MAIN DISHES

 

Main dishes may include a selection of the following:

Meat;

Balıq; Fish, usually sturgeon, normally skewered and grilled as a kebab, is served with a tart sour-plum sauce.

Dolma; The traditional recipe calls for minced lamb or beef 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 eggplant dolma (qarabadımcan dolması).

Badımcan Dolması; Tomato, sweet pepper, and aubergine stuffed with minced lamb or beef mixed with chickpeas.

Dushbara; Small dumplings stuffed with minced lamb and herbs, served in broth.

Lavangi; Stuffed chicken or fish with onions, walnuts, raisins, albukhara and alcha seasoning. A speciality of the Talysh region in southern Azerbaijan, but very difficult to find common in restaurants.

Lyulya kabab; A mixture of mutton, herbs, and spices squeezed around a skewer and barbecued, often served with lavash (thin sheets of unleavened bread).

Qutab; A sort of pancake turnover stuffed with minced lamb, cheese, or spinach.

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, it is called shashlyk, from Turkic shishlyk.

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.

Sogan dolmasi; The term dolma covers a variety of stuffed vegetable dishes, widespread in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Onion dolma are a tasty winter alternative to stuffed aubergines, tomatoes, and peppers.

Bastirma; The word “Bastir” comes from the Turkish: bastırma et (“pressed meat”), pastırma in modern Turkish. It’s cooked as a kebab, but before cooking it should be marinated in special sauce and herbs.

Soups;

Piti; The national soup of Azerbaijan made from pieces of mutton on the bone, cooked with vegetables in a broth; prepared and served in individual crocks.

Kufta bozbash; A pea soup with lamb meatballs and boiled potatoes. The meatballs in kufta bozbash are large, hearty, and made of minced lamb or beef and rice, sometimes with a zesty dried plum inside.

Sulu khingal; Lamb soup with noodles.

Toyuq shorbasi; Chicken soup

Dovga; A yogurt based soup (matsoni) with sorrel, spinach, rice, dried peas, and small meatballs made from ground mutton; served hot or cold depending on the season.

Ovdukh; A cold soup based on a matsoni–water mixture poured over sliced cucumbers, chopped boiled meat, quarters of hard-boiled egg, and greens (dill, coriander, basil, tarragon, and sometimes mint).

Dogramach; Same as ovdukh, but without the meat.

Bolva; Made with sour milk.

Types of plov;

Plov is one of the most widespread dishes in Azerbaijan, with more than 40 different recipes. Plovs have different names depending on the main ingredients accompanying rice:

Shakh Plov; dish worthy of a king – or perhaps simply the main course of a wedding ceremony – shah pilaf (translated as crown pilaf) is a traditional Azerbaijani meal infused with a medley of local aromas. It goes through several stages of preparation before reaching its distinctive final shape.

First, basmati rice is cooked, then placed inside a bowl lined with lavash (a thin and soft wheat-based flatbread). Layers of dried apricots, plums, chestnuts, and raisins are added on top of the rice to create a unique blend of textures and flavors.

Kourma plov; Mutton plov with onion

Chilov plov; Bean plov with fish

Sabzi Qovurma plov; Mutton plov

Toyug plov; Chicken plov

Shirin plov; Dried fruit plov

Syudli plov; Rice cooked in milk

Sheshryanch plov; Six-color plov, eggs cooked “sunny side up” on a bed of fried green and white onions.

Azerbaijani plov consists of three distinct components, served simultaneously but on separate platters: rice (warm, never hot), gara, fried meat, dried fruits, eggs, or fish prepared as an accompaniment to rice, and aromatic herbs. Rice is not mixed with the other components even when eating plov.