This is a dish that has its origins in Nagorno-Karabakh, a beautiful and mountainous enclave nestled between Armenia and Azerbaijan which has been the subject of over 30 years of conflict between the two states.
Following Azerbaijan's lighting military operation on Armenia's remaining territories within the region, over 100,000 ethnic Armenians have fled into Armenia. A massive humanitarian crisis unfolding in a country of just 3 million people, and there is a desperate need for emergency assistance including food, blankets and medical supplies.
The UN has launched an emergency response plan, and there are plenty of organisations accepting donations, including:
Jingalov Hats literally means "bread with herbs" in Armenian and is a brilliant way to use up leftover herbs and leaves, which steam inside as the bread cooks.
The exact herbs don’t seem to matter, as long as there is a varied flavour profile: from tangy (such as sorrel) to earthy (such as parsley) to soft (such as coriander). It’s a delicious packed lunch, but it also provides a moment for reflection as you knead the dough from a claggy mess into a smooth ball.
100g plain flour
Warm water (about 40ml)
1tsp sunflower or rapeseed oil for greasing
50g chopped sorrel
50g chopped coriander
50g chopped dill
50g chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 chopped spring onion
1tsp olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
Sift the flour into the bowl with a pinch of salt.
Add the water, little by little, until it comes together tackily.
Flour your worktop and knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
Wash and dry all the greens well and mix with the spring onions, olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper.
Divide the dough when rested into two balls.
Roll each ball out on a floured worktop into a thin rectangle.
Place half of the filling in the middle of each, leaving an inch of dough at the borders.
Pinch the sides together over the dough and bring them together in a boat shape, squeezing out any air.
Place a cast-iron or non-stick frying pan on a medium to high heat. One at a time, place the dough parcels with their seams facing down and cook on each side for about 3 minutes, or until the dough is cooked and brown.