Recently, the Armenian Cultural Conservancy (ACC) of Fresno hosted its third annual Armenian Heritage Culinary Arts Class in the Armenian-American Citizens League Hall (AACL) at the California Armenian Home (CAH) Guild. The featured recipe was traditional Kharpertsi-style kufta from Fresno – so celebrated, yet made less often in Armenian homes today. There are many versions of stuffed kufta recipes throughout the Middle East, but this is one of the most traditional. Kharpertsi-style kufta is stuffed with ground beef, onions, pine nuts, and spices, and boiled, and is usually served in a bowl with the cooking broth. (These same kufta, made smaller and in the shape of mini-footballs, may be baked or deep fried and served as an appetizer.) Students and guests enjoyed a kufta lunch, including salad, cheese boureg, bourma, and persimmon cookies. Each attendee received a printed recipe and additional kufta to take home, along with memories from a morning of fellowship and learning about Armenian culture and traditional cuisine.
These kufta are best served with rice or bulgur pilaf, yogurt, Armenian salad, cheese, olives, roasted peppers, and fresh lavash or pita bread.
KUFTA FILLING (“POR”)
4 lbs. ground lean beef