The Azerbaijan State News Agency


What is definitely worth trying in Azerbaijan? Part one

Baku, December 20, AZERTAC

Azerbaijani cuisine is undoubtedly one of the most interesting in the East. The sophisticated gourmets who come to Azerbaijan become loyal connoisseurs of national cuisine, distinguished by an abundance of all sorts of meat, fish and vegetable dishes, complemented by fresh herbs and spices. The dishes of the Azerbaijani cuisine are original and unique, they cannot be confused with the dishes of other national cuisines. The names of purely Azerbaijani dishes such as dolma, bozbash, dovga, khashil, piti, pilaf, gutab are widely known. At the same time, different regions of the country have their own special dishes. Desserts should also be mentioned - baklava and shekerbura with a filling of various nuts with spices, rakhat-lukum, sheker-chorek, bamiya, which tourists gladly take away with them.

We will tell you only about some dishes and products that you should pay attention to during your trip to Azerbaijan.


Such an original Azerbaijani dish like dolma from grape leaves has long become the talk of the town. This minced meat dish, loved by all residents of Azerbaijan, has a unique taste and aroma, and is in special demand among guests who want to start exploring the cuisine of Azerbaijan. Note that Azerbaijani dolma is included in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The "dolma" word comes from the Türkic verb "doldurmag" - "to fill". However, in the Azerbaijani language there is the word "dolamag" - "to wrap." Anyway, these concepts perfectly reflect the nature of the Azerbaijani national dish, which in its classical form, is minced meat wrapped in young grape leaves.

However, there are a large number of dolma varieties, but the most common in Azerbaijan are the already mentioned dolma from grape leaves (yarpaq dolması), dolma from cabbage leaves (kələm dolması) and eggplant dolma (badımcan dolması). The latter is a combination of three vegetables - eggplants, sweet peppers and tomatoes, all stuffed with minced meat.


Ask a native of Azerbaijan, who has been absent for a long time in his homeland, what is he most lacking in a foreign land? And, in most cases, he will answer - Azerbaijani bread! And no matter what kind of bread it is: factory-made fragrant “round” with a crust, traditional churek, baked in a tandir or gentle as silk "lavash", which is prepared on a saj, a convex pan. In our country, the culture of production and consumption of bread is very high. This concerns both its qualitative and quantitative characteristics. If in Europe two or three pieces of bread are served to the ordered dishes in a restaurant, then in Azerbaijan, a good half a loaf of bread is relied on to any first or main dish!

In Azerbaijan, you can buy fresh, tasty bread of various kinds in bakeries and supermarkets. And this kind of bread as "lavash", you can easily take with you when you return. Properly cooked lavash be stored for many months. It is enough to moisten the dry lavash with water and the freshness returns to it. By the way, Lezginian bread called "Khran Fu" also has similar properties. You will find it, for example, in the Gusar region, populated mainly by Lezgins.

And, of course, it should be noted that the culture of cooking and breaking "lavash" pita bread is included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List on behalf of Azerbaijan.


The land of Azerbaijan is generous in harvests, and the country's markets are full of seasonal fruits all year round. And besides apples, pears, peaches and other widespread fruits, there are fruits here, quite exotic for foreigners, but completely normal for the Azerbaijani climate. These include, for example, persimmon, whose oblong fruits lose their tartness with the first frosts, acquiring honey sweetness. The most popular are the rounded fruits with dark flesh, called "korolyok" (the kinglet): it is the same persimmon, only obtained from pollinated flowers. After eating a lot of fresh persimmon in a season (November-December), you can take away its dried fruits - very tasty, nutritious and at the same time, in Azerbaijan, an inexpensive delicacy!

In November-December, feijoa fruits, which smell and taste like strawberries, kiwi and pineapple, are no less popular. And it costs on local markets no more than apples, since it is grown in the southern regions of the republic - Lankaran and Masalli. Feijoa is also good for jams: you can buy fruits rubbed with sugar in any store and take with you as a tasty reminder of the holidays spent in Azerbaijan!

