Searching for Buska – or something like that!

As we’ve mentioned many-a-time, Armenian recipes using the same ingredients go by different names or spellings, depending on the region from which our ancestors came. For instance, fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar or dunked in simple syrup can go by a number of names or spellings – bishi/beeshee, zing-a-ling/znglig, or even lokma.

So when Judi Brogioli’s request  for “buska” came my way, I started  hunting. No recipes turned up with the spelling she provided, and nothing else came close.

Here’s  Judi’s request:
“How wonderful to read your Armenian Kitchen web page.  It brings wonderful memories to me of my recently deceased 104 year old friend, Rose Vartanian, of Hopkinton, MA and the absolutely fabulous recipe she made which she called (spelling?) Buska.  I have written the name the way it sounds.  It consisted of roasting lamb shanks with various vegetables to include eggplant, zucchini squash, lemon, tomatoes, rice, summer (yellow) squash, spices unknown, and either roasted with rice or served over separately cooked rice.
I am wondering if you have heard of this recipe or a similar one.  Eating her wonderful Armenian food was a childhood treat that I shall never forget.”

Since Judi listed the ingredients she recalled in buska, it narrowed down my search. In fact, it sounded very much like our gouvedge recipe which I sent to her. If Judi makes it with the lamb shanks and vegetable selection she mentioned, it might just work.

In the meantime, if any of you are familiar with buska, or a recipe with those ingredients under a different name, please email it to:
Thank you!

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  1. Ara November 7, 2011 at 7:07 am

    It does sound like gouvedge or turlu. However, it could also be bozbash, a stew of meat and vegetables (Echmiadzin bozbash is the best known of this variety of stews). It would help if we knew from which part of Armenia Rose was.

  2. Robyn November 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Yes! I, too, was thinking that Echmiadzin Bozbash was a possibility. Similar ingredients; different names. Thanks for mentioning it!

  3. Judi April 11, 2015 at 5:48 am

    Someone in the local area mentioned it might have been called Bastika (spelling??). Does this sound familiar?

    1. Robyn Kalajian April 12, 2015 at 2:04 am

      Sorry, Judi. I haven't been able to locate a recipe by that name, or anything similar. Did you try making the gouvedge recipe?

  4. Judi April 11, 2015 at 5:56 am

    Rose was born in Adana, Armenia


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