The Feast of Saint Sarkis, a moveable celebration, falls on
Saturday, February 16th this year. Saint Sarkis, the Warrior, is one of the
most venerated Armenian saints and is considered the patron saint of love and
recipes include Kumba Cake, Khashil Don – a pudding, and KLONTRAK –
a type of halva (These recipes are below).
Sarkis HALVA. By that she meant that the recipe she found uses mastic powder or
mastic gum rather than the marshmallow fluff or crème that is often used to
make St. Sarkis halva today.
gum – is used in sweets (candies and ice cream), baking (choreg), and medicine. It can generally be found in Middle Eastern stores – and – be purchased
#1. The authentic recipe for St. Sarkis Halva from Sonia Tashjian:
|Sonia Tashjian’s authentic St. Sarkis Halva|
Make Syrup: Boil 1 cup of sugar with 1/3 cup of water; then add 1/2 tsp. of lemon juice & 1/2 tsp. of crushed mastic (mastic powder called ‘maztaki’ in Armenian).
walnuts on a tray. Using a spoon pour small amounts of the syrup onto the sesame
seed-walnut mixture on the tray forming small mounds; allow it to sit until it
is lukewarm. Finally, pour extra sesame on them. After some hours, the halva
will be firm.
|Sonia’s Kumba Cake
desire, roast the flour, until it turns to pale. Mix the flour, sugar, baking
powder and the spices.
& boiling water, stir until a thick dough is formed.
honey, nuts & raisins.
dough in a large non-stick pan. Put the wrapped coin in it & cover with
hands in water and smooth out the surface of the dough.
sesame seeds on the surface.
350° F, about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
According to Sonia, this holiday is also known as Khashili Don, because the main dish served on this day is a pudding which has been boiled. (‘Don’ means holiday; ‘Khashil’ means boil, in Armenian).
since Pagan times. So, each holiday it had been used in recipes to
honor the gods.
|Sonia’s Khashil Don Pudding
Please Note: The amounts given for the pearled wheat and water are estimates.
is used to make harissa/keshkeg)
to create a creamy pudding-like texture
evenly golden. Let it cool, then grind with a coffee grinder. (In Armenian the
toasted wheat is called ‘aghants’; the ground toasted wheat is ‘pokhints’.)
get a creamy pudding consistency. Stir in salt according to your taste.
(plain yogurt), then bring it to a gentle boil.
pour matsun around it & garnish with melted butter or fried onion in the
middle of pudding.
|Sonia’s Klontrak (halva)
until golden – stirring often. Let it cool, then grind with a coffee grinder.
(or honey), into the ground wheat. Knead it with fingers, then form small