The Caucasian medlar should also be mentioned. Only its ripe fruits get honey sweetness, at the same time becoming completely non-transportable, so do not miss the chance to taste this fruit in the winter in Azerbaijan. In common people, the fruits of medlar are also called "shishki" (cones), and in Azeri it is called “ezgil”.

In the summer ripen mulberries or, as they are called - "Thut". The season of sweet berries of white and black mulberries is short and fleeting, so people learned to preserve the beneficial properties of these fruits, making them bekmez or doshab. This syrup, made without added sugar, is an indispensable source of vitamins and energy. Bekmez is made from different fruits, but it is mulberry that is most appreciated.

And, of course, it is worth mentioning the fig, sold in abundance in all markets of the country in the autumn months. Experts say that the sweetest and delicious figs grow in Azerbaijan. The yellow berries of the fig tree, ripening, unfold themselves, exposing the tender core that simply melts in the mouth. Such a fig is difficult to transport over long distances, so hurry to try it in Azerbaijan!


Nevertheless, you have a chance to take with you a piece of the fruit abundance of Azerbaijan. To do this, just go to any supermarket and stop in front of the shelf with jams, the range of which is very wide. Fruits and berries, which are rare for most other regions, grow in Azerbaijan in such quantities that it allows for the production of jams from them, on an industrial scale.

Among the most famous varieties of local jam is walnut jam. It is made from young green nuts, which are used entirely. The technology of making this jam is quite laborious and difficult for home use, so take the opportunity to try and purchase nut jam during your trip to Azerbaijan.

The traditional Azerbaijani jams also include jams made from rose petals, dogwoods, figs, quince, white cherries, thorns, paradise apples and other refined gifts of nature. These jams, at affordable prices, are represented in most grocery stores across the country.


Where the jam is, there is tea! Azerbaijanis are great tea lovers. Tea occupies an important place in the culture of nutrition of our country. After any meal you will be offered a cup of tea, whether on a visit or in a restaurant. Azerbaijanis prefer black tea, which gives brewing of rich color, which is called "mehmeri". If in Europe, even in the best restaurants, it is considered the norm to give a customer who ordered tea, hot water and a bag, in Azerbaijan it is rather a bad form. Tea bags, is used, perhaps, only in offices. Real Azerbaijani tea is brewed, tart and well infused. Often, various herbs and spices are added to tea - thyme (keklik otu), dried mint, rose petals, cloves, cardamom, etc.

By the way, in the subtropical regions of Azerbaijan - Lankaran, Masalli, Astara, has long been cultivated tea, which has a special refined taste and aroma. When leaving, do not forget to take with you a pack of Azerbaijani tea, in a wide assortment represented in stores and markets throughout the country.

And pay attention to the glasses, of which Azerbaijanis drink tea. These elegant pear-shaped glasses are called “armudi” (“armud” in Azerbaijani - pear). Their form is not just a tribute to fashion or art. The vessel narrowed in the middle and expanding upwards is perfectly suited for tea drinking: on the surface, the tea is no longer so burning that you can enjoy the drink, and on the bottom the liquid remains hot for a long time.

Traditional “armudi” glasses with saucers in Azerbaijan can be purchased everywhere. They will be a great gift to you and your loved ones!


This traditional for Azerbaijan sweetness may have a different name in other countries. For example, in Georgia, sujuk is known as churchkhela.

Classic sudzhuk is, as a rule, walnuts, which are covered with condensed grape juice. The result is a kind of "nut bar", tasty and nutritious. Currently, sujuk made using pomegranate juice can be found.

Sujuk was always in Azerbaijan, it just sometimes gets lost in the abundance of trays with dried fruit, where it is usually sold. Maybe it is not as bright and large as imported sudzhuk, but always tasty, natural and healthy. And, importantly, affordable.


Another permanent inhabitant of stalls with dried fruit in Azerbaijan is a kind of fruit marshmallow, called “lavashana”. It is made from various fruits and is therefore used differently. For example, sweet apricot lavashana is a favorite delicacy of children and adults. And made from cherry plum or barberry, sour lavashana is used in the preparation of dishes of national cuisine.

