Serving
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Khash   -   Breakfast of Heros
Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan

Makes
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:
3-1/2 qt  
***
24 hrs
Yes
Once a cheap nourishing stew for the lowest level of Armenian day laborers, khash is now a widely popular delicacy in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. In Armenia it is served only in the winter, and with great ceremony as a major social event. In Georgia it is served all year round. Khash is reputed to have powerful medicinal properties regarding bones and joints - and to enable extended bouts of vodka drinking.



8
ar
1/2

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2
1

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6
1/2

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#

T

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#


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T

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Calf Feet (1)
Water
Salt

Normal Options
Beef Tripe (2)
Head Garlic

Pacha Option (4)
Lamb Tongues (5)
Chili or Paprika (6)

Serve With
Salt
Garlic, chopped
Lemon Wedges
Lavash bread
Pickles, etc. (8)
Vodka, lots of it
  1. Put thoroughly cleaned and cut CALF FEET and TRIPE into a big pot and cover well with cold water. Change the water often for between 4 and 8 hours (see Note-3).
  2. Place Calf Feet in a suitable pot, add water to cover and bring to a boil. Skim off any sludge that rises to the surface. The feet will first expand, sticking out of the water, and later soften and sink.
  3. Cut Tripe into about 1 inch squares. In a separate pot bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then discard water and wash pot. Return to the pot with fresh water to cover and a few lemon slices or a little citric acid. Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes. Again rinse and then add to the main pot.
  4. Peel GARLIC and crush cloves lightly. Add to pot.
  5. Keep the pot at a simmer for 10 to 12 hours, skimming as needed (see Note-7).
  6. When cooking time is over, remove the feet from the broth (see Note-8 for alternative). Strip all the soft material from the bones and discard the bones. Return the soft material to the main pot. Add Salt to taste.
  7. Place condiments on the table and serve in individual bowls. See Note-8 for serving options.

  8. PACHA OPTION:   In a separate pot simmer LAMB TONGUES in water until the skin can be peeled off easily, about 2 hours. Peel, remove all fat and cut into small cubes. Add to the main pot when the feet are nearly done. When everything else is completely done, skim some fat from the top of the main pot and use it to fry the CHILI until well incorporated, then stir back into the main pot. If there is no fat use oil.
NOTES:
  1. Calf Feet (Beef Feet):   As sold in California these are thoroughly cleaned, washed and white in color with the outer hoof and all hairs removed. This eliminates at least 60% of the labor traditionally required for khash. Beef feet can be found in ethnic markets. For details see our Calf Feet page. Have the market saw the feet in half lengthwise and two cuts across (6 pieces).
  2. Tripe:   As sold in California tripe is thoroughly cleaned of it's green coating, parboiled and pure white. This eliminates another 30% of the labor traditionally required for khash. Smooth or honeycomb tripe can be used (smooth is cheaper). For details see our Tripe page.
  3. Cold Water Rinse:   In Soviet Armenia and Georgia cold water service was free, so people making khash just put the feet and tripe in a big pan and let the water run all night. With the post Soviet introduction of water meters this is no longer practical. American calf feet and tripe are so clean a shorter rinsing with frequent changes of cold water is fine. Sure, the USDA would have a cow if they knew what you were doing, but even if by chance some bacteria did get into this stuff, it's about to be boiled for 10 hours or more.
  4. Pacha Option:   This option makes khash a bit more like the Pacha made by Assyrians and Iraqis - but not really that much. See Note-10 for details.
  5. Lamb Tongues may be found in the same markets where beef feet are sold. At my local market they are conveniently packed in trays of six.
  6. Paprika or Chili:   Ground Aleppo chili would be appropriate here (it's mild but tasty). Hungarian paprika can also be used, or some other chili to your preference. See my Chili Page for details.
  7. Skimming:   Aside from any crud that rises to the surface I also skim off much of the fat. This is definitely not authentic, but in today's sedentary "information society" some compromises have to be made.
  8. Serving Options:
  9. Regional Variations:   Azerbaijanis call it kyallya pacha and do not include tripe - nor the vodka since it's an Islamic country. It may also be made from sheep or goat feet instead of cow. Georgians call it khashi and add milk to theirs. They are fine with the vodka though, and don't restrict khashi to the winter months as Armenians do.
  10. Pacha:   This is a closely related potion with a wider distribution in Islamic countries. It is quite popular in Iraq and among Assyrian Christians, many of whom are now refuges from that country.
    Both groups generally use lamb and goat feet rather than cow feet and cook an entire lamb head in the pot. The Assyrians sometimes omit the head, just using the tongue, or strip and discard the head before serving. Iraqis often serve the whole head and pick the meat off it at the table. If you grew up with an ungulate death's head staring at you from the dinner table you too might be ready to strap on a dynamite bomb. Alternately the brains may be served on the half skull.
    Pacha also includes sheep stomachs filled with a mixture of rice, ground meat and seasonings sewn into them, sort of a haggis soup, and the intestines are similarly stuffed and included as a sort of sausage. After cooking these major elements may be divided into separate serving trays.
  11. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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