Friday, September 21, 2018

CHICK BRTUJ (Meatless Kyufta) from Sonia Tashjian

Today is Armenian Independence Day! To help celebrate,
Sonia Tashjian, my go-to food expert in Yerevan, offered her recipe for Chick Brtuj - Meatless Kyufta (Kufteh) to share with you.  
Sonia Tashjian's Chick Brtuj (Meatless kufteh) with Onion-Tomato Dipping Sauce

Traditional Kufteh is made with fine bulgur mixed with finely ground meat for the shell, and then stuffed with a spiced meat-onion filling. It's sometimes shaped like a small football (my maternal grandmother's style), or flattened on the bottom with a rounded top (my paternal grandmother's style) - somewhat like a flying saucer -at least, that's what we thought, as kids.

Sonia's meatless kufteh is perfect for a vegetarian or Lenten meal.

Sonia explains:

"'Chick' means "chga" - or - 'there is none - or - without' and the Armenian name of such kyuftas is 'brtuj', which means a portion prepared in the palm.
(other synonyms are sekhem & jankig).....
Therefore, chick - brtuj (or chick kyufta) means this is a meatless dish.

This recipe is the everyday version of uncooked meat brtuj, or chi kufteh. 
(Nowdays when we say chick kyufta, we understand it to be the meat version; but in the old books, there is mention about this non-meat kyufta)."

Sonia's recipe:

1)- Mix 1 Tbsp. of red pepper paste into 1 cup of fine bulghur; set aside.
2)- Finely chop 1 medium onion + 1 tomato + 1 green or red pepper.
3)- Mix together, knead it by pouring olive oil; season with red & black pepper, cumin & lemon juice.
4)- Blend it in a food processor if necessary.
5)- Mix in chopped mint leaves & parsley;
6)- Shape brtuj to resemble little sausages using wet hands. 

Serve with onion - tomato sauce.

To prepare sauce:
Dilute some water into 4 Tbsp. tomato paste until it can pour thickly from a spoon. Mix in finely chopped onion. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

1 comment:

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