Eetch is a classic Armenian dish made of bulgur wheat which can be served hot or cold. It’s simple, healthy, filling, and also vegan and nut free.
Armenian food really deserves more credit. There are many traditional Armenian dishes that are healthy, delicious, and totally plant based!
However, one iconic Armenian recipe that stands out from the pack is Eetch (also spelled Eech, Itch, or Metch).
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Eetch is made from bulgur which is parboiled wheat granules (also known as ‘cracked wheat’) and it’s rich in minerals, fiber, antioxidants and plant based protein! 💪🏽🌱.
Bulgur can easily be found at any Indian or Middle Eastern grocery store, but you can also find it at health food stores and even on Amazon.
Just make sure you’re getting fine bulgur, or #1 milled (they range from #1 through #4, 1 being the smallest and 4 being the largest). This will ensure the wheat granule cooks properly in the steaming method employed in this recipe.
Bulgur is also the base of Tabouleh, a distant cousin of Armenian Eetch.
Like Tabouleh, Eetch gets a bright punch of flavor from fragrant parsley leaves and tart lemon juice. However, what truly makes Eetch a phenomenal dish unlike any other, is its vibrant flavor from spices like cumin and paprika, and bold red color from tomato paste and tomato sauce.
I’ve kept my Eetch pretty simple, with wheat, herbs, and tomato sauce, but feel free to add in chopped bell peppers for sweetness, frozen peas & carrots for color, or even some mushrooms for earthiness.
This is a salad after-all.
Let your plant-based freak flag fly.
The cool thing is that Eetch can be served hot or cold, making it the perfect salad or side for any season (although I love having it as a main dish, with a few Gardein Chicken Tenders on top 😍).
I’ve even brought my Eetch to potlucks, picnics, and BBQ’s (of all places!) where it becomes an instant hit with vegetarians and omnis alike!
So if you’re looking for something healthy, bright, and full of flavor, you will love this classic Armenian dish that is good for you and good for the planet!
Try Eetch tonight, and let me know how it went in the comments below 👇🏾.
- 1 cup Fine Bulgur (#1 or fine coarsness)
- 3 Tbsp. Cooking Oil
- 1 medium Onion
- 1 tsp. Minced Garlic (about 2-3 cloves)
- 1½ tsp. Salt
- ½ tsp. Pepper
- 1 tsp. Paprika
- 1 tsp. Cumin, ground
- ½ to 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper (per your taste)
- 8 oz. Can of Tomato Sauce
- 12 oz. Water
- 2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
- 3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
- ½ cup Parsley, chopped
- 4 pcs. Green Onions, chopped
- Wash your bulgur in a large bowl 2-3 times, or until the water runs fairly clear
- Also wash your parsley, and remove as many of the stems as possible (some smaller stems are okay), chop it and set it aside; wash your green onions, and chop them as thinly as possible (both greens and whites), set them side for later as well
- In a medium sauté pan that has a lid (important!), heat your cooking oil on medium-high heat, and sauté your onions for 3 minutes or until translucent
- Add in your garlic, spices, salt, and pepper, cook for 30 seconds before adding your tomato sauce and water, followed by the tomato paste; let this come to a simmer
- Once the sauce has come to a gentle simmer, add in your washed bulgur wheat and mix well; let this cook for 3 minutes allowing the wheat to soak up the water and heat up; if it's looking a little dry, add in more water as needed (we want a very thin sauciness to it)
- Turn off the heat and add your chopped herbs and lemon juice; mix well, and cover the pot with the lid and let it steam for a minimum of 30 minutes (no peaking! the steam has to really cook the grains through)
- Serve on a platter with sliced lemons, chopped parsley for garnish, and a drizzle of olive oil (optional)