Easy Roejig (Rojik) a.k.a ‘Sweet Soujuk’ – is that even possible?

I love roejig (aka ‘sweet soujuk’), a traditional Armenian candy made
from walnuts which are strung on long strings and thickly coated in fruit syrup.
I ate a piece of roejig a few weeks ago, and with the first bite, I was taken back to my
youth – specifically my maternal grandmother’s dining room where she would
serve this on special occasions. It’s one of those recipes that I enjoy eating (sparingly),
but don’t necessarily want to prepare. 

 

Traditional Roejig (Photo from GeorgeFamily.net)

I posted the roejig recipe once before, but since a
reader requested the recipe the other day, I figured I’d mention it again. The
recipe I included in the original post came from the A.G.B.U.’s ‘Treasured
Armenian Cookbook’

Here’s the reader’s request:
“An Armenian friend of mine made me taste the “sweet
sujuk”, the one with walnuts inside and coated with a grape (brown)
syrup… and I have to say it was delicious (with a tiny spicy aroma).
Unfortunately, since her mother cooked the thing, she was unable to provide me
the recipe…. any hint on where to find the sweet sujuk recipe? Thanks a lot!”

Making roejig is a tedious, time-consuming process. I
wondered if there could possibly be an easier way to make this sweet delight.
Alice Bezjian to the rescue! In her cookbook, ‘The
Complete Armenian Cookbook
’, I discovered a less labor-intensive version of
roejig. Does it pass the taste test? I don’t honestly know; her recipe has not
been tested in The Armenian Kitchen. (Sorry!)

Compare the recipe below with the original one and you’ll
see the difference.

(Easier)
Grape Juice Rojik (Roejig)
from Alice Bezjian’s, ‘The Complete Armenian Cookbook’
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups Cornstarch    
 4 Cups Water              
 5 Cups Sugar             
 1 Cup Concentrated grape juice   
  1⁄2 Pound Walnut halves, shelled       
Directions:
1. Combine the cornstarch with the 1 cup water in a
mixing bowl and stir to dissolve.
2. Add 1 cup more water.
3. Pour the mixture through a strainer to remove the
lumps. Set aside.
4. In a saucepan combine the sugar and concentrated grape
juice in 2 cups of the water.
5. Over medium heat, stir until sugar is dissolved.
6. Gently stir one-half of the sugar mixture into the
starch mixture. Then add the remaining sugar mixture and cook over medium heat,
stirring constantly, for 20 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.
7. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring, about 1
hour, or until the mixture forms threadlike pieces when dropped into cold
water.
8. Pour half the mixture into an 11×7-inch pan liberally
dusted with cornstarch.
9. Press walnut halves into the mixture in 3 or 4 close
rows.
10. Pour the remaining mixture over the nuts.
11. Sprinkle with more cornstarch.
12. Cover with plastic wrap for at least 10 hours.
13. Using the walnut rows as your guide, cut the rojik
into 3 or 4 rows.
14. Generously roll each strip into cornstarch.
15. Wrap each roll separately in wax paper and freeze
until you are ready to serve.
Then unwrap, bring to room temperature, and cut into
slices about a quarter inch thick.
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3 Comments

  1. iMe May 23, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    That's an interesting way to do it !
    Actually, I didn't know that was also called "Rojik", I was only provided with "sujuk" for a name !

    However, thanks a lot for the recipe(s), and I will have 2 further questions :
    – How to keep the sujuk (closed plastic box, metal box, covered…) and how long to keep it (at least, for the part which is not eaten immediately 😉 ) ?
    – Concerning the grape juice, a technical question : is the juice from any store/supermarket also relevant or is only the home made juice indicated ? (even if I do assume that the home-made will be better, for a first try, I was wondering) ?

    Thanks a lot !

    Reply
  2. Unknown June 28, 2013 at 2:38 am

    I know the traditional Bastegh is not suppose to be made during hot and humid weather, can this be made anytime during the year.

    Vicki

    Reply
  3. Tiffany September 26, 2013 at 5:05 am

    Fantastic!

    Reply

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