Best St. Sarkis Halva Recipes

St. Sarkis Halva Shopping Tips

Be sure to purchase the correct flour a recipe calls for – flours differ in gluten or protein content, making each suited for specific tasks.

St. Sarkis Halva Cooking Tips

Insert a toothpick into the center of cakes, bar cookies, and quick breads to test for doneness – it should come out clean or only have a few crumbs clinging to it.

Wine Pairing

Sweet chenin blanc, muscat, or amontillado sherry with nut-based desserts; sauternes or sweet German wines with pound cake, cheesecake, and other mildly sweet desserts; sweet chenin blanc or muscat or Alsatian vendange tardive (late harvest) wines with sweeter desserts; sweet chenin blanc or muscat or Alsatian vendange tardive (late harvest) wines, port, madeira, late-harvest zinfandel, or cabernet sauvignon or cabernet franc with chocolate desserts.

St. Sarkis Day is coming up, and there are traditions (and recipes) associated with both the day and eve!

Olive and Walnut Salad, or Shepherd’s Dinner, is a delicious dish that hails from Musa Ler, which is rich in both olives and walnuts. It is said to have been created out of utility, as it was a quick and accessible meal for those working the land.

Carolann Najarian’s Whole Wheat Choreg Experiment

Carolann Najarian is a woman of many talents – she is a
retired physician, author, philanthropist, and now, a choreg baker.

Carolann Najarian’s whole wheat choreg

Over the years, Carolann and I have communicated about this-and-that via The
Armenian Kitchen .
Recently she wrote saying she wanted to try her hand at baking choreg.
She said her mother used to make a choreg which was not too sweet, somewhat
dry, a bit dense, and was formed into diamond shapes. She no longer had her
mother’s recipe – a family favorite – and turned to my website hoping to find a

Her mother’s recipe sounded much like a recipe request I
received ages ago for a Kharpetsi-style chorag recipe called Koolunja, a word
she wasn’t familiar with. After reaching out to my readers about Koolunja, I
never had any responses. My research provided a clue about koolunja (aka
kalonji) and discovered it means ‘black seeds’.

For Carolann’s future use, I sent her a recipe for ‘Koolenja’ by Agnes Carman Hovsepian, from
the cookbook, ‘Armenian Cuisine – Preserving Our Heritage’, St. John’s Armenian
Church, Southfield, Michigan.

Rachel and Nonny Hogrogian’s cookbook

“I did make the half whole wheat/ half all-purpose flour
chorag and it is very good. I used the same recipe (almost) that I used last
time simply because I had made twice before and felt comfortable with it. It is
from Rachel and Nonny Hogrogian’s cookbook, ‘The Armenian Cookbook’.” Her
recipe, an adaptation of Rachel Hogrogian’s Choreg recipe, follows.

Carolann’s whole wheat choreg – hot out of the oven!

Carolann Najarian’s Whole Wheat Choreg Recipe

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I've been making choreg for many years and was never satisfied with the results until I tried the recipe in Armenian Cooking Today, a cookbook I've had since 1979. It turned out to be the best. My mother and I both made spiral and twisted shapes. Never thought of diamond shape, but I'll try it now. Looks beautiful.

The diamond shape certainly makes this an easy choreg recipe. I have the same cookbook – got it as a 1st Anniversary gift back in 1978!

Wonderful site. Thank you for these recipes.

My Mother use to roll the dough out into a large rectangle and then fold the rectangle into thirds. She would cut out diamond shapes and then let the shapes rise before cooking them. I have looked in many cookbooks and on line to see if any recipe called for her method of folding and then cutting the dough. Mon's choreg was delicious with the various layers of cooked dough rather than a single layer of dough. Have you ever seen a recipe that called for rolling out the dough and folding it? Thank you, Diane
PS ZIs Carolann from Providence, RI?

The Feast of St. Sarkis, the Authentic St. Sarkis Halva Recipe, and other traditional recipes from Sonia Tashjian

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

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).

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).

Sonia’s Khashil Don Pudding

Please Note: The amounts given for the pearled wheat and water are estimates.

