Dilijan cuisine: gifts of nature, rich heritage and original ingredients

Dilijan cuisine is an integral part of the national Armenian cuisine and is distinguished by interesting flavor combinations and authentic dishes. Dilijan is known for its green forests and meadows, which means that the cuisine of this region often contains ingredients that can be found in the forest: edible herbs, nuts, berries, fruits and mushrooms. They are usually consumed fresh, fried and boiled, as well as in the form of pickles and marinades. Like most Armenians, meat and dairy products are invariably present in the ration of local residents. Below we will provide you with a list of dishes with a truly Dilijan flavor and aroma!


Nettle soup

With the onset of warm spring, local residents begin to harvest nettles to prepare the most long-awaited soup of the spring season. Nettle is a valuable source of vitamins and trace elements. The soup also includes eggs, potatoes and butter. Nettle is used raw, dried and fried. In addition to soup, tinctures and hot dishes are also prepared from nettles.

Choratan soup

The unusual name "choratan" is translated from Armenian as "dry tan". The soup is based on sun-dried balls of decanted fat-free matsun, which later become raw materials for tan or soup. In this form, they are very convenient to store for a long time. The dairy product is prepared by local pastoralists who move their families for the summer season high in the mountains, where they equip houses from improvised materials. Their main task is to prepare for cold weather: accumulation and harvesting of long-lasting dairy products. The picturesque Dilijan meadows, in which the herds graze, contribute to the production of a large amount of milk from them. Each local family has its own recipe for a dish with choratan: whether it's "khankyal" with onion toasting and choratan or just tan with mint.

Mallow and mushroom soup

Mallow is one of the most popular edible plants in Dilijan. Stews and soups are made from it. Mallow has practically no contraindications to use and is combined with almost any vegetables and herbs. This wonderful soup, combining the delicate taste of mushrooms and mallow, can be called the work of Dilijans.

Prtuk from horse sorrel (aveluk)

Horse sorrel has been one of the most commonly used herbs in Dilijan cuisine since ancient times, because it has a unique taste and aroma, as well as a lot of useful properties. In cooking, dried aveluk leaves are necessarily used - fermentation takes place during drying, and they acquire a pleasant taste, and the characteristic bitterness disappears. Weaving and drying of aveluk is a separate ritual of Armenian housewives, to which you need to devote many hours. Salads, soups and fried dishes are prepared from aveluk. The density of the soup is provided by adding soft dough balls to the broth - "prtuks". Today, the dish is prepared in a slightly modified version: before adding flour, it is fried in oil and not molded into balls from it, and potatoes are sometimes used instead of lentils.

Pumpkin soup-puree

Pumpkin and beans have always been integral parts in the kitchen of local families. It is these vegetables that are most often found in the traditional culinary recipes of Dilijan cuisine. They eat any kind of beans - green, string beans, beans. Pumpkin is also cooked in different styles. Pumpkin soup-puree is one of the favorite dishes of the winter-spring period for guests and locals.

Bean Soup

The main ingredients of bean soup are beans and dzavar (wheat groats). In winter, Dilijan cuisine traditionally has not only beans, but also dried green beans "hasham", which is pre-soaked before use. Dzavar is used in Dilijan cuisine thanks to Armenians from the Middle East who settled in Dilijan in the 1940s. Beans and dzavar are perfectly combined with each other. This soup is still one of the most beloved in Dilijan families.

Meat dishes

Dilijanian tolma

Tolma is one of the most famous Armenian dishes. There are many variants of this dish: tolma is made from chopped or stuffed beef and pork, wrapped in grape, cabbage, raspberry and even bean leaves, or simply stuffed with meat vegetables: peppers, eggplants, tomatoes. The locals have preserved their unique tolma recipe. May butter is added to ground beef, which gives it a special taste (May is the month of abundant flowering of plants and cow's milk of this period is characterized by a high fat content, a unique yellow color and sweet taste). Crushed wheat and fragrant fresh herbs are also added to the minced meat. And it's all wrapped up... no, not in a grape or even a cabbage leaf, but in the leaves of a mother-and-stepmother.


