Food, Armenia

A Dish for Armenian New Year, Family Style

A video recipe for stuffed goose to welcome 2024

To celebrate the arrival of 2024, EastEast invited the Yerevan-based project Charbakh (Hayk Muradyan, Yeva Muradyan, Tigran Usikyan) to share their favorite New Year recipe for a big gathering. Charbakh is a family project run by siblings Hayk, Yeva, and Yeva’s partner Tigran, all united by their love of cooking vlogs and their family house in Charbakh where all the cooking takes place.

The name of our project is Charbakh—it’s named after the neighborhood where our house is located, where I grew up, and the place where we film. My brother Hayk loves Caucasian, Chinese, Mongolian, and Central Asian cuisine and all three of us really love various cooking vlogs and shows on YouTube. We knew that there is a certain charm in what we cook in our backyard in Charbakh, too, and just started filming it.

Maybe there is some point in providing some context about the neighborhood (or maybe there isn’t, but I will regardless). In the 90s, Charbakh was one of the most crime-infiltrated and wild districts of Yerevan. It was kind of an iconic place, once a working-class district and after the Soviet collapse, just a gangster den. Nowadays, it’s become a family neighborhood, with only the very occasional outbreaks of gang violence. 

What do we do in life? I am a photographer, animation film director, and artist. Currently, I'm working on a project called Absurdistan Chronicles, which delves into the peculiar, ridiculous, and dramatic events surrounding Armenians in Armenia. I'm working on a photobook, which is also titled Charbakh. It focuses on our neighborhood and its people. Lastly, I'm collaborating with my partner Tigran on our project Olympica, a video archive that captures the life of Armenian sports clubs. Essentially, we travel to various clubs, capturing interesting details from their lives. 

Hayk is a hypochondriac, hysterical, and a glutton—just kidding—he is a man of many interests: an amateur cook, professional sculptor, a genuinely captivating storyteller, furniture maker, and my brother. He's a true renaissance man. 

Tigran—dictating this to me as I write—is currently working on Olympica and is dedicated to studying the art of jiu-jitsu and filming Charbakh cooking vlogs. He suggests ending on this note, so I’d say that’s that.

Yeva Muradyan

Recipe: Stuffed Goose in a Tandoori


walnut—50 g
yellow raisin—50 g
black raisin—50 g
dried apricots—50 g
prunes—50 g
rice—700 g
goose—5 kg
ketchup, sunflower oil, soy sauce, honey, cognac,
saffron, cumin, black and red pepper, turmeric

1. Use a gas burner to singe the goose. Remove the goose's organs and wash them meticulously. It's crucial to scrape the interior with a spoon to ensure thorough cleaning. Only the heart, kidneys, fat, and liver are used—we use them as an appetizer and throw out everything else.

2. Wash the goose thoroughly, scraping off all the hair and fluff with a knife. Check for any remaining hair or fluff and repeat the process until none is left. This typically takes around 20 minutes.

3. Fry dried fruits and walnuts in goose fat for about two minutes, then use this mixture to stuff the goose, together with the rice.

4. For the rice stuffing, use approximately 700 grams of rice. Ideally, cook the rice partially (around 70%) in a frying pan before mixing it with fried prunes and stuffing it into the goose.

5. Prepare a marinade by combining soy sauce, honey, cognac, sunflower oil, and spices such as saffron, cumin, black and red pepper, and turmeric. 

6. Spread the marinade on the goose.

7. Cook the goose in a tandoor or oven, initially for about 2 hours and 30 minutes wrapped in foil. Once the time is up, remove the goose from the tandoor, unwrap it, and coat it with a second sauce, consisting of ketchup, sunflower oil, honey, soy sauce, and red and black pepper to enhance its color. Cook an additional 30 minutes uncovered until it achieves a red hue. 

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Hayk Muradyan
Yerevan-based amateur cook, professional sculptor, furniture maker, and a storyteller. He is also a co-author of the Charbakh cooking show.
Tigran Usikyan
Author and amateur grappler based in Yerevan. Tigran is currently working on Olympica, an archive project focused on Armenian sports clubs. He is also filming a cooking show called Charbakh.
Yeva Muradyan
Рhotographer, animation film director, and artist from Armenia. Yeva is currently working on a photobook depicting her childhood neighborhood, Charbakh. She illustrates the comic series Absurdistan Chronicles and directs a culinary show, also titled Charbakh.