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Greetings, I love your site. My grandmother came from Turkey in 1900 and landed at Ellis Island. Her name was Anna Tashjian. Since all records were destroyed I cannot trace her family. Could Sonia Tashjian be related to my grandmother??You could give her my e-mail.

Hi Unknown.
Tashjian is very common family name. TASHJI means stone – cutter, very usual profession in whole Armenia. so there are a lot of people with the that surname. only if your grandma is from Musa ler we will be relatives, because there has been only one dynasty. thank you.

Best St. Sarkis Halva Recipes - Recipes

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St. Sarkis the Warrior Our Pastor Church Etiquette Directions Stewardship Request Forms News & Events. Parish News Event Calendar Photo Albums Videos .

Last Sunday August 4, 2013, young children and their parents gathered at St. Sarkis Church at 9:00 AM for the monthly family worship service.

Saint Sarkis Church (Armenian: Սուրբ Սարգիս եկեղեցի), is an Armenian church in Harpukh Sulfuric Baths district of Old Tbilisi, Georgia.

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  Last February, Debbie Boyadjian wrote to The Armenian Kitchen.com looking for a recipe for St. Sarkis Halva. After an exhaustive search, I was able to .

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Sarkis is a common given name and family name in the Middle East. It is also Western Armenian variant for the Eastern Armenian name Sargis. Sarkis may refer to:

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St. Sarkis the Warrior . The namesake of our church, St. Sarkis, was a Roman soldier who was persecuted for his Christian faith and sought refuge in Armenia in the .

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In keeping with St. Sarkis Day, which falls on February 4 th this year, Sonia also shared one of her grandmother’s special recipes to commemorate the day – KUMBA .

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Best St. Sarkis Halva Recipes - Recipes

Sunday Readings: Isaiah 63:18-64:12 Titus 1:1-11 John 7: 37-52.

Join us in worship this Sunday

Divine Liturgy 10:45 AM - Sermon 11:45 AM

Առաւօտեան Ժամերգութիւն 10։00

Ս. Պատարագ 10։45- Քարոզ 11։45

Last Sunday, January 27, 2013 the parish of St. Sarkis Church celebrated the feast of its patron saint ­– St. Sarkis. Archbishop Oshagan, the Prelate, celebrated the Divine Liturgy and during which he ordained Berdj Agopian, Peter Agopian, Shant Megherian, and Haig Baghdassarian as acolytes and Berdj Agopian, Daniel Megerian, Mark Megerian, Christapor Megherian and James Mengouchian, as sub-deacons. Serpazan Also delivered the sermon congratulating the newly ordained and exhorting them to carry on their responsibilities faithfully.

Following church services a banquet was held at the main hall of the church with an eloquent artistic program executed by Mrs. Sirvart Krikorian, Anna Aidinian and Rita Aidinian. The newly ordained sub deacons addressed the community through short speeches and thanked Serpazan for ordaining them. The event was concluded with the message and blessings of Archbishop Oshagan.

We thank Dr. and Mrs. Raffi & Nairy Zohrabian for sponsoring the banquet, Mr. and Mrs. Ardash and Yester Garabedian for making and donating the traditional St. Sarkis Halva (desert), Mrs. Sirvart Krikorian, Mrs. Anna Aidinian and Mrs. Rita Aidinian for their talent and Mr. Edward Barsamian for MC-ing the event.

The Pastor of St. Sarkis Church Attended Annual Ghevontiantz Clergy Gathering

Fr. Nareg Terterian joined the clergy of the three North American Prelacies at St. Gregory Church in San Francisco, where for the annual clergy gathering and conference on the occasion of the Feast of St. Ghevont and the Priests convened under the presidency of the three prelates, Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian (Western), Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan (Eastern), and Archbishop Khajag Hagopian (Canadian).
The theme of the conference was “Loyalty & Service” which was carried out through various lectures, meditations and discussions. Morning and evening church services were observed and a special Mass was celebrated by Fr. Meghrig Parikian (Pastor of St. Mary’s Armenian Church in Toronto) and the sermon was delivered by Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, with clergy serving on the Altar.
Fr. Nareg led a meditation during the morning service on Tuesday which could be read here.

