Anoush Abour - Armenian Christmas Pudding Recipe from Armenia

Anoush Abour - an Armenian Christmas Pudding

Anoush Abour - Armenian Christmas Pudding Recipe from Armenia
Region / culture: Armenia | Preparation time: overnight | Cooking time: 2 hours | Servings: 6-8


Anoush Abour - an Armenian Christmas Pudding
Anoush Abour - an Armenian Christmas Pudding

Anoush Abour, also known as Armenian Christmas Pudding, is a traditional dish that is deeply rooted in Armenian culture and is typically served during the Christmas season. This delightful pudding is made from simple, wholesome ingredients including gorgod (skinless whole wheat), dried fruits, nuts, and sugar, creating a rich and comforting dessert. Its unique texture and flavor profile make it a festive favorite, embodying the warmth and joy of the holiday season.


The tradition of Anoush Abour dates back centuries and is a testament to the Armenian people's resilience and dedication to preserving their culture and traditions. The name itself, "Anoush Abour," translates to "sweet soup," reflecting its comforting and sweet nature. Originally, this dish was prepared to symbolize prosperity and good fortune for the coming year. Over time, it has become a staple during Christmas celebrations, bringing families together to share in its deliciousness and the joy of the season.



How to prepare

  1. In a 6 qt (5.68 liter) pot, combine wheat and water. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Cover and let it rest overnight.
  2. Remove the cover. Return to a simmer. Simmer the gorgod until the water begins to thicken. The lower the simmer, the whiter the pudding will remain. After about 1.5 to 2 hours of simmering, add the sugar and continue to simmer. The pudding will begin to take on a thicker consistency.
  3. While the wheat is simmering, combine the fruit, pistachios, and pine nuts in a small saucepan with water. Bring to a gentle simmer and allow it to cook for about 15 minutes. Thoroughly drain. Add to the pudding when the pudding is cooled so that the fruit will not bleed color into the pudding.
  4. Pour the mixture into a serving bowl. Garnish with filberts, slivered almonds, pecans, or walnuts and cinnamon.
  5. Pomegranate seeds should either be incorporated into the pudding uncooked or served separately as a garnish.


  • While the traditional recipe for Anoush Abour is cherished, there are several variations that can be made to suit different tastes or dietary needs. For a vegan version, substitute the sugar with a plant-based sweetener. To make it gluten-free, quinoa or rice can replace the wheat. Additionally, the choice of dried fruits and nuts can be varied based on availability and personal preference.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best results when making Anoush Abour, consider the following tips:

- Soak the wheat overnight to significantly reduce cooking time and achieve the desired texture.

- Maintain a low and gentle simmer to prevent the pudding from becoming too thick too quickly and to preserve its white color.

- Add the sugar towards the end of the cooking process to allow the wheat to fully soften and the flavors to meld beautifully.

- Incorporate the fruits and nuts once the pudding has cooled slightly to prevent them from bleeding color into the pudding, ensuring a visually appealing dish.

Serving Suggestions

Anoush Abour can be served either warm or cold, depending on personal preference. It is traditionally garnished with ground cinnamon, nuts, and pomegranate seeds, adding to its festive appearance and flavor. For an extra touch of sweetness, a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of powdered sugar can be added just before serving.

Cooking Techniques

The key to a perfect Anoush Abour lies in the cooking technique. Simmering the wheat slowly and gently is crucial for achieving the right consistency and flavor. Additionally, soaking the dried fruits and nuts before adding them to the pudding can enhance their texture and taste, making the dish even more delightful.

Ingredient Substitutions

For those looking to make substitutions, here are a few suggestions:

- Barley or farro can replace gorgod for a different texture.

- Maple syrup or honey can be used instead of sugar for natural sweetness.

- Any combination of dried fruits and nuts can be used based on what's available or preferred.

Make Ahead Tips

Anoush Abour is an excellent make-ahead dish, as the flavors continue to develop and meld when stored. It can be prepared a day or two in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve. Simply reheat gently if serving warm, or enjoy cold straight from the fridge.

Presentation Ideas

To make your Anoush Abour visually appealing, serve it in a beautiful bowl or individual serving dishes. Garnish with a generous amount of nuts, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and vibrant pomegranate seeds for a pop of color. A mint leaf or edible flowers can add an elegant touch.

