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Azerbaijani cuisine

Azerbaijani cuisine refers to the cooking styles and dishes with origins in the nation of Azerbaijan and prepared by Azerbaijani people around the world. Throughout the centuries, Azerbaijani cuisine has been influenced by the foods of different cultures, though at the same time, it remained distinctive and unique. Many foods that are indigenous to the country can now be seen in the cuisines of other cultures. For the Azerbaijanis, food is an important part of the country's culture and is deeply rooted in the history, traditions and values of the nation.

Plov Plov
Azerbaijani cuisine boasts countless versions of it, with every region having its own special recipe. Typically, long grain rice is steamed with saffron on top and a layer of golden crust called Gazmag (in Azeri: qazmaq) on the bottom. Traditionally, a crust is prepared from eggs, flours, butter and yogurt. Or, if you are pressed with time, simply lay peeled sliced potatoes or flat bread - lavash on the bottom, then scoop the rice on top and steam it. 
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Saj
Azerbaijani cuisine retains some of the old cooking methods. Copper or clay pots are traditionally used and give a distinctive fl avour to a meal. One dish which is always served in a special pan is saj. Saj takes its name from a flat pan or griddle over hot coals. Ыaj can be made from sturgeon, lamb, veal or chicken. 
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Buglama

Buglama in Azeri means “Steamed”. Main ingredients are – lamb (or fish), onions, peppers and tomatoes. Buglama steamed in its own juice.
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Dolma

Dolma

The traditional recipe calls for minced lamb mixed with rice and flavoured with mint, fennel, and cinnamon, and wrapped in vine leaves (yarpaq dolması) or cabbage leaves (kələm dolması). There are also sour sweet cabbage dolma (turş şirin kələm dolması) and fish dolma (balıq dolması).  
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Badımcan Dolması

Badımcan Dolması

Tomato, sweet pepper, and aubergine stuffed with minced lamb mixed with chickpeas. This is probably the most popular dish prepared in Azerbaijan in summer. When vegetables and fruits are in abundance, Azerbaijani women like to stuff them:) They stuff eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, quince and even apples!
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Kelem Dolmasi

Kelem Dolmasi

Note: Pick cabbage that is not too hard and is softer to touch, with leaves not too tight together. They will be easier to pull off.
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Jiz-biz

JIZ-BIZ is an Azerbaijani dish that is traditionally made with fried sheep liver, kidney, lung, heart, and intestines. Each of the components have to be cooked in a specific order and preparing them requires the use of some very special techniques.
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Lavangi

Baliq Levengi

Levengi, a traditional walnut filling originating from the beautiful city of Lenkeran in the southeast of the country. You can substitute white fish with sea bass, red snapper, or red mullet.
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Lyulya kabab

Lyulya kabab

A mixture of mutton, herbs, and spices squeezed around a skewer and barbecued, often served with lavash (thin sheets of unleavened bread). Lyulya-kebab is seasoned with onions cut in rings, sumakh or tomatoes roasted on a spit.
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Tika kabab

Tika kabab

Chunks of lamb marinated in a mixture of onion, vinegar, and pomegranate juice, impaled on a large skewer and grilled on the barbecue. In Russian, called шашлык, from Turkic shishlyk (literally, "for skewer").
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Qovurma

Qovurma

Pieces of mutton or lamb on the bone (blade chops) stewed with onions, tomatoes, and saffron. There is also sabzi qovurma, a lamb stew with herbs.Qovurma is a stew prepared with meat and herbs. Its name means fried meat. There may be lamb qovurma, liver qovurma and others.
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Dovga

Dovga

Dovga is a soup made from plain yoghurt and herbs, which can be served warm in winter or refreshingly cold in summer. A variety of herbs are used in dovga, according to taste. Coriander, dill and mint are mainstays of the soup. 
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Kufta-bozbash Kufta-bozbash

Bozbash means "gray meat balls" in Azerbaijani. Kufta bozbash is a soup in Azerbaijan cuisine made with peas and meatballs. Each meatball often contains a sour fruit inside, like sour prunes or cherry-plums are used for this.
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Khash

Khash

Khash is a winter dish that is typically consumed in Azerbaijan. The dish is considered a delicacy and is often eaten by the wealthy during the winter months. Ingredients typically consist of cow's feet, vinegar, salt, garlic, and lemon juice.
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Piti

