Saturday, December 29, 2018

Two Traditional Armenian Recipes to ring-in the New Year

To get you into the spirit of a new year, I felt it appropriate to re-post two traditional Armenian recipes: Anoush Abour (literally meaning 'sweet soup') and Daree Hats ('year bread').
Savor the arrival of the New Year and Armenian Christmas with your loved ones with these sweet, fruity, nutty delicacies.


Happy New Year and Merry Christmas!
Shnorhavor Nor Daree yev Soorp Dzuhnoont!

Anoush Abour
#1. Anoush Abour by Joy Callan
Ingredients:
1 cup gorgod (skinless whole wheat – sold in Middle eastern stores)
3 ½ quarts water
1 cup sugar
1 cup California apricots, finely chopped
1 cup raisins (currants or yellow raisins)
½ cup pistachios
1/3 cup pine nuts

Garnishes:
¼ cup finely chopped filberts (hazelnuts)
½ cup slivered almonds
½ toasted pecans or walnuts
Ground cinnamon, to taste
Pomegranate seeds

Directions:
1. In a 6-quart pot, combine wheat and water. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Cover and let rest overnight.

2. Remove cover. Return to simmer. Simmer gorgod until water begins to thicken. The lower the simmer, the “whiter” the pudding will remain. After about 1 ½ to 2 hours of simmering, add the sugar and continue to simmer. The pudding will begin to take on a thicker consistency.

3. While wheat is simmering, combine fruit, pistachios and pine nuts in a small saucepan with water. Bring to a gentle simmer and allow to cook for about 15 minutes. Thoroughly drain. Add to pudding when pudding is cooled so that fruit will not bleed color into pudding.

4. Pour into serving bowl. Garnish with filberts, slivered almonds, pecans or walnuts and cinnamon.

5. Pomegranate seeds could either be incorporated into pudding uncooked or served separately as a garnish.

#2. The Daree Hats (pronounced ‘da-ree hots’) recipe is from my friend in Yerevan, Sonia Tashjian. In addition to the recipe, Sonia provided some background information so you can appreciate its meaning.

Sonia's Daree Hats from the Sassoun region in Western Armenia

Daree Hats 

From Sonia:
            "Daree Hats is an Armenian traditional bread prepared for the New Year and is served on New Year's Eve. When the family gathers around the holiday table, the grandmother cuts the bread and serves it to the members of the family. The family member who receives the portion of bread with the coin, is granted good luck and fertility during the coming year.
            The tradition of Daree Hats (other names are Dari, Grgene, Kloj, etc...) began centuries ago. In the springtime, the first man prepared the bread using the last of the dried fruits and decorated the bread with seeds. The bread was dedicated to his gods in the hope of a fertile crop for the coming year."

Daree Hats, an Armenian New Year Bread Recipe

Ingredients:
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon (if desired)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup hot water
1 cup chopped dried fruit and raisins
1 cup chopped nuts
½ cup linseed or sesame seeds
** a coin**

Directions:
           Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, and cinnamon (if using). Add the oil and hot water;  mix well.
           Add the dried fruit, raisins, and chopped nuts. Mix, then place in a non-stick round pan.
           Wrap the coin with foil, then insert it into the dough. Rub water on the surface of the dough and sprinkle linseed or sesame seeds on top.
           Preheat the oven at medium temperature (approx. 350° F) and bake 40-45 minutes.

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