Delicious Azerbaijani food is one of the first things tourists want to discover when arriving in the Land of Fire. This is not surprising, given that the local food is famous around the world for its taste and healthy features.
An Azerbaijani cuisine is one of the most interesting ones in the East. It is remarkable by plenty of different meat, fish and vegetable dishes supplemented by flavoured herbs and spices. The most experienced gourmets who visit Azerbaijan have turned into loyal adherents of the national cuisine. Products and dishes of Azerbaijani cuisine are original and unique.
The most of Azerbaijani dishes are made of mutton, beef and poultry. Azerbaijanis like other Moslems do not eat pork. The dishes made of chopped meat and, surely, of fish, particularly starred sturgeons are widely spread here. The cuisine of Azerbaijan is famous for plenty of vegetables. Different spices are also used here. Saffron enjoys special popularity in Azerbaijan: this spice is used in over 50 national dishes! Among bakery goods the Azerbaijanis prefer long bread and lavash (flat bread) – the bread baked in tandoor.
The traditional Azerbaijani breakfast consists of sweet butter, various types of white cheese, cream, honey, preserves, tea, and kuku or scrambled egg with herbs. After enjoying local breakfast, guests of Baku should continue their tasty travels by tasting dolma, pilaf, levengi, and of course, kebab.
Dolma – fresh meat and stuffing wrapped in grape leaves or vegetables – is one of the first things one must try while visiting Azerbaijan. Azerbaijanis eat dolma year-round; grape leaf dolma in the spring and winter, vegetable dolma in the summer, and cabbage dolma in the autumn and winter months.
Pilaf, a dish known throughout the world, is a course that is served during any big day in Azerbaijan.
Another mouth-watering dish is levengi – chicken and fish stuffed with walnuts, onions, sweet and sour dried fruit.
In addition, Azerbaijan’s famous kebab is must-taste item here, accompanied with Azerbaijan’s famous fresh, juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants and sweet pepper. This dish is eaten at every occasion throughout the year.
While staying in Azerbaijan, tourists must taste “local pizza” or qutab – sugarless flour pancake stuffed with anything from meat, cheese and herbs to pumpkin. Qutab is always served with ayran, a cold yogurt beverage mixed with salt and herbs. Ayran is a perfect healthy drink to overcome thirst.
Azerbaijani sweets are something else. People who try it once cannot forget the taste and even try to cook pakhlavas and shakarbura in their home countries.
Different regions of the country have their own famous dishes. It is a piti (a national soup made of mutton cooked in a closed clay dish in stove), halva (oriental sweet made of sugar, nuts or seeds) in Sheki and levengi (chicken or fish stuffed with minced nuts with spices) in Masally and Lenkeran. You will not find anywhere such bread and gutab (thin half-moon patties made of flour and water paste and stuffed with meat, herbs, pumpkin, pomegranate grains, cheese and onions) like the ones in Gusar!
Those who will do not embark on the culinary journey that is Azerbaijani cuisine during their stay will definitely leave unaccomplished.
Pakhlava is another popular dessert. Several layers of very thin dough alternate layers of chopped nuts with honey to prepare this pastry.
Shekerbura is one of the most popular desserts in Azerbaijan. It is a sweet patty, filled with ground almonds, hazelnuts, or walnuts mixed with sugar or honey.
Dushbara is a traditional Azerbaijani meal, a sort of dumplings of dough filled with ground meat and condiments. Similar stuffed dumplings are popular in many countries
Lavangi is a casserole of chicken stuffed with walnuts and herbs. It comes from southern regions of Azerbaijan. But now it is quite common even in capital, Baku
Kufta bozbash is one more national soup. This soup is made from meatballs, potatoes and peas boiled in broth with saffron and turmeric.
Dovga is a traditional Azerbaijani yoghurt soup cooked with a variety of herbs (coriander, dill, and others), rice and chickpeas.
Dolma is the traditional recipe of stuffed vegetables. You can find some similar dishes in many other countries. And yet, Azerbaijani recipe has its own peculiarities.
Qutab is a sort of pancake with different stuffing. Different kinds of meat, spinach, cheese, pumpkin are among the most popular staffing.
Similar meat dishes are also very popular in a great region stretched from Middle East to Eastern Europe and South-East Asia. Azerbaijan has many types of kabab and shashlik
It is a classic dish of rice and meat, sometimes flavoured with herbs and condiments. Similar dishes are common in many European, Asian and even African cuisines
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