Valentine's Party

The 5th annual Valentine’s Party is Tomorrow. Get your tickets today to enjoy great music, delicious food, refreshing drinks. Reunite with old acquaintances, and meet new people.


On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
On hearing his words, some of the people said, "Surely this man is the Prophet." Others said, "He is the Christ." Still others asked, "How can the Christ come from Galilee? Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David's family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?" Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him. Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, "Why didn't you bring him in?"
"No one ever spoke the way this man does," the guards declared.
"You mean he has deceived you also?" the Pharisees retorted. "Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law-there is a curse on them.


Տօնին վերջին եւ հանդիսաւոր օրը, Յիսուս ոտքի կանգնած՝ բարձրաձայն կ՚ըսէր.- Ով որ ծարաւ է՝ թող ինծի գայ եւ խմէ: Ով որ ինծի կը հաւատայ, ինչպէս սուրբ գիրքը կ՚ըսէ՝ «Անոր սիրտէն կենսատու ջուրի գետեր պիտի բղխին»:
Յիսուս ասիկա կ՚ըսէր Հոգիին համար, որ իրեն հաւատացողները պիտի ընդունէին. իսկ Հոգին տակաւին չէր տրուած, քանի Յիսուս փառաւորուած չէր:
Ժողովուրդէն ոմանք երբ լսեցին այս խօսքերը, ըսին.- Ասիկա է ճշմարիտ մարգարէն: Ուրիշներ կ՚ըսէին.- Քրիստոսն է: Իսկ ոմանք ալ կ՚ըսէին.- Միթէ Գալիլեայէ՞ն պիտի գայ Քրիստոսը: Սուրբ գիրքը չ՚ը՞սեր՝ թէ Քրիստոս Դաւիթ թագաւորի սերունդէն պիտի ըլլայ եւ Դաւիթի քաղաքին՝ Բեթլեհէմի մէջ պիտի ծնի:
Եւ Յիսուսի պատճառով տարակարծութիւններ յառաջ եկան ժողովուրդին մէջ: Ոմանք ուզեցին ձերբակալել զինք, բայց ոչ ոք համարձակեցաւ ձեռք զարնել:
Երբ տաճարին պահակները վերադարձան, աւագ քահանաներն ու Փարիսեցիները հարցուցին անոնց.- Ինչո՞ւ զինք հոս չբերիք:
Պահակները պատասխանեցին.- Այս մարդուն պէս խօսող երբեք չենք տեսած:
Փարիսեցիները ըսին.- Ի՞նչ, դո՞ւք ալ խաբուեցաք: Իշխանաւորներէն կամ Փարիսեցիներէն ոեւէ մէկը հաւատա՞ց անոր: Մեր Օրէնքը չգիտցող տգէտ ամբոխը միայն հաւատաց: Անոնք արդէն իսկ նզովուած են:

TITUS (1:1-11)

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness- a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, and at his
appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,
To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless-not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach and that for the sake of dishonest gain.

ՏԻՏՈՍԻ (1:1-11)

