What is brtuch, and why is it the most useful fast foodPictolic
In Armenia, they are quite sensitive to bread as such, and especially to lavash. So reverently that they included it in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Pavel Achikyan, co-founder of the "Levon's" brtuch chain, talks about the national gastronomic treasure - brtuche - and shares a signature recipe.
Translated from Armenian, the word "brtuch", which is difficult to pronounce from the first time, literally means "wrapped". The dish is an Armenian roll consisting of thin lavash, in which the filling of baked meat, fresh vegetables, cheese and herbs is wrapped. All this is refueled with an original sauce based on curdled milk — it will especially appeal to those who scrupulously keep track of the calories "eaten" during the day.
The history of the origin of brtuch goes back to the distant past. This dish has been cooked in Armenia for several millennia. Hunters, warriors, shepherds, pilgrims and monks - everyone who left home for many months took it with them on the road. Cheese and fresh herbs were usually wrapped in thin-leaved lavash. In Armenian families, mothers often gave brtuch to their children for a quick and satisfying snack.
I must say that the brtuch has nothing to do with the shawarma familiar to everyone, except for the appearance of the dish. Unlike the classic shawarma, there are no frankly harmful ingredients in brtuch, and the cooking technology is seriously different.
So, if meat is fried for shawarma, and in the case of brtuch, it is baked in the oven (this, as you know, is much more useful). Tortillas for brtuch are most often prepared by hand. You can also make them yourself at home: the dough (flour, salt, sugar, sunflower oil, slaked soda and, of course, yeast) is kneaded for about half an hour, after which it "rests" for 15 minutes, then it is rolled out and baked.
In fact, the choice of fillings for brtuch is unlimited, because you can put anything in it - it depends solely on taste preferences and wishes. The ingredients included in the dish can be easily varied, but cheese and greens are the minimum, without which it is almost impossible to imagine brtuch. By the way, it is not necessary to add suluguni at all — you can wrap cheese or any other cheese in lavash.
Meat is added to the brtuch in different ways: beef, turkey, chicken. Vegetarian options with hummus or cheese, a different combination of green salads are possible. Surprisingly, but a fact: brtuch can be cooked even with flat rice noodles based on the Vietnamese pho soup, if the classic options are boring. But this option is suitable only for those who are not afraid of spicy food.
Usually, sauces with a low percentage of fat content are used as a dressing for brtuch, and there is no harmful industrial mayonnaise in it. Brtuch is convenient because it can be prepared independently. And this is a great snack option when there is no time for full cooking, but you want to eat something hearty, tasty and unusual.
The signature white sauce, which is usually served with brtuch, consists of yogurt (1% fat content), garlic and herbs. It is this combination with vegetables and meat in a flatbread that gives a soft aftertaste and gives the dish a special tenderness. There are also plenty of other sauce options, and if you don't like sour cream, try tomato, adjika, pomegranate narsharab and classic chickpea puree hummus (for gourmets and vegetarians).
Season the turkey with salt and pepper and wrap it in several layers of foil so that the juice remains inside. Bake the meat for an hour in the oven at 180 degrees. If a piece of turkey is more than 500 g, 10 minutes should be added for every additional 100 g of meat. Prepare the white sauce while the meat is baking: mix yogurt, garlic, dill, parsley, salt and add lemon juice to a homogeneous consistency.
Put white sauce on the pita bread, pieces of ready-made turkey, sprinkle with grated suluguni cheese on top and - without folding! - bake in the oven for 3-5 minutes at a temperature of 240-260 degrees until the cheese finally melts. At this time, cut into cubes Chinese lettuce, tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, cucumbers. Finely chop the parsley, dill and onion. Add salad dressing to taste, mix thoroughly.
Take the pita bread out of the oven, put the resulting mixture on top, pour white sauce on top and wrap the cake: first the bottom is turned up, then the left, and then the right edges of the pita bread.
Brtuch is usually served hot, you can say, immediately from the oven. But even if you decide to eat it later, it will still stay fresh. After cooking, the dish can be stored for 12 hours (convenient if you need to refresh yourself on the road). As an addition to the brtuch, any drink is perfect: water, lemonade, juice or tea, as you like.