Pairing Recommendations

Anoush Abour pairs wonderfully with a cup of Armenian coffee or tea, creating a perfect end to a festive meal. For a complete holiday experience, serve it alongside other traditional Armenian dishes, allowing for a full exploration of the rich culinary heritage.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, simply warm in a saucepan over low heat, adding a little water or milk if the pudding has thickened too much. It can also be enjoyed cold, making it a versatile dish for any time of day.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Anoush Abour contains approximately 300-400 calories, making it a relatively energy-dense dish. The exact calorie count can vary based on the specific amounts and types of fruits and nuts used.


A serving of Anoush Abour is a good source of carbohydrates, primarily from the wheat, sugar, and dried fruits. Carbohydrates are essential for energy, and this dish provides a healthy balance, making it a satisfying dessert or snack. The complex carbs from the wheat and the natural sugars from the fruits offer a steady energy release.


The fats in Anoush Abour come mainly from the nuts used in the recipe. These include healthy unsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health. Nuts such as pistachios, pine nuts, and almonds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, contributing to the overall nutritional value of the dish.


Anoush Abour provides a modest amount of protein, primarily from the wheat and nuts. Protein is crucial for building and repairing tissues, and the combination of ingredients in this dish makes it a good vegetarian source of this essential nutrient.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, thanks to the variety of fruits and nuts included. Vitamins A and C from the apricots, antioxidants from the currants, and minerals such as magnesium and zinc from the nuts contribute to the overall nutritional profile of Anoush Abour.


Common allergens in Anoush Abour include wheat and tree nuts. Individuals with gluten intolerance or nut allergies should exercise caution and consider suitable substitutions to accommodate their dietary needs.


Overall, Anoush Abour is a nutritious and satisfying dish, offering a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, along with essential vitamins and minerals. Its ingredients contribute to its health benefits, making it a wholesome choice for a festive treat.


Anoush Abour is more than just a dish; it's a celebration of Armenian culture, tradition, and the joy of the holiday season. With its rich history, nutritional benefits, and delicious taste, it's a wonderful addition to any festive table. Whether sticking to the traditional recipe or experimenting with variations, Anoush Abour is sure to bring warmth and sweetness to your holiday celebrations.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time brings a smile to my face. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in a small village in Armenia. Christmas was always a special time for us, filled with delicious food and joyful celebrations.

One year, my mother was busy in the kitchen preparing our Christmas feast when she suddenly realized that she had forgotten to make a dessert. She called out to me, asking if I knew of any recipes we could try. I racked my brain, trying to think of something that would be both festive and delicious. That's when the memory of my dear Aunt Ani came to mind.

Aunt Ani was known throughout the village for her incredible cooking skills. She had a way of turning simple ingredients into mouthwatering dishes that left everyone begging for more. I remembered a dessert she had made once, a rich and decadent pudding called Anoush Abour. It was the perfect treat for Christmas, with its warm spices and sweet flavors.

I rushed to my bedroom and pulled out an old notebook where I kept all of Aunt Ani's recipes. I flipped through the pages until I found the one for Anoush Abour. As I read through the instructions, I could practically taste the pudding in my mouth. I knew that this was the dessert we had been searching for.

I hurried back to the kitchen and showed the recipe to my mother. She read it over and nodded her approval. Together, we gathered the ingredients and started preparing the pudding. The kitchen soon filled with the warm aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. I felt a sense of pride as I helped my mother stir the pudding, knowing that we were creating something special.

As the pudding baked in the oven, I couldn't help but think of Aunt Ani and how she had shared her love of cooking with me. She had taught me that food was more than just sustenance, it was a way to bring people together and create lasting memories. I was grateful for her wisdom and her delicious recipes.

When the Anoush Abour was finally ready, we let it cool before taking our first bite. The pudding was everything I had hoped for and more. The rich flavors danced on my tongue, warming me from the inside out. My mother and I shared a knowing smile as we savored each mouthful, grateful for the gift of Aunt Ani's recipe.

From that day on, Anoush Abour became a staple of our Christmas celebrations. It was a dish that brought us closer together, reminding us of the love and tradition that filled our home. Whenever I make the pudding now, I think of my dear Aunt Ani and the joy she brought to our lives.

As I sit here now, in my own kitchen, preparing Anoush Abour for my own family, I can't help but feel a sense of gratitude for the recipes that have been passed down to me. They are more than just instructions for cooking, they are a connection to the past and a reminder of the love that has always surrounded me.

As I take a bite of the warm pudding, the flavors transporting me back to that first Christmas when I discovered the recipe, I am filled with a sense of contentment. The memory of Aunt Ani and her delicious Anoush Abour will always hold a special place in my heart, reminding me of the power of food to bring joy and togetherness to those we love.


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