Ես, Պօղոս, Աստուծոյ ծառան եւ Յիսուս Քրիստոսի առաքեալը, կոչուած եմ Աստուծոյ ընտրեալները բերելու հաւատքի եւ ճշմարտութեան ճանաչումին, այն ճշմարտութեան՝ որ աստուածպաշտութեամբ կը գտնուի, որպէսզի յաւիտենական կեանքի յոյսը ունենան: Յաւիտենական ժամանակներէն իսկ առաջ՝ անսուտն Աստուած ինք խոստացաւ այդ կեանքը, իսկ հիմա՝ յարմար ժամանակը հասած համարելով՝ այդ խոստումը յայտնեց իր Աւետարանով, որուն քարոզութեան կոչուեցայ մեր փրկիչ Աստուծոյն հրամանով:
Ո՛վ Տիտոս, մեր հասարակաց հաւատքի ճամբով իմ հարազատ որդիս, թող Հայրն Աստուած եւ մեր փրկիչը Քրիստոս Յիսուս շնորհք եւ խաղաղութիւն պարգեւեն քեզի:
Քեզ Կրետէ թողուցի, որպէսզի եկեղեցիին պէտքերը հոգաս եւ զայն կազմակերպես՝ իւրաքանչիւր քաղաքի մէջ երէցներ կարգելով, ինչպէս որ քեզի պատուիրեցի: Երիցութեան թեկնածուն պէտք է անմեղադրելի ըլլայ, մէկ կնոջ այր ըլլայ եւ հաւատացեալ զաւակներ ունենայ, որոնք անառակութեամբ եւ անհնազանդութեամբ ամբաստանուած չըլլան: Արդարեւ, եպիսկոպոսը՝ որպէս Աստուծոյ տնտեսը՝ պէտք է անմեղադրելի ըլլայ: Պէտք չէ յանդուգն, բարկացող, գինեմոլ, կռուազան կամ շահամոլ ըլլայ, այլ՝ հիւրասէր, բարին սիրող, զուսպ, արդար, մաքուր եւ ժուժկալ: Պէտք է ամրօրէն պահէ իր սորված վստահելի վարդապետութիւնը, որպէսզի կարենայ ուղիղ ուսուցումով յորդորել ուրիշները եւ յանդիմանել հակառակորդները:
Որովհետեւ բազմաթիւ անհնազանդներ, դատարկախօսներ եւ միտք պղտորողներ կան, մանաւանդ հրէութենէ դարձածներուն մէջ, որոնց բերանը պէտք է փակել, որովհետեւ անոնք ամբողջ տուներ կը քանդեն, շահամոլութենէ տարուած ուսուցանելով բաներ, որ պէտք չէ ուսուցանել:

Did You Miss Church Last Sunday?

Nothing can replace the experience of attending church on Sundays and being part of the Devine Liturgy celebration. However, you can listen to the sermon that was delivered at St. Sarkis Church last Sunday.

In conjunction with the Ghevontiants commemoration, all Prelacy parishes will observe a special requiem service this Sunday, February 3, in memory of the deceased clergy who served the Prelacy.

His Holiness Catholicos Karekin I, Supreme Patriarch of All Armenians, Archbishop Hrant Khatchadourian, Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian, Archbishop Sumbat Lapajian, V. Rev. Fr. Vaghinag Sisagian, V. Rev. Fr. Ghevont Martougesian, V. Rev. Fr. Nishan Papazian, V. Rev. Fr. Barour Ekmekjian, V. Rev. Fr. Oshagan Minasian, Rev. Fr. Mesrob Amrigian, Rev. Fr. Arsen Varjabedian, Rev. Fr. Mateos Mannigian, Rev. Fr. Bedros Mampreian, Rev. Fr. Stepanos Garabedian, Rev. Fr. Mesrob Der Hovanesian, Rev. Fr. Houssig Naghnikian, Rev. Fr. Adom Melikian, Rev. Fr. Yeghishe Kasbarian, Rev. Fr. Ghevont Khosrovian, Rev. Fr. Bedros Kasarjian, Rev. Fr. Sahag Balian, Rev. Fr. Ghevont Papazian, Rev. Fr. Papken Kasbarian, Rev. Fr. Sahag Yeghigyan, Rev. Fr. Nerses Shahinian, Rev. Fr. Bsag Sarkisian, Rev. Fr. Yeghishe Mkitarian, Rev. Fr. Souren Papakhian, Rev. Fr. Arsen Simeoniantz, Rev. Fr. Movses Der Stepanian, Rev. Fr. Mampre Biberian, Rev. Fr. Khachadour Giragossian, Rev. Fr. Yervant Yeretzian, Rev. Fr. Gomidas Der Torosian, Rev. Fr. Movses Shrikian, Rev. Fr. Dickran Khoyan, Rev. Fr. Smpad Der Mekhsian, Rev. Fr. Vahan Ghazarian, Rev. Fr. Ashod Kochian, Rev. Fr. Arshavir Sevdalian, Rev. Fr. Kourken Yaralian, Rev. Fr. Arsen Hagopian, Rev. Fr. Sarkis Antreasian, Rev. Fr. Sahag Andekian, Rev. Fr. Hmayag Minoyan, Rev. Fr. Krikor Hairabedian, Rev. Fr. Asoghik Kiledjian, Rev. Fr. Varant Bedrosian, Rev. Fr. Sahag Vertanessian, Rev. Fr. Vartan Kassabian, Rev. Fr. Torkom Hagopian, Rev. Fr. Anoushavan Artinian, Rev. Fr. Geghart Baboghlian, Rev. Fr. Arshag Daghlian, Rev. Fr. Vatche Naccachian, Rev. Fr. Vahrich Shirinian, Rev. Fr. Vartan Arakelian.

