Armenian cuisine is one of the oldest in Asia and the oldest in Transcaucasia. The Greek historian Xenophon and the commander Alexander the Great admired the national dishes of this country. Khashlama is a very popular Armenian dish, which is prepared mainly from lamb (less often from veal) with vegetables. It is desirable that the meat was on the bone: so the dish turns out to be more satisfying and tasty, and the vegetables are fleshy to get more juice. It is believed that the name "khashlama" comes from the Armenian word "hashel", which means "meat cooked in a piece". This dish is one of the easiest to prepare. As a rule, Armenian cuisine is very laborious. The preparation of most dishes is based on minced meat and whipping. In addition, many dishes are prepared in earthenware dishes. Armenians developed a diet that was uncharacteristic for the rest of the world: a very light breakfast, a moderate lunch and a rich, hearty dinner. Holidays have a special meaning for this people. So, since ancient times, such ritual dishes have been preserved, which are necessarily present at the wedding. From the very beginning of the existence of this people, its representatives have been engaged in cattle breeding. Therefore, the abundance and diversity of poultry and livestock could only be envied. Thus, Armenians have always had an incredible amount of meat on their tables. Cattle breeding has also influenced the composition of various dairy dishes. These are mainly brine skins and pitcher cheeses. Fermented milk products are no less popular. They are often used to prepare drinks and dishes of traditional Armenian cuisine. When they first decided to cook khashlama, it's impossible to say, obviously it wasn't a thousand years ago. It is also difficult to say who is the author of khashlama. All the peoples of the Caucasus are arguing: where and who decided to cook this dish first. The fact that "hashel" is prepared in Armenian, even this does not mean anything. This is a Caucasian dish, and each people of this area has its own recipe and many different ways of cooking.In Georgia, khashlama is prepared from ingredients such as lamb, Georgian wine (preferably homemade, of course), green onions, tarragon, coriander, tkemali, mint.Agriculture in Armenia is as ancient a craft as cattle breeding. Hence the wide range of cereals in the kitchen business. Many Armenian dishes also contain legumes. A lot of greens and vegetables is another feature of the dishes of this country.Armenians have always cooked their food on a bonfire. Tonir is a traditional stove-hearth made of clay, which is actively used in modern cooking of the country. He cooks all kinds of porridges, soups, bakes bread, roasts vegetables, smokes poultry and fish, and also prepares other various dishes.
How to cook khashlama?
There is no consensus among Armenian housewives about the "right" khashlama recipe. Every corner of the country (or even in every yard) has its own subtleties and its own secrets of cooking this dish. Moreover, in different sources, different bases are called for it: lamb, beef or even chicken. However, the general principle of cooking is always the same: sliced meat and vegetables are laid out in layers in a cauldron, saucepan or saucepan with a thick bottom, and then boiled (or stewed − there is no consensus either) in their own juice. During cooking, the meat becomes tender, and the broth is soaked with the juice of fresh vegetables, herbs and spices. According to the recipe, the composition of the "right" khashlama, in addition to salt, includes 10 different seasonings: parsley, coriander, basil, tarragon, suneli hops, allspice, ground black pepper, celery and cloves. However, you can use different combinations from this set or add other components, such as bay leaf. You will also need 250 grams of table red or rose wine.The rationale for the presence of potatoes in the dish is also controversial. According to some recipes, the classic Armenian dish hashlam is prepared with the addition of potatoes, but this product spread in the Caucasus only in the XIX century. Traditionally, housewives did without it, but for two hundred years the recipe with potatoes has taken root.There are many ways to prepare this dish. Each hostess has her own, but you can distinguish the general principle of cooking - it's meat and vegetables stewed in layers in a saucepan or cauldron. Today I want to tell you my recipe, which is a classic version of this dish of Armenian cuisine.Juicy shish kebab, from which comes a dizzying smell, khorovats-baked vegetables that have managed to soak in the smell of smoke, the most delicate dolma in the world, which was cooked without the use of fat... Only from these descriptions begin to drool. And khashlama? This is another delicious dish that deserves eloquent words.
