There’s been a lot of buzz about kufteh lately on several
Armenian cooking Face Book sites. People are asking: What ingredients are used?
Which shape is the best – meatball-shape, football-shape or flying
saucer-shape? Is it better to bake, fry it, or boil kufteh? Is it best served
with or without madzoon (yogurt)?
ancestors came from.
family, from Musa Dagh (Musa Ler), made football shaped kufteh, with extremely
thin shells, stuffed to the max with a delicious filling. My father’s side of
the family, from Dikranagerd, made flying saucer shaped kuftehs – flat on the
bottom, rounded on the top, with an equally tasty filling.
|This is a photo of Kibbeh from Wikepedia, but it gives you the idea of the Musa Ler football-shaped Kufteh.|
and baked which produced a lovely golden color and a little crunch from the shell. The
center was moist and flavorful. This was served as an entrée with a dollop of
madzoon, and a side salad, or served floating in a madzoon-based soup.
Sometimes we just ate them hot-out-of-the oven – without accompaniment!
(Sadly, I never mastered making this style of kufteh. My grandmother tried in vain to teach me how to make the thin, football-shaped shell. “Your hands are too hot”, she’d say in broken English. Even dipping my hands in very cold water didn’t do the trick for me.)
serving plate and served with madzoon. The exterior was soft and the center
oozed a buttery-meaty filling with every bite. We also have a heart-healthy version of the Dikranagerdtsi-style kufteh. Click here for the recipe and video.
very time consuming. If you love this dish, but don’t have the time, or an army
of helpers, don’t despair. I will share two other ways to get the kufteh taste
without the traditional shape or hard work.
|Kufteh Meechoog (Filling)|
heat. Add chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft
– about 10 to 15 minutes.
no longer pink. Drain any excess fat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
remaining seasonings, parsley, and pine nuts. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.
center of the plate (or bowl), top with meechoog, and a dollop of madzoon, if
desired. A tomato-cucumber salad makes a perfect accompaniment.
water. Allow bulgur to absorb the water to soften. Drain excess water, if
mixing with your hands until well-combined. If the mixture seems a bit dry, add
a little warm water, and mix it in with your hands until you reach your desired
ready to use.
it is no longer pink. Drain any excess fat. Remove meat from pan.
olive oil. Add onions and cook until onions become soft. Add the seasonings,
parsley and cooked meat; cook another 2 minutes; remove from heat and allow
filling to cool. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Stir in pine nuts. Set filling
aside until ready to use.
|Assembling the sini kufteh|
|Side view of sini kufteh layers|
pie pan. Lightly grease the bottom of the pan.
of the pan, flattening it evenly to fit the shape of the pan.
of the shell mixture.
step. Using a large piece of parchment paper or waxed paper, flatten the
remaining portion of the shell mixture with your hands or a rolling pin so that
it will fit the shape of the pan. Lift the paper with flattened topping and
carefully invert it over the filling in the baking pan; gently peel the paper
away and lightly press down the top layer. If the top layer cracks or
separates, dip your fingers in the bowl of warm water and press the topping
back together. Tuck in the edges.
layer into squares or diamond- shaped portions. Brush surface with a little
olive oil or melted butter.
until top is golden brown.