- Տիար Սիրուն եւ Օրդ. Անի Եսայեան, Տիար Երուանդ եւ Օրդ. Արեւ Սարգիսեան հոգեհանգիստ կը խնդրեն իրենց, ծնողներուն, քրոջ եւ քերայրին ԱՆԴՐԱՆԻԿ ԵՍԱՅԵԱՆի մահուան 29-րդ տարելիցին առթիւ եւ ԱՐՇՕ (ԹՈՒՇԻԿ) ԵՍԱՅԵԱՆի մահուան 6-րդ տարելիցին առթիւ։

- Mrs. Mannig Kasparian, passed on January 28, 2013. Funeral services took place on February 1, 2013. We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family. May she rest in peace.

- Mrs. ARAXI KARNIKIAN, passed on January 30, 2013. Funeral services will take place at Saint Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 10:00 AM. We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family. May she rest in peace.

Holy Voskian Priests
Today, Thursday, January 31, the Armenian Church remembers the Voskian priests—five men who were sent to Rome as ambassadors by the Armenian king, Sanadrook. On the road to Rome they met the Apostle Thaddeus who converted and baptized them. The leader of the five was named Voski. They lived in the mountains as hermits for forty years, after which they preached to the Royal Court. They were martyred in 107 AD.

St. Sahag Bartev
This Saturday, February 2, the Armenian Church commemorates Catholicos Sahag (Isaac) Bartev, a strong and great leader who is recognized as one of the greatest saints of the Armenian Church.
He was the son of St. Nerses the Great and a descendant of St. Gregory the Illuminator. Orphaned at an early age, he nevertheless received an excellent literary education in Constantinople, especially in eastern languages. He was the one who encouraged and supported Mesrob Mashdots in the creation of the Armenian alphabet. Soon after this great event Catholicos Sahag began the first translation of the Holy Bible and he led and guided the vast body of works that were translated into Armenian, thus creating Armenia’s “Golden Age of Literature.” He was an ardent believer in education and ecclesiastical discipline and canon law. He is recognized as the person who kept Armenia ecclesiastically and nationally autonomous.
St. Sahag lived to an advanced age (some sources say 110 years) however, the exact date of his death is not known. With the death of Catholicos Sahag Bartev the line of St. Gregory the Illuminator came to an end.

Sts. Ghevont And Priests
This Tuesday, February 5, the Armenian Church commemorates the Feast of the Holy Ghevontian (Leontine) priests. After the battle of Vartanantz, a group of priests and deacons was abducted by the Persian king and imprisoned, tortured and martyred. Ghevont is revered as the leader of the group because he was an advisor to Vartan Mamigonian and he delivered an inspiring message on the eve of the battle at Avarayr. Ghevont, who was highly educated, assisted Sahag and Mesrob in translating the Bible into Armenian.

Paklava – Traditional Style


Filling Ingredients

Main Ingredients



To Clarify Butter

Simple Syrup

Tried this recipe? Let us know how it was!

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Funny timing, we're planning on making Paklava today. We were always taught to pour hot syrup over cold Paklava though. Hot on hot for Kadayif, hot on Cold for Paklava. I've never heard of anyone refrigerating it before. Does it make it easier to cut? That's the one thing I don't like about making Paklava. Either the layers try to slide apart while I'm slicing it, or I smush it trying to hold it together.

My mom taught me that you either pour hot syrup on cold paklava or cold syrup on paklava so I think both are correct ways. Funny how those little things get passed down.

Yours looks fantastic. I'm ready to make some now.

