This dish symbolizes abundance, as it combines all the ingredients of a well-fed and rich table - depending on the taste and preferences of the hostess, raisins, dried apricots, nuts, candied fruits, honey and many other goodies are added to the rice, flavoring everything with cinnamon. And to make the Armenian ghapama both juicy and beautiful, and most importantly delicious, our step-by-step recipe for making ghapama with a photo will help you cope with the task.
History of ghapama
Simultaneously with the arrival of autumn, the harvest, fun also comes to the mountainous Caucasian villages - the time of weddings begins. And here you can’t do without hapama - a juicy pumpkin is present on all wedding tables, as it is carefully prepared by the relatives of the newlyweds with the wishes of a beautiful, rich family life. This dish is so traditionally Armenian that Armenians even have songs about it. The most famous American Armenian Harut Pambukchyan, the treasure of the Armenian people, sings a song about the ghapama dish - "Hey, jan, ghapama!", This is an almost ready-made recipe for cooking a dish beloved by Armenians.
She talks about how a wonderful pumpkin ripened in the fields, how it was chosen for making ghapama, how it was brought home, filled with delicious stuffing, how no less than 100 guests were waiting for its preparation. This comic song is usually performed in the middle of the celebration or closer to its end, when the guests are already full and want to have fun. And if the hostess cooks everything correctly, the ghapama will turn out beautiful and appetizing, that all these hungry relatives will gobble up the fragrant pumpkin on both cheeks, Harut Pambukchyan talks about this.
- Pumpkin - 1500 grams
- Steamed rice - 200 grams
- Raisins - 50 grams
- Dried apricots - 100 grams
- Sour apple - 1 pc.
- Nut kernels - 100 grams
- Butter - 100 grams
- Sugar - 50 grams
- Cinnamon - 25 grams
- Salt - 10 grams
- Water - 1000 grams
The process of making ghapam
- Let's start cooking Armenian ghapama by preparing rice. We sort the rice in advance, clean it of debris, rinse it in several waters and soak in cold water for several hours so that the finished rice turns out to be friable.
Let's start cooking. To make the rice crumbly, first of all we sort it out, then we wash it and soak it for a couple of hours in cold water
- Rinse the soaked rice again and put it to boil in a thick-walled saucepan for 20 minutes, depending on the type of rice.
When the rice gets wet, rinse it again and cook in a saucepan with a thick bottom for 20 minutes
- Next, let's prepare the pumpkin. We specially select it in such a shape that, when cut, we get a pumpkin pot. We cut off the excess and the very top, so that a kind of lid comes out of it.
For this dish, we also need a cute pumpkin. We will convert it into a pot and for this we will cut off the top with a tail, thus imitating a lid
- We remove the bones from the pumpkin, scrape the bones out of it with a spoon, we get a pot.
Clean out the seeds and all the thread-like insides of the pumpkin
- Let's go over the raisins, peel them from dry stalks.
We sort out large high-quality raisins
- Soak dried fruits in hot water to steam them.
All the dried fruits necessary for ghapam are poured with boiling water and steamed
- Put the steamed dried fruits on a napkin so that the water is glass.
Now that the dried fruits have reached the desired condition, put them on a napkin to dry
- Cut the apple in half and peel it, cut it into small cubes, about 1x1 cm.
Cut the apple in half and peel it, cut it into small cubes, about 1x1 cm.
- We will thin the walls of our pumpkin a little, for this we carefully cut them with a knife from the inside, you can use a spoon for this. Cut the pulp of the pumpkin into small cubes.
To free up more space in the pumpkin with a knife or spoon, thin its walls a little, removing the pulp. We also use the pulp and for this we also chop it into cubes
- Gently chop the walnuts.
Prepare walnut kernels
- Let us peel the nuts, trying to keep the yards, not to grind them.
It is important not to crush the kernels, but leave them whole
- Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, add dried apricots.
Place all products in a blender container and add dried apricots there
- Put the rice in a colander, let the water drain.
Transfer the boiled rice to a colander and strain
- When the rice has become dry, spread it to the dried fruits and nuts.
Transfer dry rice to nuts and dried fruits
- Add sugar and cinnamon to the filling.
Spice the filling of ghapam with cinnamon and add sugar
- Mix everything well so that sugar and cinnamon are evenly distributed in the filling.
Mix well the stuffing for ghapam
- Lubricate the inside of the pumpkin with butter.
Lubricate the prepared pumpkin well inside with butter
- Put the stuffing from rice and dried fruits into a pumpkin.
We shift the filling into the pumpkin
- Cover the pumpkin pot with a "lid" on top.
We close the hapam with a "pumpkin" cap
- Wrap the pumpkin in foil.
Now the pumpkin should be wrapped in foil
- We put the pumpkin in foil in a baking dish, pour about 100 ml of water into the dish and put it in an oven preheated to 200 degrees.
Pour about 100 ml of water into a baking dish and place the pumpkin in it. Hapam should be baked at a temperature of 200 degrees
- After 90 minutes, the pumpkin is ready. You can also find out the readiness of the pumpkin by poking it with a fork, it should become soft, the fork enters the finished pumpkin like butter. Once ready, leave the hapama to cool in the oven for another 30 minutes.
Total cooking time will be about an hour and a half. To make sure that the dish is ready, pierce the pumpkin with a fork - it should be absolutely soft. We leave the finished hapam in the switched off oven for another 30 minutes
- After cooling, put the finished dish on a large plate, remove the "lid" and cut into slices, like a watermelon. Now fragrant ghapama can be served on the table.
When the pumpkin has cooled down, unfold the foil, place the beauty on a plate, remove the lid from it and cut the meal into slices. Call everyone to the table and enjoy your meal!
- Enjoy your meal!
Enjoy your meal!
Benefits of the Armenian Ghapama
Traditional Armenian dishes are very tasty and very healthy, as they are mostly prepared with dried fruits, lots of greens or matsoni. Armenian ghapama also contains a number of vitamins and useful microelements. After all, the main ingredient of this dish, pumpkin, has B vitamins, youth vitamins A and E, vitamin T. This beautiful orange fruit includes almost the entire chemical table of Mendeleev, it has a lot of fiber,
pectin, as well as potassium, zinc. A fruit with so many useful qualities still needs to be looked for!
And this vitamin range is complemented by dried apricots, raisins, nuts, which contain more active substances than fresh fruits, since in fact they are a concentrate that has potassium, iron, and magnesium. Dried fruits are a useful prevention of cardiovascular diseases, as well as cancer. Together with nuts, they are of great help to the body - they soothe, relax, and have a beneficial effect on the human immune system. Armenian ghapama is not only beautiful due to its color, but also very tasty and healthy, it is a real storehouse of useful substances. Be sure to cook the ghapama at home and surprise all your 100 hungry guests with it!