This time of year is filled with fund-raising events at St. David Armenian Church, Boca Raton, FL.- especially the month of February. To kick-off the fun-filled month, the Women’s Guild is sponsoring “Cupid Capers” Fun Night on February 11, serving Armenian delicacies and desserts, while Onnik Dinkjian, Harry Minassian, Leon Janikian, Ara Dinkjian, and Mike Gregian provide the best-ever musical entertainment. (Sorry, tickets will not be sold at the door.)
To round out the month, the annual Food Festival takes place on February 25 and 26, featuring traditional Armenian delights such as lamb, chicken and losh kebab, kheyma, yalanchi, Armenian pastries and so much more.
That’s a lot of food and fun, my friends!
Flyers were mailed announcing each event, but what really caught my eye was the mention of khashlama, the featured dish for the ‘Yerevan Night” event. I didn’t recall ever seeing this on a church-event menu before, nor was I sure what ingredients the cooks were using for their recipe – except for the potatoes that were mentioned in the flyer.
I researched what constitutes khashlama, and here’s what I discovered:
Khashlama (Hashlama), simply put, is a boiled meat dish, generally beef or lamb (or mutton, where available) seasoned with herbs and some salt – a stew, of sorts, in its most basic form.
Petrosian also makes reference to khashlama from the cookbook, “The Oriental Cookbook – Wholesome, Dainty and Economical Dishes of the Orient, Especially Adapted to American Tastes and Methods of Preparation”, by Ardashes Keoleian, formerly of Constantinople, printed in 1913. Keoleian indicated that khashlama is an economical, popular dish where you make separate use of meat and broth.
Here is the most basic recipe for Khashlama (Hashlama) from Mr. Keoleian’s cookbook:
[Ebmeni Et Hashlama Teetibi.]
Meat 3 to 4 pounds, leg, haunch or shoulder of beef, mutton or lamb (or in desired quantity).
Parsley 1 bunch.
Dry Onions 2, medium.
Tomatoes 2, ripe (or 3 to 4 tablespoonfuls of canned tomatoes).
Salt and pepper, to taste.
Take the meat, wash and put in a vessel with sufficient amount of cold water. Bring it to a boil and take the scum off. Boil until the meat is tender.
Pour over a cupful of the broth. Season the whole to taste and place in a moderately hot oven until the vegetable ingredients are fully cooked.
Serve hot and sliced, use own gravy as sauce.
|Khashlama – ready to serve
Khashlama- Boynton Beach style
2 lbs. lean lamb, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 fresh tomatoes, diced
½ large yellow pepper, coarsely chopped
½ large red pepper, coarsely chopped
½ cup flat leaf parsley (stems removed; leaves left whole)
½ cup crushed tomato
¼ cup tomato paste
2 cups lamb broth (water, beef or chicken broth may be substituted)
1 tsp. marjoram, or to taste
Salt, black pepper and paprika, as needed
|Cooking lamb cubes on the stovetop|
1. Place lamb cubes in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Remove scum as it rises to the surface. Cook, uncovered, until meat starts to become tender, about 1 hour.
3. Strain lamb broth and pour into a liquid measuring cup. Add water, if necessary, to make 2 cups.
|Vegetables, broth and lamb ready to bake|
4. Add the tomatoes, peppers and parsley to the meat in the casserole dish. Gently toss.
5. Mix together the tomato puree, tomato paste and lamb broth. Pour liquid over the meat and vegetables, gently mixing together.
Serve in a bowl with bread (for dipping) or over bulgur pilaf.