Lavashana looks like rolled flat cakes, resembling pancakes, which can be found everywhere where dried fruits are sold. We are sure that you will also like this natural and healthy product!


The secret of the great taste and quality of Azerbaijani pomegranates is the unique microclimate and soil composition of the Goychay region, where the most exquisite varieties of these fruits are grown. It is from such pomegranates that traditional narsharab sauce is brewed. This thick sweet and sour sauce, in which all the beneficial properties of pomegranates are preserved, is in perfect harmony with fish and meat dishes and is widely used in Azerbaijani cooking.

Do not miss the opportunity to purchase natural Azerbaijani narsharab, which is represented in almost any store across the country!

To be continued…

Emil Eyyubov

Share news on social media

Follow us on social network

Two Azerbaijani wrestlers crowned world military champions in Baku

NATO chief says Ukraine will join the military alliance, subject to reforms, after the war

Azerbaijan`s volleyball referee to control Ziraat Bank vs ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle match

Coffee and cocoa stored in EU warehouses at risk of destruction under new rules

Azerbaijani MPs hold meetings in local Mexican state congresses

Ashgabat hosts concert marking 100th anniversary of Great Leader Heydar Aliyev

Borussia Dortmund into Champions League last 16, qualify from 'Group of Death'

Azerbaijan, Algeria discuss cooperation in multilateral formats

EU states can ban religious symbols in public workplaces

Fast economic growth at home requires investing abroad, professor at Sofia University says

Turkish Nobel laureate Aziz Sancar elected honorary member of ANAS

Combined Arms Army holds computer-assisted command and staff exercises

Azerbaijani Para taekwondo fighters to compete at Manchester 2023 World Taekwondo Grand Prix Final

'Ramses and Gold of Pharaohs' exhibition opened in Sydney

Imran Khan’s trial in prison will be open to public, Pakistan court rules

AZN 4.5m allocated for reconstruction of Sugovushan-Kalbajar-Aghdara-Aghdam highway – ORDER

Foreign ministers of Caspian littoral states to meet in Moscow

Azerbaijan’s Milli Majlis comments on statement by Armenian parliament speaker

President Ilham Aliyev attended opening of new administrative buildings of State Security Service VIDEO

Baku Higher Oil School celebrates its 12th anniversary

Biden falls to record-low 27% approval among independents — an 8-point drop from October: poll

Japan space agency server likely hit by unauthorized access attack

U.S. Osprey crashes off southwestern Japan island: coast guard

Participants of international conference "The Heritage of Qizilbash in Azerbaijan: in the footsteps of history" visit Shusha

Toyota's October global output hits record despite supplier issue

Africa 'double victim' of injustice: UN chief

Crown Prince congratulates Custodian of Two Holy Mosques on Saudi Arabia’s win to host World Expo 2030 in Riyadh

A stolen Van Gogh drawing recovered outside a public lavatory 20 years ago goes on show

G7 calls upon Hamas to release all hostages without preconditions

Saudi Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki bin Faisal chairs ISSF General Assembly meeting in Riyadh

Japan approves 1st domestic COVID-19 variant vaccine

Oil prices in world markets

Azerbaijani oil price goes up in world markets

U.S. says 'plenty' of White House, Pentagon images available online after N.K. claim on satellite imagery

Finland to close border with Russia for 2 weeks

Azerbaijan relocates 17 more families to Lachin city VIDEO

Hamas invites Musk to visit Gaza Strip

Azerbaijani delegation attends 3rd session of UN-Habitat Executive Board

China holds first supply chain-themed expo, timely response to global needs

Anonymous donation saves the "Bathavian Oath of Allegiance"

