Jingalov Hats ( Ժինգալով հաց) is a simple and rustic stuffed flatbread, jammed with seasonal greens and herbs. It’s authentic to the Zangezur, Syunik, and Artsakh regions of Armenia but nowadays it’s becoming more and more prevalent all over the world.
In Armenia, they use greens foraged in the forests and meadows, packed with flavor and loaded with nutrients but of course, cultivated ones are also used. The blend of herbs and greens varies from season to season, from region to region, and from cook to cook, and that makes it so unique and memorable each time.
What are the typical greens used for Jingalov Hats?
In short, the answer is any greens and herbs that grow that season wild or cultivated. As a general rule at least 8-10 variety of seasonal greens assortment is used, keeping them balanced and harmonious at the same time.
All the greens vary in their flavor undertones. Some herbs are mild and palatable, others are bitter (whereas too much will make the filling unpleasant), some are sour, and others have a strong personality that can overpower others.
The general rule is that the bulk of the greens should have mild notes, such are spinach, swiss-chard, beetroot greens, turnip greens, collard greens, chickweed. The next group of greens should have more herbaceous notes with strong and distinct flavors (examples: chervil, parsley, dill, tarragon.) Use these in less quantity; half of the amount of the mild greens.
Then there are greens that are bitter and sour. The dandelion and sorrel belong to this group. You don’t need much since they can become too dominant, but the sourness of sorrel is very refreshing and brightens up the flavors.
All of them together create a totally new flavor combination, that is surprising and unforgettable.
How to prepare the greens?
This is the most time-consuming part. Since most of the greens I use grow near the soil, I give each group a good rinse, soak them in salted water for 30 minutes, and wash them several times until there are no soil sediments visible in the water. Give them a spin (in a salad spinner) and lay them on a towel to absorb the excess water. After that, I wrap them in a towel and store them until needed.
Making the dough.
The flatbread dough is a simple un-yeasted dough. Combine lukewarm water, flour, and salt and knead into a soft and elastic ball. Place the ball in an oiled bowl, cover it and let it rest for at least an hour. The dough needs to relax.
When ready to assemble, divide the dough into 3oz (85gram) pieces and shape them into small balls.
Making the filling
To make the filling, cut the tough and woody stems and chiffonade them. You will have a huge amount of chopped greens. You will need 2 cups of filling for each flatbread. It sounds a lot but during cooking, it will reduce drastically.
Once you have all the greens chopped, mixed them well with the best kitchen tool, your hands.
Leave the filling aside until ready to use. You don’t want to season beforehand (so as to not unnecessarily draw the water out too soon.)
In a small bowl combine salt, pepper, paprika, sumac and set aside.
You will add the seasoning just before you start assembling.
Assembling the hats
Preheat the grill or griddle.
Combine the chopped greens and seasoning and mix them well.
Roll the portioned dough balls into thin 8-inch circles. Ensure they are not sticking on the bottom.
Mount 2 cups of filling into the center of the dough.
Pull the dough from two opposite sides, bring it over and pinch them together in the center.
Quickly pinch and close the seam down. Once you have the filling enclosed, gently squeeze out the air by pressing along the seam and flattening the bulged center.
You will have a rugby ball shape flatbread, go over it with a rolling pin, turn it over, and place it on the hot griddle seams side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, giving a couple of turns. Press with a spatula in places where the dough resists to tough the griddle. Once the bread is nicely blistered and charred it’s ready.
Brush softened butter on a hot hats and serve it either whole or cut into pieces.
Top it up with chive-butter and yogurt. It’s such a fulfilling and unbelievably delicious meal, you can eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
More Recipes From Cafe Osharak
Jingalov Hats – Stuffed Flatbread Loaded with Greens
- ⅔ cup 150 ml lukewarm water
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour 200 g plus more for dusting
- 8 heaping cups 500g of finely sliced greens and herbs see bottom of the recipe for suggestions
- 2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Mixed greens * see note
Making the dough
- In a large bowl sift 1 ½ cup of flour. Dissolve the salt in a ¾ cup of the lukewarm water and add to the flour.
- Stir until combined. Transfer the dough onto a floured counter and continue kneading by hand until it becomes smooth and elastic. Form into a ball and place back into the bowl.
- Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour.
- When ready to make the bread, divide the dough into 4 equal parts and form into a ball.
- Roll each ball as thin as possible into 8-inch diameter circles.
- Oil the bowl and place the ready dough back into the bowl and
- To make the dough, in a large bowl, combine the water and salt. Gradually add the flour and stir until incorporated. Knead by hand briefly in the bowl. Dust the counter with flour and place the dough onto the surface and vigorously knead it until it becomes smooth and elastic. Oil the bowl, form the dough into a ball and place it back into the bowl. Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and shape them into perfect balls.
- Roll each ball as thin as possible into 8-inch diameter circles.
Make the filling
- Chiffonade all the greens into thin ribbons and mix them all together.
- Once ready to make the bread, season with salt pepper, paprika, oil and lemon juice.
- Place 2 cups of the greens into each round.
- Bring the two sides of the wide ends of the dough and pinch in the middle. Continue pinching all the way to one tip and then the other, press to squeeze out the air. Turn it seam side down and flatten it with your hand first and then gently roll with the rolling pin. You will have four rugby-shaped jingalov hats ready to go.
- Pre-heat the griddle until fairly hot, place the hats seam side down and cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes until the flatbread is blistered. Turn to the other side and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the dough is cooked evenly. Turn the bread 1-2 times until its nicely browned on both sides.
- Brush softened butter on hot bread and let it melt into it.