This article for Khorovats Armenian Grilled Vegetables was originally written for Curious Cusiniere.
WHAT ARE KHORAVATS VEGETABLES?
Grilling is the favorite past time in Armenia. Armenian families get together to celebrate birthdays and other occasions and enjoy a good meal of grilled meats and vegetables.
The word khorovats comes from the word khorovel which means ‘to cook over an open fire’. So, technically anything that’s cooked on the grill can be called khorovats.
But traditionally, khoravats means meat and vegetables prepared on the grill. Khorovats vegetables are usually tomatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers.
CHOOSING THE VEGETABLES FOR GRILLING
Khorovats vegetables are always grilled whole. This way, they stay nice and moist on the inside and don’t dry out.
So, avoid choosing vegetables that are too large. Medium-size tomatoes and bell peppers work best.
Armenians use eggplant varieties that are small in size. Here in North America, it’s usually Chinese eggplant which is thin and long.
ABOUT CHINESE EGGPLANT
Because of the size and shape, Chinese eggplants are perfect for grilling.
You don’t need to cut them to make sure they cook properly. The flesh cooks perfectly and retains a lot of moisture because it’s protected by the skin.
Chinese eggplants are not bitter so you won’t end up with a bitter tasting side dish. You don’t even need to remove the seeds.
Once the Chinese eggplant is cooked you can easily remove the skin by pulling it off or just scooping out the flesh with a spoon.
HOW TO PREPARE ARMENIAN GRILLED VEGETABLES
Wash all the vegetables and pat them dry.
Place the tomatoes, eggplants, and bell peppers on the grill at the same time. You can remove them one by one as they cook through.
Tomatoes usually cook fastest, followed by the eggplants and bell peppers.
You want to have a few char marks on the skin, but make sure the vegetables don’t burn too much. If you have any fire flare-ups on the grill just move the vegetables around.
There is no need to oil or salt the vegetables before grilling them.
Cook the vegetables with the BBQ lid down, but make sure to check on them a few times and turn them as needed.
The vegetables can be served on a platter decorated with a lot of fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, or basil as well as thinly sliced red onions.
Or, they can be used to prepare a khoroavts vegetable salad.
HOW TO MAKE ARMENIAN GRILLED VEGETABLE SALAD
If you decide to make a salad, put the vegetables into a large bowl as you take them off of the grill. Cover the bowl with a lid and let the vegetables stand for about 5 to 10 minutes. This will make peeling the skin off the vegetables much easier.
Keep in mind that the vegetables from the grill are extremely hot so be very careful when handling them.
When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, carefully peel the skin off of all of them.
You will also notice that the vegetables will release a lot of liquid. This is because they were cooked whole and the moisture didn’t escape during cooking. So, make sure to drain the liquid as needed.
Once you peeled the vegetables, chop them into chunks and place into a bowl. Season with salt. Add the garlic, herbs, and olive oil, if using.
This grilled vegetable salad makes a very healthy side dish. If you don’t have an outdoor grill or just don’t feel like using it, you can also prepare it in the oven. For step-by-step instructions on how to roast the vegetables in the oven, check out my Mediterranean Eggplant Salad.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
What do you think about the korovats vegetables? Is it something you would try to make at your next BBQ dinner party? Please let us know in the comments below.
- 6 medium tomatoes
- 5 Chinese eggplants
- 3 bell peppers
For the salad:
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- a handful of cilantro, parsley, or basil, chopped
- 1 Tbsp olive oil (optional)
- Preheat the grill to the medium heat.
- With a fork, poke holes in the skin of the eggplants in three or four places. Place the tomatoes, eggplants, and bell peppers on the grill. Close the lid.
- Check on the vegetables every once in a while and turn them as needed.
- Cook the vegetables for about 20 minutes or until they are soft and start to collapse.
- Arrange on a platter and garnish with fresh herbs and chopped red onion.
To Make the Salad:
- Transfer the cooked vegetables from the grill into a bowl. Cover with a lid and let it stand until the vegetables are cool enough to handle.
- Remove the skin from the vegetables and chop into chunks. Drain the liquid as needed.
- Transfer into a salad bowl and add the garlic, herbs, and olive oil if using. Season with salt. Serve warm.
The nutrition info is for the grilled vegetables only (salad ingredients are not included in the calculations).
Serving Size1/4 of recipe
Amount Per ServingCalories 93Total Fat 0.8gSaturated Fat 0.1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0.7gCholesterol 0mgSodium 50.7mgCarbohydrates 21.9gFiber 5.8gSugar 11.9gProtein 3.3g