Oct 23, 2009

EETCH

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I am so happy to be sharing this recipe with you. It has been years that I've wanted to write a post on this scrumptious Armenian dish known as "eetch". How was it that I became familiar with eetch? Well we don't have anyone of Armenian origin in our family, and I've personally never been to Armenia before- the reality is that it all comes down to my childhood memories- and even my mother's childhood memories! So you can imagine how much "history" this dish has for me, and how each bite is rich with emotion.

The reality is that eetch was introduced to us through my grandmother's (maternal side) neighbours. Two lovely sisters, Vergeen & Alice, who have been my grandma's neighbours since...forever! These ladies were always over at my grandma's place and my grandma was always over at theirs. They would sip over coffee and spill neighbourhood gossip, but most of all, they would share recipes and kitchen secrets. And so I guess many many years ago before I was born -and probably before my mom was even born- eetch was introduced to my grandmother and ever since it has become a family favourite.

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We now make it regularly at home, enjoying it on it's own or as a side dish (fab with grilled meats or fish), and eaten hot or cold. I feel lucky to have personally known Vergeen & Alice, because it means a whole lot more knowing the people who introduce you to a dish that has become a true classic in our family. Each bite brings back a flood of memories and whenever we enjoy some eetch, it is just inevitable, the two lovely Armenian sisters become a part of our table conversations.
I hope you try making this at home and enjoy it's magical taste.
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Recipe for Eetch (makes about 4 servings)

One big onion, chopped
100ml olive oil
200ml tomato sauce
1 tbsp pomegrenate molasses (optional, but if you have some definately use it!)
1 lemon, juice of
Salt
200gr boulgour
Fresh mint and parsley, chopped (it works with only parsley too)

In a deep pot, fry the chopped onion with the olive oil until golden. Add the tomato sauce, and once it boils, turn off heat and remove pot from heat. Add all the remaining ingredients (except the parsley and mint), stir, cover pot and leave to rest for one hour (away from heat!). After one hour, knead as you would with bread dough for 3-5 minutes (don't worry, at this point the eetch is not hot anymore so your hands wont get burnt!). Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle over with chopped mint and parsley.

7 comments:

Peter G said...

Marianna,, I love the look and sound of this dish...and pomegranate molasses are so tasty! Thanks for sharing!

Pam said...

I love this stuff, and I love it when non-Armenians love it too! I make mine a little different - uncooked onion and scallion and plenty of cayenne for kick. I'll have to give the pomegranate molasses a try, though!

The Historian said...

I'm Armenian and am so glad that this wonderful food has become a family tradition for non-Armenians, that's so cool! I love eetch too.

Nina Timm said...

Healthy, crunchy, filling and packed with flavor....just about all the elements I look for in a dish!!! A winner for sure!!!

Anonymous said...

Nice to hear your story. I am Armenian and grew up w/ many ethnic foods! Food & Family is very important in our family. I might know these ladies, where did u grow up?

Rosabela said...

I love a recipe with a long history behind it. This sounds delicious and I will have to try it. I'm always looking for different ways to prepare bulgur. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hi Marianna, I burst out laughing when I came across the story behind this lovely recipe... Are Alice and Vergeen the two lovely 'Avakian' ladies? They simply must be... If yes, I loooove the serendipity... :)