Khash is an Armenian soup prepared using boiled cow or sheep parts such as the head, feet, and stomach (tripe). Typically consumed early in the morning during the winter season (usually from September to April), it is served with garlic, radish, dried national bread lavash, and homemade vodka.
There are many different variations of Khash eaten all over the world in countries including Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, North Macedonia, Mongolia, and some Persian Gulf countries.
You may be surprised to learn that Khash isn’t the only famous recipe that utilises such body parts of the animal. Boiled sheeps head is also consumed in Norway where it is known as Smalahove, some form of tripe is eaten in most countries around the world (Mexican Tripas Tacos for example), and cows feet are eaten in a soup in El Salvador. While Khash is certainly one of the most unusual dishes in the world, the same ingredients are eaten throughout the world.
Origin & Cultural Significance
The word “khash” derives from an Armenian verb which means “to boil”. The dish was originally called khashoy and is cited by many medieval Armenian authors, such as Grigor Magistros (11th century), Mkhitar Heratsi (12th century), and Yesayi Nchetsi (13th century).
It was believed that in medieval Armenia, the aristocrats used to throw out their leftovers, which were later stolen by the poor villagers. They would cook them overnight, making a thick and nutritious broth, and that’s how khash originated.
- Cows’ feet (trotters) washed, patted dry, picked over for stray hairs and split in two - 3
- Crushed garlic - 30 cloves
- Warm flatbread (such as soft lavash or pita bread, for serving)
- Salt - to taste
- Chopped parsley - 1 cup
- Chopped cilantro - 1 cup
- Sliced lemons - 2
- Sliced radishes - 1 cup
- Sliced pickles - to taste
- Fresh chillis - to taste
- Take a large bowl and place the trotters in it a day prior to cooking. Make sure to cover it with water and keep the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 10 and up to 48 hours. Keep in mind to change the water every two hours or so for the initial 10 hours.
- Transfer the trotters to a heavy-bottomed pot. Remember to cover it with 2 inches of water. Over a high flame, bring it to a boil.
- After the water comes to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and allow it to cook for 40 minutes. Remember to keep the pot uncovered.
- Once done, strain the water, shift the trotters back to the pot and cover them with 2 inches of fresh water. Boil it over high heat, reduce the flame to a simmer, and allow it to cook for about 6 to 8 hours. Keep the container uncovered. Make sure to keep pouring water every hour or two. Continue until the trotters tend to become soft and tender.
- Take the mortar or a small bowl containing garlic and add 2 cups of hot broth to it. Mix well to combine.
- Serve the residual broth and meat instantly, passing salt, garlic mixture, and other garnishes. People in Armenia generally suggest 4-6 cloves’ worth per person.
- Khash can be stored in a refrigerator for up to four days. And if you need to heat it before consuming it, you can keep it on a simmer for about 20 minutes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 179Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 593mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 6gSugar: 3gProtein: 9g