Seems like every region has a slightly different method. I was taught to pour just enough of the cooled syrup over hot paklava so you hear a 'sizzle'. Extra syrup should be available for those who like their paklava wet. (I prefer mine a bit crispy.)
Chris, chilling the unbaked paklava does make it easier to slice, but it's still a little tricky no matter what! Good luck with your recipe.

I'm really looking forward to trying to make paklava for Easter. I've wanted to try for a long time and, after reading your introduction, it seems like Easter season is really the right time. I've been enjoying your website and videos. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks Jeremy! Paklava is great anytime, but Easter is when it takes center-stage. I'd love to know how yours turns out…good luck.

I do hot syrup on hot paklava. it sizzles like crazy and helps keep the bottom crispy. I also add 1 tsp of vanilla to the syrup. What a difference that makes. Our family went crazy for that change. Gotta try refrigerating befor cutting.

Thanks for your tip…vanilla sounds like a tasty addition to the syrup!

i make it this way but i also found an easy shortcut version. buy frozen baklava shells ( mini size, make the filling mixture then fill the cups using a teaspoon bake for 8 minutes or until brown. add the syrup using a teaspoon until you get the desired amount of syrup you want in the cups. the first time i did it i added way to much syrup and they came out very wet. 1-1/2teaspoons works well and gives it just the right amount of syrup and sweetness

We also make a shortcut, mini paklava just as you have described: http://thearmeniankitchen.com/2009/03/paklava-anyone.html

My mom was told by my grandmother tho melt crico shortening,but not too hot so phyllo would burn, over the completed and cut paklava to cook and crisp it. Take out a corner piece, then drain. Discard drained oil. While still warm pour simple syrup over paklava. Let set, then serve. excellent!

Poon Paregentan

It is the last Sunday before Great Lent. It is composed of two words Paree-Gentanootioun good living, rejoicing. Poon means the main. This points to the fact that the fasting period following Paregentan is longer than weekly Lents of other feasts, and it is tied to the main event of Christendom, the resurrection of our Lord.

The best explanation of Paregentan is from our Church father, Krigor Datevatzi. According to him, the biblical base is from the Old Testament from the life of Elijah when the Angel of the Lord tells him “Eat and drink because you will be traveling a long road (I King 19:7) In our case this long road is the 40 days of the Great Lent journey.

Paregentan, according to Datevatzi, doesn’t stand alone but points to the reality of a period of abstinence. Feasting of Paregentan will lead us into fasting fun filled days will turn into days of penance. In other words, the zeal and ingenuity we show in the realm of having fun should be put into the work of enriching our spiritual life.

In the past Paregentan was a period of two weeks, from St. Sarkis to Poon Paregentan. These were fun filled days for everybody. Weddings and engagements took place usually within these two weeks. In the region of Marash (in Western Armenia), the days of last week of Paregentan had special names. The Thursday was called “Tulkhaghir”. That day people ate Herissa (Keshgeg) and later played the game of Tulkhaghir.

Tulkhaghir was a broomstick, which the women transform into a bride. They even put on it some of their jewelry and took it around from house to house by singing and dancing. Then they would put it in a courtyard and dance around it until evening.

Wednesday was called “Feast of Wolf”. Women did not do house chores that day so that their neighborhood could be free of wolves. Friday was called “Feast of Mouse”. Women did not sew that day so that the mice do not nibble on their clothing. On Saturday the youth of the town wore masks and were engaged in variety of games. Good food and pigging out was the main event of Paregentan. People ate so much that the day received the nickname of “Poragentan” (Belly-gentan).

Besides the quality, the quantity of food was important as well. As the week progressed, the numbers of casseroles were increased as well. For example on Tuesday, three kinds of food were on the tables, on Thursday, five on Saturday, seven and on Sunday, more than 12 kinds. The traditional food in these days were:

  • Roasted Lamb stuffed with cracked wheat and seasoning, baked in tonir.
  • Patila
  • Sroon
  • Khachil
  • Deserts
  • Pukhpkhig
  • Dumplings

The last day of Paregentan, meaning Sunday the fun and eating wais intensified. That day nothing is cooked people consume and finish all kinds of food prepared by meat and dairy. No trace of fat should remain in the house, because the next day is Great Lent.

