Recipe Corner: Mshosh, a Lentil and Dried Fruit Dish


Photo and recipe from the Vegan Armenian Kitchen Cookbook courtesy of Robyn Kalajian, a retired culinary teacher and food blogger at, the essential Armenian recipe and cooking blog that has become an Armenian-American treasure.


Mshosh may be one of the oldest Armenian recipes, and it is thought to come from Van.

This mshosh recipe (also spelled “mshmosh”) is one of the latest vegan recipes featured in the new Vegan Armenian Kitchen Cookbook by Lena Tashjian and Siroon Parseghian. The word “mshosh” originated from the reduction of the word “myshosh” (a variety of wild apricot).  Customarily, the apricots would be left whole, but Lena prefers them chopped to ensure a sweet taste in every bite.  Mshosh is typically prepared during Lent and is popular among many Western Armenians. (Variations might use pumpkin, green beans, or beets instead of apricots, but the apricot version is the most popular.)



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1 cup dry green lentils

3 cups water

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 to 4 tablespoons oil

1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped

1/2 cup prunes (dried plums), chopped

Topics: History, Van

2/3 cup walnuts, crushed (a mixture of chopped almonds and pecans may be used)

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Serves 4 to 6.



Soak apricots and prunes in hot water.  Set aside for 5 minutes. Drain completely.

Rinse and drain the dry lentils.

Place the lentils in a pot with the 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to medium. Cook lentils, covered, until soft and liquid is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.  Check to make sure the liquid hasn’t evaporated before the cooking time is up.  Add a bit more water, if necessary.  However, if lentils are fully cooked and liquid remains, drain any excess liquid.

While lentils are cooking, sauté the onion in a skillet over medium heat until translucent.  Add the drained, chopped apricots and prunes; cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Turn off heat, add chopped nuts and stir, then add the entire fruit-nut mixture to the pot of cooked lentils.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Just before serving, garnish with chopped parsley.

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