Harissa Recipe - Հարիսա - Armenian Cuisine

Harissa Recipe – Հարիսա – Armenian Cuisine

Harissa Recipe

Very special, powerful and historical Armenian dish called Harissa.

In Armenia nowadays Harissa is made once a year to commemorate the resistance of Musa Ler mountain during Armenian genocide in 1915. Hundreds of people will gather in Armenian region Armavir, every third Sunday of September , they’d sing patriotic songs ,dance to celebrate the victory of Musa Ler resistance, pay tribute to all innocent Armenians killed during genocide by Ottoman Turks.

This delicious and filling dish is made with two simple ingredients: peeled wheat and meat. Traditionally it is made with sacrificed lamb, later the dish is blessed by a priest before serving to people. We also make Harissa with chicken. As simple as it is, Harissa also requires a good amount of time, stirring, patience and love.

Let’s get to cooking and make the most delicious porridge you’ve ever tasted.

Harissa Recipe - Հարիսա - Armenian Cuisine


Harissa Recipe - Հարիսա - Armenian Cuisine

You will need one 5-6 lbs chicken

1 lbs (680 grams) peeled wheat



Clarified or regular butter for serving Harisa

Harissa Recipe - Հարիսա - Armenian Cuisine


Harissa Recipe - Հարիսա - Armenian Cuisine

Cook the chicken until tender, save the broth

Remove and separate all the meat from the bones,

Save the bones to make broth, you’ll need extra liquid for cooking the wheat

Wash the wheat, place in a large pot, add the chicken and broth, start cooking

Cook and stir on medium heat

As the liquid simmers, add more broth ( the one you made with chicken bones or simply add boiling water)

Cook and stir Harissa for 4-5 hours or until all the chicken meat dissolved with wheat,

Thick and heavy porridge consistency is what you need for perfectly cooked Harissa

Remember to stir occasionally to prevent sticking

Harisa is served with clarified or melted butter, pickled veggies are also a must side dish to go with Harisa

Harissa Recipe - Հարիսա - Armenian Cuisine

Harissa Recipe - Հարիսա - Armenian Cuisine


650-700 գ սպիտակ ձավար, կարող եք մինչև եփելը մի քանի ժամ թրջել

2-2.5 կգ հավ ( կարելի է հնդկահավի, գառան կամ տավարի մսով էլ եփել)

Աղ ըստ համի


  1. Hi Heghineh jan!
    Thank you yet for another traditional Armenian recipe!
    It’s always a great pleasure to read and watch your blog( I think the only real Armenian food blog). There is some kind of nostalgic warmth to your posts that I really love.
    I’m a professional chef myself and your blog really inspires me. Love it?.

    • Hello Tina jan,
      Very sorry for late reply. I’m literally splitting in half these days☺️
      So happy to hear that I can inspire my fellow Armenians, that’s one of the reasons I continue doing what I do, and thankful that people express their gratitude once in a while. It does keep me going .
      I’m not a good writer when it comes to my blog, in fact that’s the least favorite thing to do. I’d cook and bake for hours and never complaint , but when it’s time to put down a recipe or a quick intro … ahh , all the fun ends there, haha☺️
      Thank you again for taking time and writing me,
      I appreciate it!

  2. HELLO! My name is Janella I’m originally from Long Island , BALDWIN ,N.Y. 11510.My grandmother ,on my father’s side is ARAMENIAN ,and I’m very proud of it! Thank you for your great tasty recipes I eYy

    • Hello Janella,
      Thank you too for taking time and writing me, glad you like my recipes ,I try to share as many traditional Armenian recipes as I possibly can,
      Hope you try and enjoy them!

  3. HI Heghine, i’m half Armenian (my dad) and half Ethiopian (my mom); i remember when i was a kid my mom used to make harisa and i also remember not liking it because it didn’t have any taste. now i know why??? ‘cos i didn’t put any salt 🙂 i’ll definitely cook it soon and spice it up a little. Thanks dear for all the tutorials!

    • Hi Alice jan,
      Salt is a must ingredient for harissa, also you can add some cumin, it’ll taste much better and of course the clarified butter make harissa very delicious and filling meal, let me know how it turns out.
      Good luck !

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