Azerbaijan is amazingly beautiful and has diverse nature as it is an ancient country. The nation is hospitable with unique culture and traditions. The cuisine of this state has got world recognition because of its wide range of cuisines in the Caucasus. When we talk about the classic meal of Azerbaijan then it means that it will last for at least three to four hours starting with starters and then to the main courses. The meal starts with basic tea. The tea this nation uses is mostly black leaf tea and they make it stronger by adding wild herbs like thyme, mint and sage into it. This special tea is served in a special pear-shaped glass called Amudu. Serving the tea sets the grounds for a friendly conversation and then the guests are served with some salads and snacks. Then there is a soup which has one main ingredient and that could be fish, chicken or meat but the special thing about this soup is that it is often made with yoghurt. Addition of yoghurt makes it unique as it is not so common in other countries to add yoghurt in their soup recipes.
After serving the guests with tea, salads and snacks, and soup, the guests are honoured by the main course. The main course must have meat whether it’s chicken, fish or meat. The fish are native to the Caspian Sea and there is a vast variety of fish dishes including fish kebabs, soup Kyufta. The fish is also served according to your taste like boiled, baked, fried or stewed, Pilaf with fish and also the fish Dolma. The fish which is widely loved in Azerbaijan among the natives and also by the tourists include sturgeon, salmon, white fish and some others. The king of all the dishes is Pilaf as whenever you get to sit on a dining table in Azerbaijan it is served and placed in the middle which makes it look like a king. This is being usually eaten among the second and third course. There are certain strict rules defined to make a perfect Azerbaijani Pilaf. What makes it different from others is that all of its ingredients are prepared separately. The type of pilaf is selected by the courses served previously. For instance, if the previously served food had meat then Pilaf will be served with chicken, fish or game. If the soup served initially had game then meat must be included in the main dish by serving it with herbs, eggs or any fruit of your choice. There is one thing which is noteworthy here and that is all Pilafs which are served in Azerbaijan are prepared with Saffron. It is not only an expensive but the most delicious spice in the world as well. So, it up to the tourist to dine according to his taste and get the world-famous pilaf made according to his likes and dislikes. Pilaf is widely liked by the tourists which makes it famous among the other countries as well.
The meat mentioned earlier is optional which means the tourists can opt that according to their preference but the main meat in Azerbaijan is lamb but there is wide use of veal as well. The first and the second courses in snacks and different dough products must have meat. The natives and the tourists both consider meat to be abundant and versatile. They are used for stuffing the Dolma and also for garnishing the Pilaf to make it look more delicious and presentable. The second most famous thing in Azerbaijan after Pilaf is Kebab. The kebabs are made by stringing the lamb on skewers and frying it as a barbecue by giving the tender smoke of burning coals. A majority of the entire lamb is used for making the kebabs including the flesh, kidneys and liver. As in Pilaf, there is also a wide range of kebabs is available for the foodies. The kebabs available include Lyu-Lya Kebab which is made from minced meat and is delicious. The other one is Tava Kebab which is purely lamb and is round in shape or the form of oblong cutlets and the kebab is not made on coals but is fried in a pan. Not only lamb kebabs but the ones which are made from vegetables, fish and game are widely loved and are common in Azerbaijan. The sauces which are served with Kebabs are made from delicious spices and other ingredients. The most loved sauce is Nasharab which is sweet and sour in taste. This specific sauce is made with pomegranate and is specifically asked by the tourists to serve with Kebabs.
As the starters and the main courses have been discussed but there is no discussion about the drinks. The food in Azerbaijan is served with special kind of drinks just like their food. The people in Azerbaijan eat their meals with sorbet. Sorbet is a drink which is made from sweet and sour fruit juices including plum, lemon, grapes and pomegranate. Pomegranate is also one of the major ingredients which define and enhances the food of Azerbaijan. The sorbets are not only served as a drink but as a beverage with the main courses like Pilafs, kebabs and other dishes including meat. The dishes which are served with bread are called Chorek. This is made by preparing fresh dough in a Tendir. Tendir is a clay oven which is specifically used for baking bread and pastries. Tea is again served at the end of the meal. This time the tea is not served separately but with the pastries. The nation’s world-famous pastries including Pakhlava, Shekerbura, Gogal, Badambura, Keta and others are served. The jams also accompany these pastries to be served with tea. The jams are also of different types including walnut, sour cherry, cornel, sweet white cherry, and even rose petal. These jams are world-famous and the food bloggers have promoted them which made them an integral part of Azerbaijan’s cuisine. Do not miss out on the chance to cook and taste the delicious dishes of Azerbaijan.