Siserov Kufteh (Seesere Kufta)- Chick Pea Kufteh

Lucine Kasbarian’s father, CK Garabed, is searching for Siserov Kufteh, a Dikranagerdtsi recipe, which is served primarily during Lent.
He stated, “Most Armenians make Topig, which calls for a filling. However, Siserov Kufteh requires no filling. Basically, it involves boiling ground chick peas in water, and forming into tennis-sized balls. When cooked and cooled, the balls are crumbled into a spinach-rice soup. In addition, the balls, when cooled may be sliced and fried in olive oil…”

CK, here is a recipe for Seesere Kufta, sent to me by Alice (Doramajian) Bakalian. It was her mother, Baidzar’s recipe.

Alice wrote this in a most amusing way; I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I did! A second recipe from Alice follows this one.

#1: Seesere Kufta
      by Baidzar, as written by Alice Bakalian with a sense of humor! 

  • Mint – not too much or it will taste lousy.
  • Salt and coriander
  • Seesere must be soaked for 3 days – at least!
  • Each day water must be changed twice or you are in BIG trouble.
  • After soaking comes the grinding with the medium blade on your machine.
  • Whatever water accumulates in the machine, pour into ground seesere.
  • If machine is water tight, you are LUCKYYYYYY!
  • If leaking, then I would suggest you pull up a chair and place a pot under the machine to collect seepage.
  • Just thought I’d remind you: Before grinding the seesere, prepare a very large pot with briskly boiling water to which 1 ½ Tablespoons of cornstarch has been added.
  • To continue: Mix all ingredients together.
  • Knead everything with a little water (very little).
  • After mixing, you will form mixture into balls the size of your hand – rounded on top, flat on the bottom.
  • Put these cute little concoctions into the boiling water – Don’t overcrowd! They should swim around like dolphins.
  • While boiling, get yourself and Eberhard #2 pencil. Break off the metal and eraser, then break off the point – making both ends flat.
  • Now strip off all the paint on the pencil and you are ready. (If no pencils are around, a bamboo skewer will do.)
  • After 20 minutes of boiling, take one of your dolphins out and insert your surgically prepared pencil (or bamboo skewer) into it gently.
  • If it slides off, pick up the pieces from the floor and throw it back into this inferno for about 10 minutes. Try this procedure again.

                             !!!!!Oh, what a MESS!!!!!

  • When it sticks to the pencil, you hang out a flag and call all the neighbors because you probably (scrupulously) forgot to wash and cut the 2 pounds of spinach.
  • Certainly they’ll help you! Let them do it in the living room; the kitchen is a disaster area by now!

                           !!!!!Oh My God, What a MESS!!!!!

  • By now your kuftas are done (about 5 hours) and you’re left with this strange gurgling liquid (UGH).
  • !!!!!Don’t Panic!!!!!
  • Do not drain, I repeat, Do not drain!
  • Leave as is.
  • I assume you’ve put some sumac in the water and brought to a boil, then cooled.
  • This has been sitting around, festering, while all of this nonsense is going on.
  • Drain the sumac and add liquid with a can of tomato paste. Add lemon, to taste, to the gurgle.
  • Cool this (uh, I really don’t know what to call it).
  • ANNYYYWWWWAAAYYY, cook until spinach is soft – and now you’ve got it made! 

                                 !!!!!Anoush Eghna!!!!!

PS: Cut about 2 pounds of onions, very fine. Cook until quite brown in oil. Mince garlic into some water and let it soak for a while. These can be added to each individual dish, if they are so inclined, of course.


 #2: Seeserov Kufta with Parsley and Scallions 

Instead of placing the kufta (chick pea) balls in the spinach, they can be prepared as follows:

Chop scallions and parsley; mix well into the ground seesere along with some flour, dried mint, ground coriander, salt and red pepper. Form into flat patties. Fry in olive oil until done.

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  1. Anonymous April 27, 2010 at 6:40 am

    Almost amusing. crossed the line to disgusting.

  2. Anonymous April 27, 2010 at 2:35 pm


  3. Elaine Cherekjian Wolfe March 9, 2012 at 1:34 am

    I am having seasade kufteh for tomorrow's lenten dinner. This is my version of my late
    Grandma Rose Cherekjian's recipe. I do not boil the kufteh's in cornstarch water because they kept falling apart so I just fry them and then put them into the spinach soup.

    1 1/2 cups dried chick peas
    2 tbsp dried mint
    2 1/2 tbsp coriander
    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    11/2 tsp salt

    Spinach soup recipe ingredients below.

    Soak the dried chick peas in water for three days. Change the water each day.
    On the final day, drain the chick peas and discard the water. Combine the spices
    and chick peas. Grind the chick peas and spices together in a meat grinder using
    the fine blade. The first pass of the mixture might be a little messy as the
    chick peas have absorbed some water. Make sure to wear an apron…sometimes the
    meat grinder spits at you! Knead the mixture together including the chick pea
    juice that came out of the meat grinder. Regrind the mixture two more times for
    a total of three grindings.

    Knead the mixture. Using a tablespoon size ice cream scooper, scoop the mixture
    into a ball. Roll the ball in your hand until it is perfectly round. Place it
    in one hand. With your other hand put your thumb on top and your index finger
    underneath, push inwards to make the ball into something that looks like a
    hockey puck. Repeat with rest of mixture.

    Pour canola or vegetable oil into a fry pan until the oil is one inch deep in
    the pan. Heat the oil until hot. Add a drop of mixture to see if it sizzles.
    Add the keftehs to the hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. I usually cook in three
    batches about eight in each batch. I have an electric stove so times might vary
    for you. I cook the keftehs three minutes on each side and then I place them on
    a paper towel to drain the excess oil.

    Spinach Soup

    2-3 onions
    2-3tbsp. Canola or vegetable oil
    2 – 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes
    1 1/2 cans water
    10 oz. spinach
    1 tsp. salt or salt to taste

    While the kefteh's are frying, I make the spinach soup. In a soup pot, fry 2-3
    chopped onions in 2-3 tablespoons of oil until slighlty browned. Add two 14 oz.
    cans of diced tomatoes, 1 1/2 cans of water, use empty tomato can, 10 oz. bag of
    fresh or frozen spinach…I like spinach so I sometimes add more and salt to
    taste. Bring to a boil and lower to simmer.

    After all of the kuftehs have been fried and drained, add the kufteh's to the
    soup pot and cook for 30 minutes on low.

    I usually make this three or four days ahead of time as the flavor tastes better. Serve hot or cold. Lemon may be added to taste.

    1. Robyn March 9, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      Elaine, Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful recipes!


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