Is it possible to keep a fast with delicious paklava in your hand?
Pahklavan dzotzuht, bahk puhr-nehl gahrehlee eh?
A thousand efforts and tribulations are not worth one teaspoon of tarkhana soup
Hazar chank ou chakhalla chee arzeer tuhkalma tarkhana
This soup is the most favorite soup of Armenians from the village of Malatia. The recipe follows tahneh tarkhana (yogurt water soup with herbs and butter)
Tahn is a water solution of yogurt. Four parts of tahn are mixed with one part of wheat bran. In the villages of Armenia the people used goat’s milk more often than not to make yogurt.
The tahn and bran mixture is heated in a copper pot until the mixture thickens due to evaporation. During the cooking, the liquid is mixed so that the bran does not settle and burn at the bottom of the pot.
Once the thickened solution cools, it is ready to form into molded formed something life a patty or thick cylindrical shape and left to dry under the sun until it hardens. The tahn tarkhana can keep at least one years without getting moldy. It is used during winter to make salty or sweet dishes by mixing appropriate ingredients with it in water.
For example, tahn tarkhana soup is made by dissolving the tahn tarkhana dry extract in boiling water and mixing in butter or ghee with different kinds of greens, boulgur, and especially tarkhan or tarkhoun herb which is tarragon.
A sweet tahn tarkhana preparation is made by mixing the dry extract in water and adding raisins, other dry fruits such as apricots, apples, figs, etc., and sweet spices such as cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg and sugar or honey.
Sometimes a type of wheat flour and water mixture is rolled into a soft dough and slightly basked in ghee and then boiled in water until cooked. These wheat patties are folded into the sweet tarkhana soup to add more body and flavor.
Tahn tarkhana is a very nutritious extract because it contains live yogurt and wheat bran which is a highly nutritious due to containing the wheat germ and the glutinous outer part of the wheat berry which is replete with vitamins and minerals.
The easier way to make tahn tarkana soup is to mix four parts yogurt with one part yogurt and cook slowly. Add a cup of wheat or oat bran and mix. Let the soup simmer for at least two hours and stir frequently. Cut fresh herbs and greens such as parsley, ciltantro, mint, turnip , and spinach and add them to the soup when it has cooked down and thickened. Add two tablespoons or more of ghee or butter (you can also substitute with olive oil). While cooking add dry basil and a pinch of tarragon along with hing (asafoetida), an Indian spice that replaces garlic or onion and is a digestive aid as well as a tasty spice. After you add the greens, turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let the soup cool. The more it sits, the better the flavor. Reheat and serve.