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Azerbaijan

National cuisine of Azerbaijan for gourmets. Authentic recipes, delicacies and specialties

Caucasus The traditional cuisine of Azerbaijan is famous not only for its broad range of dishes but also numerous cooking methods. Dairy products, baked goods, meat and fish dishes, vegetables and spicy herbs, several dozens of pilaf types – in short, the choice of food is truly great. An interesting fact, Azerbaijani cuisine was very different in different parts of the country in the past. Also, don’t forget that Azerbaijan is a Muslim country with mountain landscapes. This explains why lamb is so popular in this country.
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Local cuisine wouldn’t be so different and unique without all kinds of herbs and spices. Several types of basil, parsley, garden cress, coriander, fragrant onions, tarragon, all kinds of peppers, allspice, and many more are used here. Saffron and sumac deserve a separate mention. The first one is a typical ingredient in local pilaf, and the second plant is mandatory when making juicy meat dishes. Cookware also plays an important role in the national cuisine. For example, Piti soup is cooked in individual glazed crocks, and pilaf is made only in a special cauldron on hot coals. Local meat platter called Saj’ is cooked in a special frying pan with the same name. Even skewers for different varieties of kebab are not the same.
Pilaf is a central dish in the national cuisine of Azerbaijan. There are more than fifty types of this dish in the country! It should be noted that tourists will not find dishes with pork when they visit the homes of local people or eat in restaurants. Lamb meat is the most typical choice for pilaf. Kaurma Pilaf is the classic version of the popular dish. Turshi Kaurma Pilaf has a new ingredient – sour fruits. In Chii Doshama Kaurma Pilaf, there are traditional ingredients plus pumpkin and chestnuts. Toyug Pilaf has fried chicken pieces. Tarchilo and Chygyrtma Pilaf are two more variations with chicken meat, but the latter one also contains egg. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
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Sweet tooths will also have many desserts to choose from in Azerbaijan. Adherents of a healthy lifestyle will be not disappointed because Azerbaijanis make pastries and desserts only from natural ingredients. By the way, pay your attention to local pastries if you are searching for souvenirs from Azerbaijan for friends and family members. A jar of apricot jam is a wonderful souvenir from this country. All sweet stuff in Azerbaijan can be separated into three large categories – baked goods, caramel, and candies. For the record, local pastries also contain various spices, seeds, and nuts. Baklava, Baku kurabie, and shekerbura (half-moon shaped pastries filled with ground nuts) are very popular in the country.
Baku in Azerbaijan If you order sherbet in an Azerbaijan restaurant, don’t be surprised and do not criticize the waiter when you get a glass with some liquid instead of a dessert. In Azerbaijan, the term “sherbet” stands for a refreshing drink that is consumed independently or together with pilaf. Sherbets can have different ingredients, but, as a rule, they are based on fruit and berry juices, seeds and buds. Rosehip, cornelian cherry, rose, licorice – these are the most frequently used ingredients for this delicious drink.
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The choice of nutritious dishes is incredibly rich in Azerbaijan. Surprisingly, this applies not only to meat and second-course dishes but also to all kinds of soups. Consider trying Saj’, a dish cooked in a special frying pan with a small brazier underneath. There are also variations of Saj’ with chicken and vegetables. Dolma with grape leaves is also very popular. The classical variation of Azerbaijani Dolma contains stuffed tomatoes, sweet pepper, and eggplants. Among first-course dishes, pay your attention to Dovga soup with sour milk and rice. Dogramadj is a vegetable soup with Ayran (savory dairy product) that is served cold.
Azerbaijan is a country where tourists can participate in a traditional tea party of the Caucasus region. Local tea parties do not mean simple tea drinking. People gather, relax, and talk. Quite often, tea is served before the main dishes – it starts a meal. Local people traditionally drink tea with oriental sweets. The drink itself can contain different spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and cloves. Rose oil is also not rare – this tea is great in quenching thirst.
Azerbaijan guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

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Cuisine and restaurants in popular cities of Azerbaijan

Baku
Vegetarian tourists will be pleased to find a great selection of vegetable salads, many of which are true local delicacies. Local chefs often use fermented dairy products as a salad dressing, and fragrant goat cheese has become the basis of some salads. Vegetarians are recommended to try kükü – a combination of greens and various vegetables baked with whipped eggs. Kebab remains one of the most popular local dishes, but in Baku it is possible to try not only meat kebab but also a potato or … Read more

Map of Azerbaijan cities with popular restaurants

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