Christmas is right around the corner, which means the season of Armenian eating is here. We don’t eat a lot of Armenian food on a regular basis, but holidays are something different. From the actual Christmas celebration, to parties at friends houses, I look forward to the time of year when I get to eat all the mezze my little heart desires. And right now, my little heart desires eetch.
What’s eetch? Eetch is delicious. Literally, though, eetch is also known as mock khema. If you’re not Armenian, I’ve completely lost you by now. Let me explain. Khema (aka chee kufta), is a Middle Eastern steak tartare of sorts. It’s a combination of raw ground beef, bulgur, tomato paste, and some seasonings. It’s actually very delicious, if you couldn’t tell from the recipe. But, raw meat isn’t for everyone, so eetch is a great khema alternative. It is made with bulgur, tomato sauce, and other stuff. No meat. It’s great for those seeking to avoid food-borne illness, or for people who are just generally raw meat-averse. It’s also great for vegans, vegetarians, or anyone trying to fill up without eating meat.
You might wonder what exactly eetch tastes like. The best way to describe it is as a better version of tabbouleh. Both are made with bulgur, but eetch, for some reason, just tastes…better. It has something to do with the tomato sauce and onions. I really can’t explain it, you just have to trust me. My mom happens to have the best recipe around (fact), and it is a requested dish at many parties and family holidays. She has kindly allowed me to share the recipe with all of you, which, in my opinion, is a big deal. Please thank her if you see her.
As a bonus, eetch is about 20x easier to prepare than tabbouleh (exact calculation). You literally put all the ingredients into a bowl, stir, set aside, and that’s it. It’s ready in about an hour. THAT’S IT. Try it. I promise, you will like it.
- 1 cup finely ground bulgur
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup minced onion can use more/less to taste
- 1 cup finely chopped parsley can use more/less to taste
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup canola oil
Place all ingredients in a medium bowl or reusable container. Stir. Place, covered, in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Remove, stir with a fork (helps it "fluff up" a little), season with salt to taste (and more of any of the other ingredients, if desired), and serve chilled or at room temperature. This can either be eaten on its own, inside some pita bread, or with crackers.
It is imperative that you use fine bulgur (burgol/bulghur, they're all the same). You CANNOT use coarse bulgur; it will not work, and you will not like this recipe.
You can use either flat leaf or curly parsley. Most Armenians use curly, but I've used both and there's not much difference in the flavors.
YUM!!!! Thank you for sharing this!!!!
You're welcome! Hope you enjoy it!
I’ve never heard of this dish but it looks absolutely delicious! Will definitely have to try out this recipe!
This looks fabulous! I have never heard of it but it is my kind of dish. I’d love to dig in! Pinned!
How interesting! Thank you for sharing your traditions. I am not the most adventurous eater, but I would try Eetch!
Thanks! I think you’ll like it.
This definitely sounds more my speed since it doesn’t contain raw meat. Thanks for sharing!
Yeah, I’m also kind of over the raw meat thing! I’ll stick with this instead.
Paula @ I'm Busy Being Awesome says
Ha! I love this sentence: ” If you’re not Armenian, I’ve completely lost you by now.” I had never heard of eetch before, but if it’s mathematically proven to be 20X easier to prepare than tabbouleh, then sign me up 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Haha, thanks! It’s so much easier because you don’t have to pick all those parsley leaves off of tons of parsley, which cuts down so much on time and effort. Just one cup of parsley and everything gets thrown into a bowl. I hope you get to try it 🙂
Absolutely loved this recipe. The proportions were perfect, recipe was so easy and it came out delicious!
Thanks, Rachel! I’m so glad you liked it!!
Hi, I’ve had eetch at an Armenian Deli in the Boston area but have never made it at home. I’ve come across some cooked versions and some that use fresh tomatoes, like grated or sieved roma tomatoes. They all sound great but I feel really perplexed about where to start. Your recipe seems so easy and would be great for a quick addition to a summer meal but as it is winter now, I think I should try the cooked version. I think the deli version was so good it will be hard to live up to.
My recipe is so easy that I think you should start with it! We eat it in winter all the time, so don’t be put off that it’s a “raw” version 🙂