New Recipe: Recipe Corner: Armenian Cuisine’s Zadigi Kahke (Easter Cookies)

1/2 cup sunflower oil (safflower oil may be substituted)

1/2 cup all vegetable shortening (melted)

11/2 cups sugar

1 cup milk (a bit warm)

1 teaspoon mahlab (freshly ground)

11/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon yeast

1 egg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

11/2 teaspoons ground cloves

1 pinch salt

Glaze and garnish:

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon raw sesame seeds

1 tablespoon black cumin seeds


Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend together 1 1/2 cups of the flour, 1/2 cup of the farina, and the rest of the cookie ingredients. Little by little, add the remaining flour and farina. Knead by hand until a workable dough is achieved.

Roll the dough into balls and place them in a large bowl. Cover with parchment paper and a soft, clean towel. Let the dough rest for two hours.

Roll the balls of dough into fine sausage shapes that can be formed into twists, twisted rings, or braids. Place each shaped piece on parchment-lined baking pans. Brush the tops with egg glaze, made by whisking equal amounts of egg and milk. Garnish with sesame seeds or black cumin seeds. Bake the cookies for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes about 50 cookies, depending on size.

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Aline Kamakian and her team cooking for those affected by the horrific explosion in Beirut in 2020

The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative

Aline Kamakian is a 2022 Aurora Humanitarian Initiative honoree, whose full biography can be read on the group’s website. She says she believes that the easiest way to interest a foreigner in your nation is to offer a delicious meal. “This method is nothing new. My restaurants are an attempt to show people that Armenians not only survived the Armenian Genocide, but retained the ability to enjoy life.”

The names of the 2022 Aurora Humanitarians will be revealed on April 24, 2022, and the 2022 Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity will be awarded on behalf of the survivors of Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors later in 2022.

The story is verified by the 100 LIVES Research Team.

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“Putting Armenian cuisine on the culinary map was my father’s dream and my
realization,” says Aline.

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For more news articles about Aline Kamakian, go to:

For the 2012 Interview at AGBU Headquarters with the co-authors of Armenian Cuisine, go to:

Also see: The Armenian Kitchen’s adapted version of Aline Kamakian’s Olive and Nut Salad, go to:

Olive and Nut Salad (Tzitabedoughi yev Engouizi Aghtsan), a recipe by Aline Kamakian, Mayrig Restaurant, Beirut, Lebanon

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