Caucasian cuisine is one of the most ancient: its history goes back more than two thousand years. The culinary traditions of the countries of this region include a huge number of dishes that are prepared on the basis of meat. One of these dishes is lamb khashlama, the recipes of which we suggest to familiarize yourself with. What is khashlama? khashlama (from the Armenian "hashel" – "meat cooked in a piece") is meat stewed in a cauldron or saucepan with various vegetables laid out in layers. This dish is so ancient that almost all Caucasian peoples consider it their traditional dish. The classic version of khashlama is recognized as Armenian. khashlama is a bright representative of the national dishes of Armenian cuisine. Over time, the recipes of this dish were supplemented and improved. Now khashlama is stewed with the addition of:
Only one ingredient remains unchanged – meat. This is due to the fact that the indigenous Caucasian peoples have always been engaged in cattle breeding, so their culinary traditions are largely based on meat dishes. The main rule of khashlama cooking is to stew a lot of meat in a small amount of broth for 2-2. 5 hours. And the older the meat for the dish, the more time it takes to warm it up. Of course, it is important to choose the right source "material". It can be: beef; lamb; veal; poultry; pork (used infrequently, as it "dries up" during prolonged stewing). Juicy shish kebab, from which comes a dizzying smell, khorovats-baked vegetables that have managed to soak in the smell of smoke, the most delicate dolma in the world, which was cooked without the use of fat... It's only from these descriptions that saliva begins to stand out. And hashlama? This is another delicious dish that deserves eloquent words.
And don't take the tenderloin - the meat on the bone is also good. To make the dish fragrant and juicy, vegetables should be put into it last, and salt should be removed from the stove or even before serving. Otherwise, the meat will be tough. It is equally important to choose the right dishes to serve on the table. The best option is clay bowls. Khashlama can be both the second and the first course – the thick broth turns out to be very satisfying. It is not surprising that all Caucasian peoples ascribe to themselves the glory of the ancestor of the preparation of khashlama. Each of the applicants has their own special methods of cooking and serving this dish. If you combine these nuances, you will get a very useful "cheat sheet":
if the meat is with a bone, it can not be cut;
vegetables are added in the middle of stewing, it is recommended to calculate their ratio with meat in a ratio of 1:3 in favor of the latter;
if khashlama is served as soup, then a plate with greens is served separately;
If khashlama is served as a main course, a glass of semi-dry red wine is also offered.Khashlama made of lamb or other meat is a very satisfying meat dish that can be served both for a holiday and for an everyday dinner with the family. The main thing is to be sure of the freshness of the meat and choose the right set of spices. And the excellent taste completely compensates for the time spent on cooking this worthy representative of Caucasian cuisine. As a rule, Armenian cuisine is very laborious. The preparation of most dishes is based on minced meat and whipping. In addition, many dishes are prepared in earthenware dishes. Armenians developed a diet that was uncharacteristic for the rest of the world: a very light breakfast, a moderate lunch and a rich, hearty dinner. Holidays have a special meaning for this people. So, since ancient times, such ritual dishes have been preserved, which are necessarily present at the wedding.
Before we talk about how to cook khashlama, let's talk a little about the formation of Armenian, it is as ancient as the country itself. The culinary traditions of Armenia are at least two thousand years old. From the very beginning of the existence of this people, its representatives have been engaged in cattle breeding. Therefore, the abundance and diversity of poultry and livestock could only be envied. Thus, Armenians have always had an incredible amount of meat on their tables. Cattle breeding has also influenced the composition of various dairy dishes. Basically, these are pickled cheeses in the peel and in jugs. Dairy products are no less popular. They are often used to prepare drinks and dishes of traditional Armenian cuisine.
Agriculture in Armenia is as ancient a craft as cattle breeding. Hence the wide range of cereals in the kitchen business. Many Armenian dishes also contain legumes. A lot of greens and vegetables is another feature of the dishes of this country.Armenians have always cooked their food on a bonfire. Tonir is a traditional stove-hearth made of clay, which is actively used in modern cooking of the country. All kinds of porridges, soups are prepared here, bread is baked, vegetables are fried, poultry and fish are smoked, and other various dishes are prepared.
