Armenian Tahini Cookies

Tahini Cookies and Milk

Soft, chewy cookies made with tahini paste and walnuts. Not too sweet, but definitely delicious. These tahini cookies are best served with a glass of milk! 

So, I’m fairly new to the tahini lifestyle. Until a few months ago (when I started a round of Whole30, actually) I had never tried tahini. As I started experimenting with Whole30, though, I began to incorporate the smooth, sesame paste into a lot of my recipes. Over time, it’s definitely come to be an ingredient that I add to my dishes when I’m bored and lookin’ to switch it up. My favorite is roasted butternut squash with tahini and za’atar seasoning…. Mmmm.

Sorry, I just fell into a daydream for a quick minute there. I’m back.

Anyways, I never thought about putting tahini in my cookies, but boy was that oversight a huge mistake. These cookies were so delicious, and just uncommon enough to be intriguing.

Tahini Cookies Stacked

If you’re looking for a cookie that is soft and delicious without being overpoweringly sweet, this recipe is the way to go. I brought a whole container of them into work on Monday, and they were gone before noon. A tahini cookie that can be eaten for breakfast must be a pretty doggone good cookie (if I do say so myself).

If you’re looking for more global cookies recipes, check out these Albanian Shortbread Cookies in Syrup, these Algerian Raspberry Cookies, or, my favorite, these Argentinian Dulce de Leche Alfajores.

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #theforeignfork on Instagram. See you soon!

Armenian Tahini Cookies

Soft, chewy cookies made with tahini paste and walnuts. Not too sweet, but definitely delicious. These tahini cookies are best served with a glass of milk! 

Course Cookies, Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 40 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup tahini paste
  • 1 cup caster sugar**
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar firmly packed
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • almond milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  2. Beat the butter, sugars, and tahini together until light and creamy. Add the egg and beat again. 

  3. Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder twice. Use a spoon to fold into the tahini mixture. Add walnuts and mix by hand. Add a tiny splash of almond milk if the dough is too dry/crumbly to form into balls.

  4. Roll dough into balls and place on greased baking sheet. Lightly press with the tines of a fork to make a criss-cross pattern on the top of the cookies. 

  5. Bake for about 20 minutes (mine baked for 23) until lightly colored. Cool on tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container. 

Recipe Notes

**If you can't find caster sugar, put regular sugar in a blender and blend briefly. This will make a fine sugar that can be used in the recipe.

Recipe adapted from The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook by Tess Mallos. 

Armenian Matiabour (Tortellini Soup)

Armenian Mantiabour Soup

Mantiabour is an Armenian soup made with mante (Armenian tortellini), flavored with mint, and combined with yogurt to thicken. The mante can also be enjoyed separately if desired.  

When I was growing up, one of my absolute favorite meals was tortellini. When I would come home from third grade and my mom would have little tricolored tortellini sitting in a colander next to the stove, I knew I was in for a hell of a night. Throw some butter on those guys, sprinkle massive amounts of parmesan cheese, and plop an Italian sausage and syrup (yeah, don’t judge me) on my plate, and I’d have a dinner of champions.

As I got older, I always wanted to learn how to make tortellini. At Christmas time, my family makes homemade ravioli. Tortellini are the same concept, but, in my head, making one doesn’t really count as making the other. Despite my ravioli-making expertise, I’ve been in a tortellini-making deficit!

Mante lined up on grey cloth

Close up of ManteThe Armenian Version of Tortellini: Mante

Luckily for me, Armenia can get down with some tortellini. Just don’t call it “pasta” or you’ll actually be asking for toothpaste! In the 13th century, Armenia formed an alliance with the Mongols, and the tradition of mante (Armenian tortellini) was born. The first recipe for mante was written in the 15th century and features dough filled with lamb, chickpeas, cinnamon and vinegar. I think I’d like to make this variation next!

These mante were an absolute JOY. I’ll tell you upfront, this recipe is not a quick meal—but it’s a meal that’s worth every second. It took about an hour to fill this hand-rolled dough with lamb, onions, and parsley. But by the end I had a cookie sheet lined with gorgeous, fresh mante ready to find a happy home in my belly.

