Topik – an Easy Version for Lent!

When I wrote about the Lenten appetizer “Topig” (Topik) two years ago, I linked my story to blogger Joumana’s site ( since she had already gone to the trouble of preparing the recipe and posting it so beautifully. I still haven’t tried the authentic version of topig, and but gave it some serious thought with the return of Lent.

My counterpart in Yerevan, Sonia Tashjian, must have been reading my mind because as I was considering making topik, she emailed me her simpler version, which I have modified below. Her method sounded more my speed, in that the ingredients are mixed together, without the tedious shaping and stuffing. It’s still a bit of work, but not as daunting for the time-constrained cook.

Our Verdict: Very enjoyable! Doug said it reminded him of a combination of hummus and midia dolma – minus the mussels; I loved the sweetness of the currants and tartness of the lemon juice, but feel a pinch of cinnamon would have enhanced the flavor a little more.

Topik (Topig)

A vegan Lenten appetizer made of spiced chickpeas and potatoes.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Servings 21 pieces


  • 16 oz chickpeas (1 large can, drained, rinsed, skins removed)
  • 2 red potatoes, small (boiled, peeled, and cut in half)
  • 1 onion, medium (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 tsp cumin, ground
  • ¼ tsp red (cayenne) pepper
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • dash cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup pine nuts (chopped)
  • ¼ cup currants


  • Saute the onions in hot oil in a skillet until softened. Set aside.
  • Process the chickpeas and cooked potatoes in a food processor using the metal “S” blade.
  • Place the ground chickpeas, potatoes and remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl; mix well. 
  • Using your hands, knead the ingredients together, making sure the mixture holds together. NOTE: keep a bowl of water nearby to dip your hands, if mixture feels a little dry.
  • Shape the mixture into 21 ping pong sized balls.
  • Cut 21 (6”x6”) squares out of two-ply cheesecloth, and 21 (10”) strands of kitchen twine.
  • Wrap each ball in a cheesecloth and tie the top with a piece of twine.
  • Cook several topiks at a time in a pot of salted, gently boiling water, until they float to the top- about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Remove each from water; allow them to cool on a wire rack; untie them.
  • Serve the topik with a drizzle olive oil and squeeze of fresh lemon.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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  1. Anonymous March 11, 2012 at 1:17 am

    Hi Robyn!

    I once went to an "Armenian" restaurant in Carlsbad, CA and had a lemon-chicken soup that was very tasty. I don't see it on your list of recipes and wondered if it perhaps wasn't truly authentic Armenian cuisine. What is your take on this? I'd love to see a recipe for it if it is authentic because I'd make it at home!


    1. Lydia Romanin March 12, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks for the fast reply, Robyn! I am glad I came back to check today. 🙂 I will try the Chicken Soup after lent. I am SO happy that it is on your website. After I try it, I will definitely let you know how it turned out. Thanks a lot!

  2. Bob March 22, 2012 at 6:47 am

    I have found an even easier recipe for Topik in this blog:

    (you have to search the word topik in this blog, I dont know how to link to the specific blog entry)

    It is made as layers (like in a casserole) instead of balls.

    I made it once and it was delicious.

    I even made it even simpler to make by using store bought caramelised onions.

    I hope you enjoy it!

    1. Robyn March 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      Bob, Thanks for the heads-up on another, easier, topik recipe – plus your own time-saving tip! I'll save this preparation technique for next year. It's kind-of-like making sini kufteh, minus the baking.

  3. Louise Kiffer April 27, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Many thanks to all of you for those recipes, it is very interesting to compare with what we are doing at home.

  4. Anonymous February 25, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    You have completely destroyed topik, they aren't supposed to look like oatmeal-raisin cookies. If you aren't going to do it properly, what's the point of doing it at all?

    1. Robyn February 26, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      Your purist attitude is appreciated, but not everyone can – or – is willing to make the authentic version of topig/topik. The shortcut method provides the "taste" satisfaction.

  5. Unknown January 28, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    I even freeze it for when unexpected company show up.
    For myself, I take out a few and have a feast. thank you for the short cut version.

  6. Karen Walker March 10, 2023 at 2:19 pm

    Is there any culinary or taste point to the boiling step? All the ingredients are already cooked, so is it just to heat them through?


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