Korkot (translated from Armenian as "wheat grains") is a rather peculiar dish that is usually prepared in the winter season. Local residents prepare korkot from semi-finished products using the meat of a half-boiled pork head and wheat previously soaked in water. In other regions of Armenia, the dish is prepared in tandoor, and the residents of Dilijan - on a slow fire of a gas stove, although Dilijan korkot tastes no worse than cooked in tandoor.

Chicken with onions and dried fruits

This recipe was included in the cookbook of Dilijan thanks to the Artsakh people who settled in the city during the First Artsakh War. According to the Artsakh version of the dish, the chicken is stuffed with dried dogwood and served with pomegranate sauce, and in the Dilijan version, the chicken is stuffed with prunes or dried cherries, and served mainly with lemon juice.

Sauerkraut stew with pork

This recipe was adopted by the locals from the Molokans who live in the vicinity of Dilijan. According to this recipe, pork is stewed with sauerkraut, thanks to which fatty meat becomes very tasty.

Dishes made from vegetable products

Horse sorrel salad

This is a truly underrated salad with a lot of useful properties. It is prepared mainly in cold seasons and is often served cooled.

Boiled kupena / Solomon's seal

Kupena, and in Armenian "sindrik" is a plant like asparagus, has the same thick stem and rich taste. Kupena has been growing since the end of April and is one of the favorite local products. It is usually prepared by boiling it in water for 3-5 minutes, and then citric acid or vinegar is added. This is served with salt or matsun.

Tsandil / khatkhash

This is a kind of porridge, which is usually prepared in the cold season from three main ingredients: corn, wheat, beans.

Fried mushrooms

Experienced mushroom pickers begin to collect tree mushrooms from late spring to mid-autumn. Locals cook a large number of mushroom dishes: soups, pies, fried, pickled, etc. In summer, along the streets, on the sidewalks, you can find buckets of mushrooms for sale.


Rice with plum jam

This unique recipe for sweet pilaf is a gift to the locals from Teresa Bagratovna, the wife of the famous Dilijan doctor of the 20th century Gurgen Bogaturov. The Bogatyrev couple settled in Dilijan after the Great Patriotic War and decided to spend the rest of their lives in these green mountains. This pilaf can be made from any kind of rice and served with jam from any kind of plum.

Dilijanian gata

Gata is the oldest Armenian pastry, written mentions of which have been found since the 12th-13th centuries. This sweetness is a must-have dish of any Armenian feast. The preparation of ghats has its own interesting rituals: a seal was prepared on a wooden or stone slab, which was put on the dough before being sent to the tandoor. The seal could contain the name of family members or some significant symbol. Such family seals can now be found in the Dilijan Ethnographic Museum. Another tradition is to put a coin in the gata. According to legend, whoever gets a piece with a coin will be lucky.

Dilijanian halva

Halva is another popular oriental sweet in Armenia. Every child born in Armenia remembers the taste of this dessert since childhood. The secret of the special taste of Dilijanian halva is that it is prepared with cream. Such halva was often prepared in the mountains.

Dilijanian katnahunts

This pastry is mainly prepared on the occasion of Easter holidays. According to some interpretations, the round shape of baking symbolizes the universe. According to the first version, a strip of woven dough along the edge symbolizes the crown of thorns on the head of Christ, and according to the second - the scythe of the ancient Armenian goddess Anahit. "Katnahunts" means "mixed with milk". Usually housewives bake a large amount of this pastry for the holiday to treat guests.


In the winter months, in the homes of local residents, you can try masramatsun, a sauce made from rosehip fruits. Scarlet fruits and rosehip bushes are one of the features of the Dilijan forest. The harvest is harvested in autumn and used for various purposes: dried, tea, juice, jam are prepared. Rosehip contains a huge source of vitamins necessary for the body, it is also used in the treatment of inflammatory diseases and disorders of the digestive system. Masramatsun sauce is served as a drink, dessert or soup.

One of the best ways to get to know the flavor of the region is to study and taste the local cuisine. Entrusting the organization of your vacation in Dilijan to the #GoToDili team, you will have the opportunity to taste most of the above authentic dishes from the locals.

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