Mante Soup

The soup with mante is flavorful and brothy, and SO good! I could seriously eat a bowl every day. If you aren’t in the mood for soup, though, enjoying the mante by themselves (and some butter like in the good old days) is another phenomenal option. Whichever way you choose, this recipe is worth the investment.

If you’re into soups and stews, also be sure to check out my Andorran Meat Stew, this Algerian Chickpea Stew, or my Argentinian Beef and Pumpkin Stew.

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #theforeignfork on Instagram. See you soon!

Armenian Mantiabour (Tortellini Soup Flavored with Mint)

Mantiabour is an Armenian soup made with mante (Armenian tortellini), flavored with mint, and combined with yogurt to thicken. The mante can also be enjoyed separately if desired.  

Course Main Course, Soup
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg

Filling

  • 7 oz ground lamb
  • 1 onion grated
  • 3 tbsp parsley finely chopped
  • black pepper to season

To Finish!

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup drained yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tsp dried mint

Instructions

Dough

  1. Sift the flour and salt together. Form into a pile on the counter or a cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour. 

  2. Crack the egg into a measuring cup. Whisk the egg, then add cold water to the cup to bring the total measurement up to 1/2 cup. Whisk again.

  3. Pour the egg mixture into the well of dough. Use a fork to slowly combine the flour into the egg, grabbing from the center and slowly working outwards.

  4. When the dough becomes too thick to mix with a fork, begin kneading with your hands. Knead until smooth, adding more water if necessary. Cover and rest for 30 minutes. 

Filling

  1. Place the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine well. 

Assembling the Mante

  1. On a floured countertop or cutting board, roll out the dough as thinly as possible. Cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch squares, stack the squares on top of each other, and cover with a cloth. This will keep the dough from drying out as you assemble the mante. 

  2. Place filling in the center, then fold the dough over diagonally to make a triangle. Bring the two outside edges of the triangle together above the filling and pinch, making an Italian Tortellini shape.

  3. You may use a small amount of water to get the dough to stick to itself. 

Making the Soup

  1. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil, and add the salt. Boil mante for 10 minutes (you may need to do this in two or three rounds). 

  2. Remove the mante with a spoon and leave to rest in a colander. 

  3. When all mante are cooked, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add mante and boil for 10 minutes. 

  4. Add the yogurt and garlic and stir over heat for 2-3 minutes, taking care not to break the mante. Do not let the soup boil.

  5. Rub mint into a powder and stir into the soup. Serve immediately and enjoy! 

Recipe Notes

Recipe from The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook by Tess Mallos. 

Shehrehi Yeghintz (Armenian Rice with Vermicelli)

This Armenian Rice with Vermicelli (Shehrehi Yeghintz) can be thrown together with ingredients that I almost guarantee are already in your pantry. Rice and noodles are browned in butter then covered in chicken stock and left to simmer for 15 minutes. A taste of Armenia has never been so easy!

Lean in real close, my friend; I have a secret to tell you.

I’m about to share something that will change your life, your cooking, and… I don’t know, your view of the world, probably.

You know how sometimes you eat a dish that just SCREAMS to you? Like, you know that it looks like any old side dish, but when you put a forkful in your mouth, you can literally hear the heavens sing. A dish so good that when you think about it, you can actually feel your mouth filling with saliva.

Armenian church with yellow background

What is it that makes some broccoli taste like feet and other broccoli the actual best thing that you’ve eaten all year? How is it that your white rice can go from being bland and boring to flavorful and exciting? I can tell you right now…

Are you ready? I’m about to blow your mind.

Butter.

Okay, so that maaayyyybe wasn’t as secretive as I made it out to be. In fact, it’s pretty obvious. But I’m telling you this: it’s obvious because it’s true.

Trust me, I’m kind of a freak about eating healthy food. When I’m not eating a meal from every country in the world, most of my meals consist of protein, vegetables, and a healthy carb. I try to stick with healthy fats like olive oil, so butter doesn’t normally make it on my plate. But let me tell ya, when I’m trying to impress with my cooking skills, the secret is butter… ALL DAY LONG.

