Monday, September 1, 2014

Calling all Kharpertsis – or anyone else who might know …

Roxanne, a reader from Connecticut, sent me an urgent request:

She wrote, “My mom is desperate to find a recipe to make tatchoun - a powder she says that my grandmother (from Kharpert) made from lablaboo and then sprinkled on cracker bread - do you know what this could be?”

Dried Chickpea Snack (Photo from
This request made me smile because I hadn’t thought about ‘lablaboo’ for a long time. It’s one of those treats that Armenian grandparents keep handy for an anytime snack. 

I know, your curiosity is piquing. Lablaboo is a dried but chewable chickpea. It’s probably processed somehow so as not to break one’s teeth. All I know is that my grandmother always had it available – either plain, or candy-coated in pastel colors.( As a kid, I liked those best!)
Candy-coated Lablaboo!
As for Roxanne’s request, however, I haven’t been able to find an answer.
So, I’m turning to you, dear readers, for help.

If anyone knows what ‘tatchoun’ is and/or how to make it, please leave a comment at the end of this post, or email me:

Thank you so much!


  1. Per Sonia Tashjian's book, there were many mixes similar to zaatar that were made from other ingredients. My guess is that this is one of them. It would be helpful if Roxanne remembered if the mix included anything else, like sesame seeds, bulgur, etc.

  2. I received one email so far regarding this: "Am also a Kharpetze - 100% and have not ever heard of this - checked about 40 Armenian and Turkish cook-books in my collection and nothing - sorry." Looks like the search continues!

  3. I found two items in Sonia's cookbook that may or may not be related: Tatkhan (from Mussa Ler, which is far from Kharpert, but the recipe says there are variations all over Western Armenia) and Aghandz (no origin). They both consist of a combination of whole or ground grains and nuts, with the addition of spices. Chick peas are part of the mix in both cases.

    I do remember vaguely seeing ground lablaboo at Armenian nut stores. From what I remember, they add sugar, anise, and other stuff to it and eat it with a spoon. It might be related somehow to Hadig, the mix that you make to celebrate the first baby tooth of a child.

    1. Ara, Thanks for the information from Sonia's cookbook! I do have a recipe for Hassa.
      This uses finely ground chickpeas with powdered sugar and various candies in it. I'll check with Roxanne to see if this rings a bell.