Main menu


Lavash Triangles Recipe

Why It Works

  • Misting the lavash strips with water helps to soften them, which will prevent cracking and allow them to stick together once formed into a bundle. 
  • Brushing the triangles with oil before and midway through baking lets them crisp up without the hassle of shallow-frying them in a pan. 
  • The herbed pinto bean filling and vibrant herb sauce makes a delicious vegetarian dish, whether served as an appetizer or as the centerpiece of a meal.

I first encountered a recipe for these bean-filled triangles in the Armenian cookbook Lavash, by Kate Leahy, Ara Zada, and John Lee, and I was immediately intrigued. They’re something of a cross between boreks—the Armenian baked phyllo-wrapped crispy turnovers—and samosas, the crunchy, fried South Asian dumplings stuffed with savory fillings. 

According to Leahy, Zada, and Lee, they are the creation of their friend Anahit Badalayan, a cook from Goris, Armenia, a city known for speckled beans not unlike our pinto or cranberry beans. While it’s common to turn Goris beans into a simple coarse paste very similar to Mexican refried beans, Badalayan’s innovation was to use the bean mash as a filling for turnovers made from strips of lavash, shallow fried in oil until crisp. 

I made them, and they were so good that they quickly became a staple in our house. The vegan mashed bean paste is satisfying and filling, and the lavash fries up to yield a shell with a delicate, crunchy texture that’s unlike any other turnover wrapper. 

Over time, my own recipe evolved to become the version I’m presenting to you here. Aside from a few minor changes, I’ve stayed more or less true to the recipe from Lavash. I added a zesty dipping sauce made from the same herbs in the bean filling (cilantro and dill in the original recipe, to which I also added parsley), along with olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. And I worked out a way to bake the triangles rather than pan-fry them, to make the cooking process simpler and less messy, without sacrificing that crispy fried texture. 

Serious Eats / Andrew Janjigian

Most importantly, I worked out some of the mechanics around buying and using supermarket lavash. While lavash in Armenia is undoubtedly of better quality overall, I found that the lavash I could find at my local supermarkets varied in both size and freshness. None of it was unusable, but I learned some tricks for making the most of supermarket lavash: 

  • It’s a good idea to buy more than you need, in order to get enough 3-inch by 11-inch strips to yield 16 triangles. Lavash comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and some portion of each flatbread will yield strips too short to use in this recipe. Moreover, it’s sometimes so fragile that it tears or cracks when removing it from the package. Starting with more than you need ensures you get 16 usable strips. (Most lavash is sold in 1-pound packages; two packages should be more than enough.)
  • While the authors of Lavash recommend pre-moistening the lavash strips only if they are extremely fragile, I found this step to be essential with the lavash I had access to. I used a water mister bottle to spray each strip lightly but evenly on both sides, which both made it more pliable to work with and more likely to stick to itself when folded into triangles. (Fortunately, there’s little risk of over-hydrating the lavash here, as any excess water evaporates when the triangles bake.) 
  • Finally, this is a rustic and forgiving sort of turnover. A little tear here and there in the strip or a burst seam in the finished triangle won’t matter in the end—they will still be delicious. (That said, it’s still a good idea to fold them as gently as possible to avoid mishaps.)
table of contents title