Tjvjik (tzhvzhik): Fried Liver with Onion

Tjvjik is an Armenian dish, the main ingredients of which are fried liver and onions. Onions, either chopped or diced, are first fried in oil until they caramelize. Then, beef or chicken liver, cut into small pieces, is added. The mixture is seasoned with salt and pepper and it’s ready. Nowadays, it’s also common to add tomatoes (grated or puréed) or various fresh herbs.

When the liver and onions fry together, according to Armenians, they make the sound “tzh-vzh”. Hence, the dish is called “tjvjik” (often also referred to as “tzhvzhik”).

Tjvjik (tzhvzhik) aka fried liver with onions
Tjvjik (tzhvzhik) aka fried liver with onions

It’s a simple dish with inexpensive ingredients, but they are exceptionally tasty. I love liver and I adore this preparation; I even consider tjvjik to be one of the most delicious dishes I tasted in Armenia. As with other liver recipes, it’s essential to prepare it so that it’s not tough but remains tender.

In Armenia, this dish is so popular that in the sixties, a short comedy film was made where this dish plays a significant role:

I had the opportunity to taste tjvjik at the Tavern Yerevan Riverside restaurant in Yerevan. The version with beef liver, onions, and puréed tomatoes cost 2,200 AMD, approx. 5.20 EUR. I was thrilled with the dish. For me, it had a perfectly delicate taste, excellently prepared tender liver, and an interesting combination with the tomato sauce.

Bon appétit!

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