Discover Azerbaijan food. 22 Delicious Azerbaijani Recipes that deserve more recognition. Azerbaijan, nestled between Iran and Russia, has several defining features that make it stand out from its neighbors. Foremost among these are the country’s culinary traditions and the variety of delicious Azerbaijani foods.
However, despite being one of the oldest civilizations on Earth, Azerbaijani foods remain relatively unknown to outsiders due to many factors, including geography, language barriers, and politics.
To begin with, the geography of Azerbaijan plays an important role in shaping the foods in Azerbaijan. Situated at a crossroads between Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and Central Asia, Azerbaijani foods combine elements from all three regions.
Moreover, because they have historically been under Persian, Ottoman, Russian and Soviet rule for much of their history, many traditional Azerbaijani foods have been influenced by Persian and European cooking styles. The result is a highly diverse cuisine where any dish might be influenced by any other; making it difficult for foreigners to get into the culture simply by eating Azerbaijani foods.
5 Most Popular Foods In Azerbaijan
1. Azerbaijani Barbecue- Saj Ichi
This Azerbaijan food is made from lamb and is usually grilled over an open fire. The meat is rubbed with onions, potatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes before being grilled for about ten minutes on each side and served in pita bread with tomatoes and lettuce. The strong flavors in this dish are well worth getting to know if you want to experience Azerbaijani foods.
2. Baked Stuffed Meat Dish- Lavangi
This can either be a duck, fish, or chicken dish stuffed with onions and walnuts. Other stuffing can be raisins, cherry plums, sour prunes, and vegetable oil. With such a mouthwatering list of ingredients, this dish will is full of different flavors, which all come together beautifully to create one tasty meal.
3. Traditional Rice with Fried Dough- Shah Plov
With a hearty rice base, this Azerbaijan food is created with a flaky lavash dough that is fried until crispy and golden brown. Its topping of meat/chicken, nuts, prunes, roasted chestnuts, dried apricots, and other dried fruits makes it stand out. The result is one of the more delicious foods in Azerbaijan perfect for a cold winter evening as it contains both carbs and protein.
4. Traditional Rice and Meat- Plov
This rice-based dish can be served with other delicious combinations and foods. One popular variation includes smoked mutton and carrots, which gives it a unique flavor. There is no doubt that when you have plov, your taste buds will thank you for trying something new and flavorful.
5. Lamb and Chickpea Soup- Piti
This Azerbaijan food comprises a liquid sauce created using chickpeas and lamb. The fantastic thing about this soup is the distinctive and unusual taste created by the combination of irreplaceable ingredients such as baked chestnuts, lamb, and chickpeas. Plum, vegetables, and quince can also be added to this dish, making it even better than before.
5 Most Popular Questions About Food From Azerbaijan
1. Which is a must-try Azerbaijani foods choice?
Pilaf is one of the best dishes to try in Azerbaijan. It is the king of all Azerbaijani foods, consisting of rice cooked with meat, onions, carrots, and spices like saffron and pepper. There are many variations to this dish, including pilau, which has only rice without meat or vegetables, yakhni pilau (rice with lamb), Qutab pilau (with quail), and mantiq pilau (pilaf cooked with tea).
2. What is the national drink in Azerbaijan?
Black tea is the national beverage in Azerbaijan. However, some people prefer coffee when it is cold outside as they believe it warms them up better than tea does. Regardless of your preference, you will still find it very difficult to find an Azerbaijani foods lover who doesn’t enjoy their morning cup of black tea.
3. What alcohol do they drink in Azerbaijan?
Azerbaijani people are very well known for their love of beer, and no matter where you go in Azerbaijan, you will always find bottles of beer. But they also enjoy trying other drinks such as vodka, whiskey, red wine, and champagne.
4. What do people in Azerbaijan eat for breakfast?
Typicla foods in Azerbaijan for breakfast include kinds of white cheese, honey, scrambled eggs with herbs, and sweet butter are some of the most common items on the menu at breakfast time. Other popular items include fresh fruit, yogurt, oatmeal porridge with honey, and walnuts.
5. Is Azerbaijan food spicy?
Azerbaijan cuisine has its unique character, making it seem somewhat foreign to those who are only used to traditional Russian or Turkish food. Most dishes in Azerbaijan include a spice blend, which gives dishes their signature bite.
22 Most Popular Foods In Azerbaijan With Recipes
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Baklava, pakhlava, paxlava are all Azerbaijan food of Baklava… Not the kind of traditional baklava that Vera prepared a few months ago and that is made with phyllo. Because this month, we are visiting Azerbaijan. Azeri baklava is typically prepared with a dough that is not as crispy and without the multitude of layers of the traditional baklava, although, depending on the region, there may be several layers.
Tea and sweets after a meal are extremely important for Azeris. The cuisine of Azerbaijan is rich in more than 30 varieties of desserts, with a majority of them containing nuts, almonds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, ginger, saffron or cardamom. Among the most famous Azeri sweets, baklava comes at the top, but shekerbura is also another favorite.
