CULTURE


Traditional culinary culture of Azerbaijan

Baku, March 10, AZERTAC

National cuisine can tell many interesting things about the culture and history of a country, and in this sense, Azerbaijani cuisine, with its excellent taste and quality characteristics, as it were, speaks for itself.

Dishes of Azerbaijani cuisine are mentioned in ancient written sources, the records of travelers and explorers, merchants and diplomats.

It’s no secret that the culinary art of Azerbaijan is popular in many countries of the world, especially in the East. Azerbaijan has long been known for local varieties of grapes and fruit, which contributed significantly to the enrichment of national cuisine.

Home cooking and eating has long served as the primary ethnographic feature of Azerbaijanis in both cities and rural areas.

Using old culinary recipes from generation to generation, housewives have expanded the range of dishes and improved their quality.

Like other regions of Azerbaijan, its capital Baku has its own unique features of local cuisine.

Important ingredients of original Baku cuisine are a lot of spices - saffron, thyme, cumin, mint, tarragon, pepper, etc. In some dishes, along with lemon, the juice of unripe grapes - abgora, pomegranate juice, as well as sour sumac are used.

Azerbaijani national cuisine dishes are traditionally prepared in copper vessels, and this tradition continues to live in Baku – Icharishahar.

Below is a description of some basic traditional dishes characteristic of Baku – Icharishahar:

Kufta-bozbash: Broth is cooked from the brisket. The flesh of mutton is minced and onions are added. Salt, pepper and separately washed rice are added here, and it all is mixed manually. Palm-sized kufta balls are made from the resulting minced meat, and a plum is placed in each of them. One day before, peas are soaked and cooked in a separate dish. The ready broth is filtered through a metal sieve and placed on the fire, and when it boils, cooked peas, kufta, potatoes, 2-3 whole onions, salt, pepper, saffron, or yellow ginger are added. It is served in a bowl, sprinkled with herbs or dry mint. Peeled onions and sumac are served separately.

Dushbara (dumplings): Broth is cooked from sheep bones, and minced meat with onion, salt, pepper and cilantro is made from the flesh of meat. Stiff flour dough is kneaded with water and eggs and rolled out to 1 mm. Then the dough is sliced into equal squares of 2x2 cm. The minced meat is placed in the center of each square and wrapped in a special way. The ready dushbara is shaken on a sieve, freed from excess flour, and cooked in filtered broth. 5-7 minutes after the broth starts boiling, the dushbara emerges on the surface - the dinner is ready. Vinegar with garlic is served separately. On top, the dushbara is sprinkled with dried mint or greens, depending on the season.

Khash (jelly): The head, feet and tripe are processed, washed well and soaked for at least an hour. Then they are chopped into pieces, put in a pot, and cold water is poured on them - 2 liters of water per 1 kg. They cook it for a long time, occasionally removing the foam with a skimmer. After the cooking, the meat is removed and separated from the large bones. Then the meat is cut into small pieces and put in the broth to finish cooking. The resulting broth is filtered and served separately from the meat with vinegar and garlic added for flavor.

Gurza: They make minced meat from mutton, add salt and pepper and fry it. Stiff dough is kneaded, rolled out to 1 mm and cut into circles of 5 cm. The ready minced meat is placed in the circles and wrapped so that the seam is on top - one end remains open. Gurza is boiled in salted water; when it surfaces, it is taken away from the stove and drained. When it is ready, gatig, mint and cinnamon are served.

Kabab (shish kabab): This dish comes from the shepherd’s rather than the agricultural way of life. Today kabab is perceived as a picnic and almost a festive meal (prepared by men) which has a merely informal nature, because it is eaten by hand. Shish kabab is a kind of culinary escapism associated with escape into nature.

Kabab is prepared not only from meat but also from vegetables or adding vegetables - eggplants, potatoes, peppers and tomatoes. Many varieties of plov decorate Baku cuisine. Plov is boiled rice cooked in a special way and seasoned with butter. Often, plovs are prepared with meat, fish, vegetables, egg and flour garnishes, fruits, berries, etc. In most cases, plovs are prepared from boiled rice, while undrained rice (demya) is rarely used.

Among the many varieties of plov, we should note turshu govurma, ali-musamba, sabzi govurma, parcha doshama, doyma doshama, fisinjan plov, mutanjam, lobya-chilov, giyma plov, marji plov, kuku plov, juja plov, toyug plov, gizil balig plov, sudlu plov, shirin plov, yarma plov, gir-gir plov, kishmishli plov, etc.

 

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