When the Armenians arrived in Lebanon in the early twentieth century, they settled in Bourj Hammoud and in Aanjar, and brought with them their traditions, skills, and cuisine. Armenian cuisine is sophisticated and has a taste of its own. Itch is basically the Armenian version of a tabouleh. Itch is mainly fine-ground bulgur soaked in a tomato-based sauce. Sona Tikidjian is the queen of Armenian cuisine at Tawlet and the sweetest cook and person you will ever meet! Her itch is perfect in both flavor and consistency—not too thick and not too soupy!
- 2 medium yellow onions
- 1 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
- 2 14 pounds (1 kg) tomatoes
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 cup (164 g) fine-grind white bulgur
- Juice of 3 lemons
- 1 tablespoon (16 g) red chile paste
- 1 tablespoon (20 g) debs el remmen (pomegranate molasses)
- Kamal Mouzawak
Finely chop the onions. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the onions until translucent. Peel and dice the tomatoes. Finely chop the green pepper, and add the pepper and tomatoes to the onions. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes, until the tomatoes start melting.
Take the skillet off the heat, and add the bulgur, lemon juice, chile paste, and pomegranate molasses. Season to taste with salt. Mix well and let the bulgur soak up all the juices. Serve at room temperature.