Khash is a winter dish that is typically consumed in Iran, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. The dish is considered a delicacy and is often eaten by the wealthy during the winter months. Ingredients typically consist of cow's feet, vinegar, salt, garlic, and lemon juice. Cow's stomach and head may also be included in the recipe. This dish can be eaten alone, but it is usually combined with other foods such as pickles, hot peppers, fresh greens, and cheese.
Always served hot, khash is a strong-smelling dish due to the ingredients included in the recipe. It is frequently eaten on holidays and weekends, and usually accompanied with mineral water and vodka. Although the dish can be eaten at any time of day, it is usually eaten in the morning hours. Dried lavash bread is often crushed up and added to the soup before serving.
This dish is made by boiling cow's feet until the water becomes a thick, pungent-smelling soup. The boiling process can take hours, and no seasonings are added during this time. It is not until the dish is served that it is seasoned with various spices, salt, and garlic. Many choose to leave the dish with only these simple ingredients, but others will add vegetables, peppers, and various cheeses. Khash is generally served with other foods during a party or celebration, and many Armenians choose to eat the khash with their hands.
It is not uncommon for Armenians to refrain from eating the previous evening before consuming this dish. During a khash feast, party guests are often expected to bring a bottle of vodka because the dish is frequently served with alcohol. Many people who consume the dish end up sleeping for hours after the fact, mainly due to the consumption of large amounts of vodka. This winter dish is also extremely pungent in smell because of the cow shanks included in the food. Since it is so strong in smell, khash is typically only eaten on certain special occasions.
The cow's feet included in this dish are rich in vitamins, cartilage, collagen, and connective tissue. Khash is believed to help heal joint problems and relieve the painful symptoms of arthritis and other health issues. The garlic included in the recipe can also provide health benefits, as garlic is known to lower cholesterol and boost the immune system. It can also help ward off diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.