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Chaman Che-man!!!


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#1 Arpa

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Posted 11 October 2002 - 07:00 AM

Chaman che-man!!!

If you think the above is a silly play on words, a pun, a barakhagh you are right. There is a reason for this madness.
A few days ago I promised to write about apukht/apuxt and chaman. I did. Tragically when I finished it my system froze before I had a chance to save it. Disaster, you say? No. Blessing! Even though the item was kind of complete and it showed that my suspicions about the misconceptions of the words was kind of proven correct, I have since learned a little more about the subject, and I have discovered that my suspicions were totally justified.

Before we come to the main point let us talk about apukht/aapukht and basturma. Just as in the case of all the other Middle Eastern delicacies that the we, the Armenians, introduced to the west, we advertised them with their Turkish names. It seemed to be an innocuous process at one time as there were very few Turks in the west, hence, even though we called them with their Turkish names, such as dolma, saram, kebab... basturma the general public recognized them as being Armenian. The picture is different now, there are more Turks in the west and they are challenging it, and rightfully so, since even though none of them may be original Turkish their names are. Even though most of those delicacies may originally be Syrian and Lebanese (the Syrians are still the masters in the art of Middle Eastern Cuisine, specially the the sweets) the names that WE advertised were Turkish.
We also hinted that the Turkish word "basturma" may be incomplete in describing that delicacy, since it only describes one aspect of the process, the word is based on the root word of "bas", to press, to step on, it refers to the process of pressing the meat. The process of making apuxt is relatively simple. Slabs of red meat, preferably beef but sometimes other s as mutton etc. is salted, a mandatory step of preservation, cured for a few day, drained and hung to partially dry, followed by covering it with a (red) paste composed of "chaman, red dye and tons of garlic. Sound familiar? MosJan, where is the oghi/araq?? (do you want to hear about oghi, raki, araq and araqi?)

Stop salivating all over my keyboard!!!

Whereas as above, the Turkish word (basturma)only describes one aspect of the process the Armenian word, "apuxt" does refer to the whole concept. Even though "apuxt" may be a generic term it has come to be reserved to describe one specific delicacy. The word may be applied to many other foods as it is based on the pahlavi "a-puxt" (Once again, at the present we attribute all these these words to Pahlavi, why could it not be that the Pahlavs borrowed them from us in the first place?) It is based on "a=without" and "puxt=cooked", i.e. "un-cooked". Makes sense!!! Generically it applies to any uncooked, preserved foodstuff, but it has been narrowed to apply to "apuxt".
You name it. Could "apuxt" be applied to pickles and "ershik"?

Chaman che!! Man!!

Armenian- "chaman", Turkish "chemen".
As always. Armenian does not have middle sounds like "oe" as in the French "oef" or "a" as in "hat", the Turks take Armenian words like "orinak", pronounce it "oernek", and "chaman", pronounce it "chemen", and, voila.... Turkish?
Observe!!! I have a suspicion that the word may have Chinese origin. "cha-man"??
Every source I have looked describes the paste that covers apuxt as chaman/chemen.
Most references suggest "qimion/qemon" as being the source of, i.e. cumin.
WRONG!!!

Chaman and chemen are equivalents of Cumin. We know what cumin is. It is extensively used in Arabic (kammoun)and Indian cuisine and its distinctive pungent smell cannot be ignored and dismissed:
cuisinehttp://www-ang.kfunigraz.ac.at/~katzer/engl/generic_frame.html?Trig_foe.html

Apuxt does not contain cumin/kamoun/qimon/qimion.
We know what cumin is. It is an herb with a distinctive pungent odor and flavor.
I had known that the paste covering that delicacy was composed of a powder, that originally was yellowish in color until it was colored with a red dye (vortan karmir, kirmiz, cochineal red?)
Now I know what it s!! I have known it for some time.

WRONG AGAIN???!!!
(Ajarian and Sukyasian should revise their works and distinguish between Cumin and Fenugreek.)

FENUGREEK?

What is the Armenian word for "Fenugreek"?

There may be one clue. Some of the references allude to "jabourr" as "haykakan qimion". I have yet to find an extended description of it.

See it for yourself.

http://www-ang.kfuni...l/Trig_foe.html

#2 Arpa

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Posted 11 October 2002 - 04:45 PM

Based on the above it becomes obvious that both the Armenian chaman and the Turkish chemen are erroneously applied. The main ingredient of the paste is from Fenugreek. Then how is that both are wrong? It is simple when we admit that the Turks have borrowed many words from us. First the Armenians confused chaman/cumin/kamun with Fenugreek then the Turks borrowed it from the Armenian without questioning its veracity. All they had to do was as usual bend the vowels and make sound Turkish. Hence cumin/kamun became "chaman" then it became "chemen". Or better yet. The Armenians were masters in the prepartion of apuxt and they taught the Turks along with the names of the ingredients.

#3 Nané

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:46 AM

During my most recent trip to Armenia (2009) I acquired some cooking books in Armenian. Among them was a little paperback titled «Համեմունքներ. Համ և բուրմունք». What we find is the Armenian name of a spice or herb, the Latin name (which in many cases is misspelled) and the Russian name (which I can't say anything about since my Russian is very limited).

What I found interesting is that there are two separate entries for Caraway (carum carvi) and in one case it is (incorrectly) translated to Armenian as Չաման (chaman) and in the other as Շաբրեյ-Քեմոն (shabrey-qemon). Not sure if this is the correct translation.

But more importantly Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum) is translated to Armenian as Հացհամեմ (hatshamem), which seems to be correct. Another common name is Շամբալա (shambala). Here's some info about the plant.

http://asrc.am/fileadmin/user_upload/asrc/teghek_tertik/shambala.pdf

Thus, what we have been calling basturma should actually be called Հացհամեմապուխտ (hatshamemapuxt). ;)

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#4 Louise Kiffer

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 02:45 PM

My mother used to make pasturma herself, she sent me to buy the fenugrec,it was a pouder, and then she made the chemem with that. It was no more fenugrec, she had added other
ingredients and she covered the pressed meat with the paste called chemen. But it was a very long work..

#5 Arpa

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:25 PM

Chaman Fenugreek
http://nayiri.com/imagedDictionaryBrowser.jsp?dictionaryId=6&pageNumber=1772

See Chaman here;
 
http://www.nayiri.co...7&query=Չ

Edited by Arpa, 18 December 2012 - 09:31 PM.


#6 Arpa

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:53 PM

I hate to admit that above Ajarian is misled. ignoring the main igredient Fenugreek and rather talks about the spices.




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