Piti

Traditionally, piti is cooked in individual earthenware pots and tipped out of the pot to be eaten. First the juice from the stew is poured over pieces of old bread and they are eaten together with some raw onion and sumac. 
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Sulu khingal

Sulu khingal

Sulu Khingal, traditional Azerbaijan dish, is pea soup with lamb and homemade noodles. Special taste is given to this dish by spices and herbs. Sulu Khingal is served, sprinkled with mint. Wine vinegar is served in a separate bottle.
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Quru khingal

This dish is prepared using sheet shaped dough. Therefore, its name is translated as 'khingal' - made out of dough sheets. Knead stiff dough of wheat, eggs, a pinch of salt and 2 - 2½ glasses of water. Knead it well and divide into balls sizing a tennis ball.
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Dushbere

Dushbere

It is a classic soup, indigenous to Baku, the capital, but popular all over the country. Traditionally the broth is prepared by boiling chunks of lamb in water and then straining it. But nowadays home cooks prefer a quicker versions of the broth - all water based (see variations in the recipe). Whatever version you may want to choose, one thing is for sure - you will love this soup at first spoon.  
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Gurza (lamb dumplings)

Dumplings in various shapes and sizes are popular across the Caucasus and Russia. Georgia has its khingali, Russia its pelmeni and Azerbaijan its gurza and dushbara. Gurza are larger than dushbara and not usually served in bouillon. Cinnamon can be added to the minced lamb stuffing of gurza or sprinkled over the gurza before serving.
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Arishta

Wash meat and pass it jointly with onions through meat grinder. Make small balls of meat and pass them through into 2 liters of boiling water and boil them for 15-20 minutes. Afterwards, add homemade noodles and let them cook. 
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Kükü

Kükü

In Azerbaijan, kükü (read: kyukyu) is the general name given to dishes in which main ingredients - vegetables, herbs, meat, or fish - are bound with eggs, then browned on both sides on a stovetop. It is not to be confused with an omlette as the featured ingredients in a kükü are used in far greater amounts than eggs.
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EtGutabi

Meat Stuffed Flatbreads (EtGutabi)

Qutabs are an Azerbaijanian dish, sort of pancakes made with meat or herbs. Stiff dough is usually hand-made from flour, water, eggs and salt. It is rolled into thin layers, cut into circles and then filled with different fillings such as meat or herbs.
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Gutab

Green Gutab

This is a traditional Azerbaijani recipe for a classic dish of stewed spinach, sorrel and spring onions served topped with pastry half-moons (gutab) and a yoghurt sauce.
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Tandir

Tandir 

Although there are many varieties of bread sold in Azerbaijani bakeries, tandir bread is usually preferred over others on special occasions, such as weddings, birthday parties and holiday celebrations. Tandir bread is a type of bread baked in a clay oven called a tandir. 
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Shekerbura

Shekerbura

Shekerbura is a sweet pastry filled with ground nuts and sugar. In Azerbaijan, making shekerbura usually involves a team-work. Relatives and neighbors get together at somebody’s house and all contribute to the making of this and other Novruz treats. Baked shekerbura is put on the table on akhoncha, a special holiday tray, filled with Novruz desserts, nuts, dried fruits and colored eggs.  
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Pakhlava

Pakhlava

Shekerbura, Pakhlava (baklava) and Shorgoghal are the Novruz holiday’s sweet symbols. 
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Shorgogal

Shorgoghal (Spice-Filled Flaky Bread)

First, prepare the dough. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and mix well. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture, milk, egg and butter.
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Sheki halvaSheki halva

Wherever you come to the country, be sure to order the Sheki halva, it is likely that it will make you taste himself to visit Sheki. Halva - Eastern dessert, made from sugar, nuts or seeds, a word used to describe several types of confectionery. One type of halva is based on the crushed oilseeds. The other type is based on wheat flour or vegetables.
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Sherbet Sherbets

An Azerbaijani sherbet is a sweet cold drink made of fruit juice mixed or boiled with sugar, often perfumed with rose water. Sherbets (not to be confused with sorbet ices) are of Iranian origin and they may differ greatly in consistency, from very thick and jam-like as in Tajik cuisine to very light and liquid, as in Azerbaijan.
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