Well, how about without meat
Armenian meat dishes are a kind of cult. The oldest and simplest dishes include pasta and, of course, shish kebab, dishes made from whole poultry carcasses, and meat kchuchi. They are still being prepared today in accordance with the technologies that were used fifteen hundred years ago. Khashlama is also very popular.Every Armenian knows how to cook khashlama, although today it is quite difficult to determine exactly which national cuisine it belongs to. All Caucasian peoples consider this dish their traditional. But in all countries khashlama is prepared in different ways.
Some features of khashlamaThis is the one that takes a lot of time to prepare. The young carcass should be stewed on low heat for about three to four hours. If the meat is older, it will take twice as long. Khashlama has one peculiarity. To cook it, you will have to buy three times more meat than all the other ingredients. You need to take quite a bit of broth.How to cook khashlama? It all depends on the recipe of which people you will do it. For example, in Georgia, they put a lot of vegetables and herbs in it. Chefs from other countries use different spices and beer in their recipes. There are a huge number of ways to prepare khashlama, and it is quite difficult to specify the most correct of them.
The most important rulesIn order to cook khashlama, you can buy any meat. It doesn't always have to be fillet or tenderloin. Beef, lamb, veal are suitable, and pork is rarely used. Meat can have a bone or be without it. Intending to cook a dish with vegetables, the cook should cut them into large pieces. Then put it in the already cooked meat. First of all, we put onions, then potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes and so on. There is no need to salt the dish during its languor. This spice is put either five minutes before the end of stewing, or in a ready-made dish. Plates are not used to serve khashlama. It is presented in bowls made of clay.
Chicken for khashlama
Although the most common meat for cooking this dish is lamb, chicken can also be used. In principle, khashlama from poultry is as delicious as from lamb. To prepare the dish, you will need the following ingredients:
One kilogram of chicken meat.
One hundred grams of frozen green beans.
Two bell peppers.
One big carrot.
Three cloves of garlic.
Salt and spices.
First you need to boil the bird. Finely chop the onion and carrot and fry in a cauldron. Now add the finely chopped sweet pepper and keep it on the stove for about five minutes, but do not forget to stir the vegetables periodically. While all this is stewing, peel the tomatoes and cut them into slices. Tomatoes are also put in a cauldron and let the products boil for another five minutes. After that, pour them over and cook the resulting soup. Cut the potatoes into slices, put them in a container with vegetables and bring to a boil. Cut the bird into small pieces, add them to the broth, then put the beans. Add salt, sprinkle with spices and continue to cook the dish until the potatoes are ready. Khashlama from chicken turns out not just delicious, but also incredibly fragrant. Having tried such a delicacy once, you will not be able to deny yourself the pleasure of cooking it again and again.
What about the lamb?To prepare a traditional khashlama based on lamb, you will need almost the same products as for chicken fish, but with some changes. Next, we will tell you in detail about what components are included in the dish, how to cook it. Khashlama from mutton is a traditional dish, the recipe of which is known, perhaps, to every resident of Armenia.So, we take two kilograms of meat, tomatoes and bell peppers, one and a half kilograms of onions, a large bunch of parsley and dill. You should also prepare one and a half glasses of light beer, one kilogram of new potatoes and to taste ground black pepper, peppercorns, basil, salt, a mixture of spices to lamb. It is best to buy and, then the Armenian khashlama will turn out the way it is prepared in the country of origin. First you need to cut the lamb across. After that, we cut the layer into separate parts with a knife and put them in a bowl.
And now the vegetables
Vegetables are cut as follows: tomatoes and peppers in circles, onions in large half rings, greens in large pieces. The dish is prepared in a large, approximately eight-liter cauldron. In it we begin to lay half of all the products in layers: first onions, then meat, then peppers and tomatoes. Sprinkle a lot of herbs on top, add salt and half of the seasonings. Now you can lay out the remaining products on top in layers in the same order. When everything is packed, pour the khashlama with beer. Cover the cauldron tightly with a lid and put it on the stove. Simmer the dish on low heat for one hour. During this time, we will prepare a side dish of new potatoes. When all the dishes are cooked, we start eating. Enjoy your meal! Khashlama resembles a very thick soup, but it still needs to be served with the second course. In summer, you can please your family and guests with khashlama cooked in a cauldron on an open fire, but on the stove you will get no less delicious and fragrant treats. A great dish turned out! Very tasty, very simple and hassle-free!