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September 2009

Bulghur Pilaf

Pilaf is a staple with Armenian meals. Brown pilaf is a healthy and hearty side dish for to accompany meats and chicken. Serve a bowl of madzoon on the side for topping the pilaf.


Tabbouleh is a healthy and refreshing salad served throughout the Middle East. It is essential to use fresh parsley and mint when making tabouleh. Many traditional Lebanese recipes for tabouleh use a much higher proportion of parsley to bulghur. If you prefer this style, increase the parsley to 3 cups

Pork Shish Kebab

Unlike many Middle Easterners, Armenians enjoy pork. I first experienced this version of Shish Kebab at our cousin’s in Fresno, CA

Lahmajune – Armenian Pizza

Lahmajune has been referred to as Armenian pizza. These delicious pies are sold by street vendors in the Middle East rolled and wrapped in waxed paper.

Fassoulia – Juicy Stringbeans

A simple, but delicious vegetable side dish. May be made with fresh or frozen beans. Chunks of cooked lamb are sometimes added to this dish.

Selaki – Dabgadz Banirov Beoreg

One of my father’s favorites, This Beoreg makes a delicious appetizer – very light and delicate. This dough is quite easy to work with. The thinner you roll the dough, the better your Selaki will be. You can also use a mild Feta cheese in place of the cottage and bleu cheeses. In Kessab, the name “Selaki” referred to several kinds of fried dough. Do not confuse this with the sweet deep fried dough served with sugar as a confection.

Greek Pastitsio

Pastitsio is often called Greek Lasagna. Layers of Penne Pasta and meat sauce, with a creamy custard topping. A bit rich, but worth it.

Chen Ma-po Tofu

Ma-Po Tofu is an authentic Szechuan dish. Enjoyed by Chinese on top of a bowl of white rice, it’s spicy heat makes it a favorite to warm up from the cold. The Chinese say “Ma-Po-Toe”, leaving off the last syllable. I once had such a craving for Ma-Po Tofu that I visited 14 Chinese restaurants in Tucson, AZ – one every night for two weeks – to see who had the best! This dish can be made with or without the pork.

Sal’s Sassy Sauce

A favorite from my years at the University of Rochester. “Sal’s Birds” rivaled pizza as a late night meal. This is my best imitation of Sal’s secret recipe sauce. Serve warmed sauce over fried chicken, seafood, grilled ribs, etc.

Sucmic Kufta

Potato and Bulghur Appetizers. Sucmic is a wonderful way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. This is a variation on Red Lentil Kufta.