strong on tradition, my sister and I  prepared a recipe that’s always been served at family christenings … hassa. I’ve written about – and posted – this recipe before but did not have a recipe photo to attach.
Sis and I worked as a long-distance team to prepare the hassa. I provided the powdered chick peas and spices (from FL), and my sister got the candied ingredients from her favorite Middle Eastern store in NJ. Once we joined forces in Washington, DC, we combined our ingredients to create the final product.

 1 lb. unsalted chick peas, roasted and ground into a powder*
 1/3 lb. candy-covered chick peas (set some aside for decoration) *
 1/3 lb. candy-covered almonds (set some aside for decoration) *
 1/4 lb. candy-covered fennel or anise seeds *
Candy-covered ingredients
 dash nutmeg
 ½ tsp. cinnamon
 ½ tsp. ground anise seed
 ½ tsp. ground fennel seed
 dash ground cardamom*
 ½ cup powdered sugar
 * The starred ingredients can be found in most Middle Eastern grocery stores.
Grinding chick peas into a powder
1. Ground chick peas in a blender or food processor. Sift and re-grind any coarse pieces until powdery. Place in a large bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the powdered chick peas, and mix thoroughly.
Sifting and regrinding chick peas
 3. Top with candies that were set aside for decoration.
 NOTE: Spices can be adjusted according to your taste preference.


  1. I'm so grateful for all the hard work you do to preserve and perpetuate our heritage recipes. One day soon, my 24 year old will partner and have a baby, and knowing I can make Hassa for the new one means a great deal.

    1. Anahid, you have no idea how meaningful your comment is to The Armenian Kitchen. Thank you for recognizing our goal. We wish you and your family good fortune!

  2. Robyn:
    There is another preparation that celebrates the birth or christening of a child, and that is Deghatsgani Halva. It is comprised of ground sevagundig (nigella) and many spices.