Paregentan was a process of chasing away “Oodis Dadig” and inviting “Bass Babig”.

Oodis Dadis was a worn out doll, which the villagers officially threw down from the top of a mountain on the last night of Paregentan. That night after dinner and before going to bed, people ate Madzoon and Gatnaboor. When in bed, they put the whole boiled egg in their mouth by saying “we close our mouth with white egg, may God make us worthy to open our mouth with red egg” (meaning Easter egg).

On the next day of Paregentan was called (Pagla Khoran). It was a chance for housewives to get their kitchen rid of traces of fat. They boiled their utensils, plates, pots and pans.

Games and Masquerade parties

Along with good food came as well lots of games, masquerade parties and vaudevilles.

After dinner the youngsters of the town would disguise themselves with a variety of costumes and masks and color their faces with flour or charcoal. Boys wearing girls’ clothing and with the company of Daoul Zourna would barge into homes, dance and entertain the residents.

The most common funny play staged on the squares of towns would be the “khnamakhos” the process of asking the hand of one’s daughter.

Even the monks would be at ease on Paregentan and stage vaudeville called “Apeghatogh” (literally means freedom from rigid rules of monastic life).

After dinner, folk dances and processions took place. A master of ceremonies was elected who was attired in funny dress. His comical gesture and expressions provoked laughter. He freely ridiculed everybody and nobody got offended.

Toward the end, a special hymn was sung and the M.C. was carried away for “Burial”. The spectators then would say “Lazarus come forth.” Like Lazarus, the M.C. then would rise and the audience would flee and retire to their cells.

From Paregentan songs we can remember “Ay Noubar Noubar”, “Tamzara”, “Zinch ou Zinch”, “Dzamteln ee Dzoven”, “Ay Ayloughes”.

The center piece of Paregentan Carnival food

Stuff the lamb with bulghour and seasoning and roast it in a tonir.

Roll the dough as thin as can do. Put in on a flat surface. Spread Khavourma or Cheese on it. Cover it with a second layer of identical dough: Roll the edges and bake it on a flat space: After making few stack them on each other in a tray and than with a sharp knife cut little squares after spreading on them melted butter.

Mix the flour with the egg yoke and milk and cut the dough in little pieces, as big as walnut. Cook them in deep oil. Before serving pour on them either grape syrup or honey.

Walnut for decoration, optional

Melt margarine, add flour and semolina, mix well. Place over low heat and stir constantly until the mixture is slightly brown, about 15-20 minutes, until four smells done. Melt one cup sugar with 2 tablespoon water, make a caramel (golden brown in color). Take off the heat, very carefully and cup water (wearing gloves to protect hands from burning). Melt the honey in the caramel and add the flour mixture. Cover the pan, leave for fifteen minutes. Then knead, making a smooth dough.

Brush a serving pan lightly with butter. put the halva in it and flatten the surface with hands. Prick the edges like that of a pie crust. Cut in decorative way. Serve warm or cold. Decorate with nuts if you like

Turkish Pistachio Baklava

Turkish Baklava with buttery, flaky puff pastry soaked in honey and sugar with tender pistachios stuffed between layers of dough. This Baklava recipe reigns from Turkey were the best pistachios in the world are found. Serve for Easter, Christmas or any holiday. If you love a naturally sweetened dessert with honey, you’ll love this regional baklava recipe.

This time of year, is all about baklava. I just love the bold flavors of the savory pistachios and sweet honey sugar with crispy layers of phyllo dough. The first time I made this dessert was last year with my dear Turkish friend. This dish is pretty simple to make. The key to making this Turkish Pistachio Baklava is to use a good quality puff pastry. Of course, homemade puff pastry or phyllo dough would be wonderful, but the frozen puff pastry in today’s grocery store is pretty good and will be excellent for this recipe.

Last year I had a friend from Turkey visit for nearly 3 month. We covered everything, from tea time to making Turkish coffee, eating Turkish Delight candy, grilling lamb kebabs and baking some of Turkey’s finest desserts. I think he must of gotten sick of me asking How do you make authentic baklava? By the end of his stay, we made it — and not just once, but a few times!