There’s just something about butter that amps up any dish, and this Armenian Rice with Vermicelli is no different. Put some plain white rice and noodles on the stove and boil them for 15 minutes and you’ll get a boring, mushy, disappointment of a meal. But brown those noodles and rice in butter first and holy moly, now you’ve changed the game.

I’ve never really liked plain white rice, but this Armenian Rice with Vermicelli recipe has changed that for good. I swear, I could sit on the couch with this pot in my lap and eat the whole thing in one sitting. In fact, I might do just that!

Experiment with butter and feel the magic, my friends. You won’t regret it.

Shehrehi Yeghintz (Armenian Rice with Vermicelli)

Rice and noodles are browned in butter and then boiled to make this amazing Armenian side dish. Simple, quick, inexpensive, and a cultural experience. What more could you want?! 

Course Side Dish
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter ghee if vegan
  • 1.75 oz fine vermicelli noodles broken into smaller pieces
  • 3/4 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken stock vegetable stock if vegetarian/vegan
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. 

  2. Add the noodles to the butter and stir for about 5 minutes, until the noodles begin to brown. 

  3. Add the rice, and stir again for five minutes. 

  4. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid, reduce heat to low, and allow rice and noodles to simmer for about 15 minutes. Do not open the lid or stir. 

  5. Turn off heat and leave covered for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving. Enjoy! 

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook by Tess Mallos. 

Cinnamon Tea Recipe with Cinnamon Bark

3 cups of Armenian Cinnamon Tea

Cinnamon tea (Dartchinov Tey) is a quick and authentic way to truly taste Armenia. You only need sugar, water, and cinnamon bark to enjoy this classic drink!

I’ve recently been known to appreciate cozying up with a chai latte and I can get down with a good Cambodian Iced Coffee. But tea has never really been on my radar.

Drinking a warm, steaming mug of natural tea grants that same cozy feeling as coffee while also managing to avoid the jitters that follow. Plus, I can almost guarantee you that you’ll never pay $7 for a cup of Armenian cinnamon tea…

What Ingredients are in this Cinnamon Tea Recipe?

Water
Cinnamon bark
Sugar or honey

How to Make Cinnamon Tea

Fill a pot with water, drop in the cinnamon sticks and place on the stove. 

Cover, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes.

Pour into glasses with cinnamon sticks. Serve with sugar or honey if desired. 

Enjoy! 

When Should I Drink Cinnamon Tea?

You can drink this beverage at whatever time of day you’d like. Admittedly, I’m not a big tea drinker, but the research I’ve done suggests that cinnamon tea is best to drink at night.

There is no proof that cinnamon tea will help you sleep, but it is good to consume at night as it can help with your metabolism, lowering cholesterol, etc. For more information on the health benefits of Cinnamon Tea, visit this page.

Additions or Substitutions

If you’d like to add a little milk or cream to your tea, you can absolutely do so! This will give you a creamier tea, that can have a calming effect.

If you’d like to add ice to your drink, you can do this as well! You can also soak the cinnamon bark alongside some black tea bags. This will give you both flavors in one drink to add a bit more dimension to your beverage.

Did you like this recipe? If so, leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought! And don’t forget to post a photo on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #TheForeignFork and tag @TheForeignFork.

For more delicious drink recipes from around the world, check out a few beverages I picked out just for you:

Cinnamon Tea Recipe with Cinnamon Bark

Water and cinnamon boil together to create this simple and enjoyable Armenian Cinnamon Tea! As cozy as a chai latte without the caffeine jitters that follow. 

Course Drinks
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 4 sticks of cinnamon bark
  • sugar or honey as desired

Instructions

  1. Fill a pot with water, drop in the cinnamon sticks and place on the stove. 

  2. Cover, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes.

  3. Pour into glasses with cinnamon sticks. Serve with sugar or honey if desired. 

  4. Enjoy!