Azerbaijan’s unique geography and location have resulted in a cuisine influenced not just by its own varied ingredients , but the tastes of many peoples travelling along the Silk Road. So it’s full of surprising flavors and combinations. Tasting Azerbaijan’s food is one of the ways of consuming the country’s ancient history. A slurp of Dushbara or a bite of Dolma is the best way reflecting the life of ancient Azerbaijani people and their rich cuisine. During your trip to the land of fire, you need to forget about diets because the Azerbaijani dishes are simply not compatible with that.
The favorite dish in Azerbaijan is plov -rice served with meat , fish or fruit. Every family has its own recipe-there are books with 40 different versions in! There is even an International Plov festival. Plov preparation featuring saffron-flavoured rice, cooked using meat, onions, prunes, dry fruits, eggs, and fresh herbs. For this reason it was named as “a king of the meals”.
Dolma, the most delicious and unique representative of the rich Azerbaijani cuisine, appreciated by the connoisseurs of delicious food. Dolma is a delectable Azeri food prepared using rice mixed with minced lamb, mint, cinnamon and fennel wrapped in cabbage leaves or vine leaves! No Azerbaijani table is complete without stuffed grape leaves, dolma. In different regions of Azerbaijan, dolma are also made of the leaves of the lime tree, quince, beech tree, sorrel, bean leaves, penny cress and other plants.In 2017, dolma making in Azerbaijan was included into the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.
The Azerbaijani national cuisine offers you a variety of kebab, in particular, in Azerbaijan you can try kebab made from lamb, chicken, fish kebab, potato kebab and vegetable kebab as well. It’s nice having kebab together with extremely hot bread fresh out of the oven.This bread is the perfect complement to kebab.
Dushbara is a most favorite and popular dish in Azerbaijan.These are small dumplings with a feeling of lamb served in aromatic soup with fresh herbs. Pour some vinegar-garlic sauce in your soup and you will say yes, please, another serving!
Qutab is an Azerbaijani dish made from thinly rolled dough that is cooked briefly on a convex griddle known as saj. Qutab is a sort of pancake with different stuffing, among which different kinds of meat, spinach, cheese, pumpkin are the most popular. When the weather gets warmer, the number of dishes made from wild plants increases. Qutab belongs to ancient Azerbaijani cuisine and later on, it was popular in South Caucasian and Jewish cuisine as well.
This dish, with its original cooking and eating method, will lead you to the heights of gastronomic bliss. It is a sort of a lamb soup, that is cooked in a closed clay pot with an addition of chickpeas and chestnuts. One of the main features of the cooking process is that each pot is designed for one person. Piti is a starter and the second dish at the same time. İt is served on the table in pots with the sumakh, onion, and pickles.
Pakhlava , symbolizing stars in the sky, is a festive dish made for Novruz, the traditional celebration of the coming of spring . Our classic pakhlava is cut into diamonds, but in Sheki they have halva, which comes in squares, while in Gabala its triangular and called “uchgulag” (3 ears).
8.Caviar and Fish
Caspian fish has its own special taste and is best served with narsherab (pomegranate sauce). Our most famous fish is the Beluga sturgeon , which don’t reach reproductive age till they are around 20 years old. No surprise then that beluga caviar is now one of the world’s most expensive delicacies.
It is a fish or chicken stuffed with walnuts, onions and various condiments and baked in the oven. The ingredients for stuffing include peeled walnuts, chopped and well-fried onions, sour prune or sour cherry or a pomegranate juice syrup called “narsharab“.
Dovga, a traditional Azeri dish, is a type of yoghurt soup with rice, chickpeas and herbs. Locals eat it either warm or cold. More often now, it is a vegetarian , yoghurt-based soup cooked with a variety of herbs. Coriander, dill, mint and rice are main strays of the soup.