Turkish foreign minister meets Stoltenberg, Blinken in Brussels

Hamas and Israel extend ceasefire for 2 days, Qatar says

EU Commissioner Ivanova: EU Leads Funding for Climate Action Research

Azerbaijani, Uzbekistani NGOs expand cooperation

Coordination Headquarters for addressing issues in a centralized manner in Azerbaijan’s liberated territories convenes meeting dealing with results of its three-year activity

Traces of 'brain surgery' are found on skeletons in necropolis area in eastern Türkiye

Azerbaijan Army holds knowledge competition among military personnel

Kyiv hosts presentation of postage stamps marking 100th anniversary of Great Leader

Belgian referees to control FC Qarabag vs Molde match in UEFA Europa League group stage

Panel sessions held within international conference on "Heritage of Qizilbash in Azerbaijan: in the footsteps of history"

SPECA countries transform Karabakh into a platform for economic cooperation

Global health community calls for urgent action on climate and health at COP28

Lightning and hailstorms kill 24 in western India

New Zealand smoking ban: Health experts criticise new government's shock reversal

Azerbaijani delegation attending Sports Integrity Week in Athens

Azerbaijani products showcased at International Christmas Bazaar in Tallinn

Bad weather leaves 10 people dead in Ukraine

A museum in honor of Cristiano Ronaldo was opened in Saudi Arabia

Lisbon chosen as European Capital of Innovation

Azerbaijani taekwondo fighters claim two golds at Balkan Cup 2023

Central Bank: $68.2m worth of demand fully covered at FX auction

African scientists, young people call on leaders to embrace 100% renewable energy ahead of COP28

Deputy chairman: 95 percent of ANAMA's budget is funded by the government

Bishkek hosts solemn concert dedicated to Heydar Aliyev’s centenary

A total of 111,207 hectares of liberated territories cleared of mines, says ANAMA chief

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 23 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’s opening weekend box office tracking numbers revealed

"Chirag" platform produces about 24 billion cubic meters of gas so far

Azerbaijan’s State Committee on Work with Diaspora, Kyrgyz People’s Assembly ink MoU

President Ilham Aliyev signs Order on establishment of Karabakh University

International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation elects Aktoty Raimkulova as new president

Combined Arms Army holds volleyball championship among military personnel, Defense Ministry

President Ilham Aliyev: Over the past 30 years, cooperation between Azerbaijan and Albania has developed dynamically

Galatasaray set for Man Utd clash as Champions League returns after int'l break

President Ilham Aliyev set a condition for U.S. Secretary of State

Azerbaijani oil price drops in world markets

Release of the Press Service of the President

To His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

To His Excellency Mr. Bajram Begaj, President of the Republic of Albania

North Korea claims spy satellite has photographed White House and Pentagon

Oil prices tumble in world markets

Global climate change problem discussed in “OIC Model-2023” program held in Pakistan

Azerbaijan reports 17 new COVID-19 cases over past week

Fuzuli city hosts 1st forum of Azerbaijani-Uzbek NGOs

Turkish President Erdogan, Spain's premier discuss Gaza

BP enters Japan's power retail market

Antonio Salieri: 'Lost' ballet to be performed for first time in centuries

Pope Francis getting antibiotics intravenously for lung problem, limiting appointments, Vatican says

Minister: Georgia to host meeting of Azerbaijani, Turkish and Georgian defense ministers in 2024

Baku hosts Azerbaijan-Georgia-Türkiye Defence Ministers' 10th Trilateral Meeting

One of Pakistan’s largest education foundations introduces Turkish language for students

Conference dedicated to heritage of Qizilbash is very important in terms of exploring our history, says deputy minister

Zangezur corridor: A pathway for peace

Azerbaijan to chair Asian Parliamentary Assembly in 2024


Azerbaijani, Turkish Defense Ministers highlight importance of increasing intensity of joint exercises

Cairo hosts classical music concert marking 100th anniversary of Great Leader Heydar Aliyev

Digital Platform, Mobile App for Translation from and into Bulgarian Sign Language to Be Developed

Azerbaijan joins international charity bazaar in Morocco

Azerbaijani, Georgian defense ministries sign bilateral military cooperation plan