With Christmas only a week away, I felt it appropriate to make douzma again, that wonderful, wintery, Armenian (Dikranagerdtsi) comfort food. ‘Douzma”, you might recall from a previous post, means “lined up” or “alternating”, which indicates how the ingredients are assembled in the baking pan.
Feel free to view our douzma video for some helpful tips!
Serves 5 to 6
Select vegetables that are similar in size. Cut the vegetables to the same thickness to ensure even baking.
1 lb. ground lamb, beef or turkey - not too fatty
Salt, pepper, and allspice, to taste
2 Japanese eggplants, cut into 1/4 inch circles (any eggplant will do, but my preference is Japanese)
1 zucchini, sliced into 1/4 in. slices
2 medium (starchy variety) potatoes, peeled and sliced into about 1/4 in. slices
Sliced tomatoes - as many as will fit in between above ingredients (about 2 medium)
6 oz. can tomato paste, diluted in about 1 to 1-1/2 cups water; seasoned with additional salt, pepper and allspice to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Mix meat with salt, pepper, allspice to taste, and one or two tablespoons of the tomato paste, until well-combined. Form meat into patties, about ¼ to ½ inch thick. (Make sure you end up with enough meat patties to alternately arrange between the vegetable slices.)
3. Dilute remaining tomato paste with 1 to 1/2 cups water, season with additional salt, pepper, and allspice, if desired. Pour a little sauce onto the bottom of the baking pan and spread to cover.
4. Arrange all of the above vegetables, and meat patties alternately, in a standing position in a large roasting pan (approx. 9“x13“), until all of the ingredients are used.
6. Bake, uncovered, for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until vegetables are tender and top is lightly browned.
Serve with a chopped salad and bread for dipping for an extra-hearty meal!