Food is a way of bringing people together, as it's always fun to enjoy a meal around the table with family and friends. It is a time of sharing one another's unique ethnic backgrounds, flavors and cultural heritage.
Some of our Armenian recipes are ancient, being passed down from generation to generation. One such recipe is that of Agenchik soup. Agenchik means 'ear,' and is a traditional Musa Daghian soup to which dumplings are added. The shape of each dumpling is just like that of an ear, hence the name Agenchik. This recipe is rather time consuming but makes for a tasty, hearty meal.
To start off, you will need to prepare the dough to make the dumplings. Use the following ingredients which should give you a nice dough to work with: One tablespoon each of oil and vinegar, a cup of water, a sprinkle of salt, and flour as you need it. Mix the oil, vinegar, as well as the water in a bowl. Then, add your salt and just enough flour for the dough so that it is not too sticky. Prepare a clean, flat surface for your dough. You can sprinkle some flour on the surface as this just prevents the dough from sticking. Spread the dough using a rolling pin and cut out small, circular shapes for the dumplings.
Once the dough is ready, you can start on the ingredients to fill the dumplings. You will need at least 300g of ground mincemeat, chop up some onion and parsley. Add some red and black pepper to the mix and this is your dumpling filling.
For your soup, just add four cups of matsuni, which is yogurt, three tablespoons of butter, an egg and a teaspoon or a sprig of mint.
So, now you have all the ingredients ready, and you can move on to the next part of this delightful recipe. Firstly, fry the chopped onion and then add your mincemeat. Cook until your meat has browned slightly. Add your spices, and a drop of water, if needed and leave to cool.
Add your filling to the dumplings and close each one, making a semi-circular shape and then pinch the edges closed. Bake them at a temperature of 180 degrees Celsius until you notice them just starting to turn brown. Just check each one and see that they are all done.
For your soup preparation, mix the matsuni and egg together in a pot and bring it to the boil. Then add four cups of boiling water. Stir it gently and add the butter, so that it melts in slowly. Allow it to cook for a while, keep tasting until you're satisfied with the flavor. You can then add your baked dumplings to your soup and top it off with mint.
Agenchik soup is a lovely recipe and hopefully one which your friends and family will enjoy too. If you would like to make it another time, you can always try some other variations to the recipe.