Recipe and photo courtesy of Robyn Kalajian at TheArmenianKitchen.com
Robyn Kalajian says this is one of her favorite summer recipes that her maternal grandmother used to make called Sarma Gurgood.
Robyn and her siblings grew up in New Jersey eating bulgur – lots of it. It was served as pilaf, an ingredient in soup or stews, as kufteh, bulgur and potato kufteh, and as a favorite summer side dish called Sarma Gurgood, and in numerous other recipes.
Some might refer to Sarma Gurgood as tabbouleh, except that tabbouleh contains a lot of parsley with a little bit of bulgur, and Sarma Gurgood’s base is mostly bulgur with a little bit of parsley by comparison.
Robyn adds, “My maternal grandmother, Yeranouhe Vartanesian, a master in the kitchen, prepared many recipes without using a recipe, of course. She was from Musa Dagh, Syria. In the early 1900’s, Yeranouhe Nanny was in her teens when she climbed down the mountain with the remaining villagers to be rescued by the French waiting in their ships in the Mediterranean Sea. If you’ve seen the film, “The Promise,” there is a very emotional scene at the end depicting this incredible rescue.”
During the summer months, Sarma Gurgood was the perfect meal for the family, Robyn adds. Her family would gather around the picnic table which sat under Nanny’s huge grape arbor. She would serve this dish with fresh, tender grape leaves, lettuce leaves and Armenian bread.