There is something special about making Turkish Baklava with someone who reigns from the region. Maybe it’s the cooking technique or maybe it’s finding that no matter where you are from that food is a universal language that brings everyone together.

What I love about this recipe is how simple it is to make. It seems a lot of Turkish food is simple, yet makes a pretty presentation with delicious flavors. For this recipe, I ordered pistachios from Turkey, which seems to make all the difference.

Pistachio Baklava is perfect for the holidays. My grandma would serve this rich dessert for Christmas and it always made the menu for Easter.

Instead of st Valentine's Day

Today I want tp tell you about another Armenian tradition. We have st. Sarkis's (Sargis's) day in Armenia. This is the day of lovers and young people. This is also beautiful tradition in Armenia. Let start.

There is an interesting story (maybe it is legent maybe true) about st. Sarkis. It cames from ancient times. In the beginning of telling you can see when Sarkis cames to Armenia. It sounds like this:

Captain St. Sarkis is one of the most beloved saints among the Armenian nation. He faith for christianity and with his sun lived in Armenia. They lived in the time of Armenian well-known king Tigran.

There are an interesting traditions in Armenia related to this holiday. The night before St. Sarkis Day, the teenagers go to church, firmly keeping an "Aghi plit" (salty cookie) in their pockets, which must be eaten before going to sleep (and they may not drink water). The salty cookie will make them thirsty and in their dreams whoever offers them a drink of water, will be their future husband or wife.

To be honest I must write down about Armenian church opinion. The church, however, does not connect folklore with the real significance of the holiday.
"St. Sarkis is an ideology, which appeals to have devotion and love towards God and religion. We should study from St. Sarkis to love our God and other people, but first of all, other people, because only in this case we can unconditionally love God, too, who is not visible."

The priest says that the Church does not encourage eating salty flatcakes, however, it does ban it either. "The church does not prohibit its children to be happy: if you want to eat salty cookies and be happy, do it!"

On the night preceding the feast of St. Sarkis faithful people place a tray full of gruel before the door believing that while passing near their door at dawn St. Sarkis will leave his footprint on the gruel symbolising the fulfillment of their dreams.
Also young lovers write love msgs' to each other and some lovers make their love proposal :) This is not only tradition, this is romantic day, during which you can get interesting msgs', balloons like heard and many other interesting things.

There is also sweets receipt :) We make sweets for st. Sarkis day. Try make it yourself. This one called "Halva"

3 C White granulated sugar
4 T Water
1 T Lemon juice
1 T Flower-water (orange blossom)
1 - 7oz Jar of marshmallow creme
2 lb Sesame seeds divided 1/3 and 2/3 (refrigerated)
Filling: walnuts or pistachios as needed.
Prepare a sheet pan with a mound of 2/3 of the sesame seeds
Bring first four ingredients to a boil until the mixture turns to a golden color.
Mix in marshmallow, remove from heat and pour onto sesame seeds.
Spread the mixture adding more of the cool sesame seeds as needed to keep from adhering to hands or spatula.
Invert the complete sheet of sesame covered mixture onto a flat work surface.
Moving quickly to prevent the sheet from getting hard, add filling (walnuts, pistachios, etc. ) and roll. Cut 1.5 inches apart and refrigerate.

Another one is Kumba cake. Try to cook :)

5 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of olive oil
1 cup of boiling water
1 cup of sugar
½ cup of honey
1 cup of chopped nuts (walnut, almond, pistachio, hazelnut)
½ cup of raisins
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon of ground cardamom
½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon of ground mahlab
a coin, wrapped in foil
½ cup of white sesame seeds for the top
1. If you desire, roast the flour, until it turns to pale. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and the spices.
2. Add the oil & boiling water, stir until a thick dough is formed.
3. Add the honey, nuts & raisins.
4. Spread the dough in a large non-stick pan. Put the wrapped coin in it & cover with dough.
5. Dip your hands in water and smooth out the surface of the dough.
6. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on the surface.
7. Bake Kumba at 350° F, about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.

Watch the video: St. Sarkis Halva. Св. Саркис Халва. Սուրբ Սարգիսի Հալվա (November 2021).