Badambura is another very popular pastry in Azerbaijani foods. It consists of several layers of flaky dough filled with sugar, almonds, and ground cardamom. The small particles are coated with an egg mixture and then baked until golden brown—also a typical Novruz pastry in Azerbaijan food. By the way, the name of the pie is simple. It is derived from the words badam (almond) and bura (cake).
I looked at the Azerbaijani foods recipe somewhere on the Internet, but I did not find a Slovak recipe anywhere. It would be a shame not to try. Badambura is an Azerbaijani dessert stuffed with peeled almonds, powdered sugar, and fragrant spices. It is usually prepared for the spring holiday Novruz with baklava, şəkərbura, and şorqoğal.
An Eurasian delightful stew with mild spices, Fresh local Vegetables, nuts and chicken. Highly Nutritious and flavorful. The main ingredients include eggplant, peppers, tomato, cilantro, and a whole chicken. Given that my mother-in-law’s rendition is so delicious, I wanted to learn how to reproduce it in my own kitchen.
Lavangi is a stuffed chicken breast recipe from Azerbaijan. The filling is made with onions, walnuts, prunes, and raisins, and the chicken breast is rubbed with plum preserves. A little sweet, a little salty, and a whole lotta delicious!
One of my favorite dinners in the world is stuffed chicken breast, mostly because you can make it however you want. Until now, I had always made my stuffed chicken breast recipes a dairy-lover’s heaven. Spinach and artichoke stuffed chicken breast, caprese stuffed chicken breast, broccoli cheese stuffed chicken breast. You get the idea.
Qutab, Kutab or Azerbaijani Stuffed Flatbread is a popular breakfast recipe and the choices for filling can be unlimited. I made mine with Onion and Cheese filling with some fresh herbs and served it for weekend brunch.
Qutab Flatbread, was one of the very first flatbread that I made for the series. Q is a hard alphabet and I have had struggles in the past when doing A to Z series.
I have tortures Quinoa plenty of times before as that is the only thing that would come to my mind. This time though, I had this recipe bookmarked and ready to go a long time ago and made it when my father was here on vacation.
Soup piti is a national dish of Azerbaijan food. This soup has several important features. Soup piti – this is one of the most famous Azerbaijan food, the popularity is not inferior to shish kebab. This pea soup is well known and can cook in all parts of the Caucasus.
The main ingredients of this dish since ancient times were considered peas and lamb. Piti soup is the first dish, although visually it resembles a sauce. I Firstly, traditionally such soup is prepared exclusively from lamb with the addition of chickpeas. These components are often unchanged and they give the dish a rich, unique taste.
Pomidor-Yumurta is the Azerbaijani foods version of Shakshuka. Tomatoes are chopped and sauteed in a large frying pan, and then combine with lightly scrambled eggs. A simple, quick, and delicious breakfast recipe perfect for adventurous and picky eaters alike!
Pomidor-Yumurta is an Azerbaijani foods take on Shakshuka. Shakshuka and Pomidor-Yumurta are both tomato-based dishes with eggs cooked directly in the tomatoes in the pan.
In the Middle East and North Africa, the Shakshuka includes tomatoes, onions, peppers and herbs, and the eggs are cooked whole. Pomidor-Yumurta is a bit different because tomatoes are the only vegetable in the dish. Additionally, the eggs are lightly scrambled before being poured into the pan.
Occasionally, I have major cravings for my favorite Azerbaijan food, tandir bread, or tandoori bread as it is better known in the US. Nothing comes close to the taste of a freshly baked crusty bread coming out of a piping hot clay oven.
In Azerbaijan, bread is eaten almost with any food, it is always there on the table. I love hot tandir bread with white milk cheese, such as feta. Try it with fresh herbs on the side to nibble on with bread and cheese. Yum!
Although there are other bread varieties sold in Azerbaijani bakeries, tandir bread is usually preferred over others on special occasions, such as weddings, birthday parties and holiday celebrations. Typically, warm slices of tandir bread are placed next to individual serving plates.
These thin flatbreads, referred to as pancakes, are scattered with filling before being enclosed and cooked on a saj, a large iron griddle.
Goyarti Gutabi are an Azerbaijani herb-filled pancake that are simple to make, just a selection of herbs, onion and cream cheese filling the pancakes. They are perfect for snacking on whilst watching the Grand Prix.
Buglama, also known as Bugulama, is a traditional lamb recipe from Azerbaijan, Turkey and the surrounding area.
A sort of Azerbaijan food stew often made from bone-in cuts like our bone in lamb and goat, it’s special in that no additional liquid is added to the pot as the meat and vegetables steam, meaning that they cook in their own juices, making for a rich and very special stew with a minimal amount of liquid. It’s delicious served with a bowl of freshly cooked rice.
A sweet milk pilaf is a favorite among Azerbaijan food, one of just many variations of ‘plov’ to choose from. Dates, sultanas and apricots lift the milky rice and add a nice little bite. Best served warm – not hot!
Be warned: this is v. moreish and you will overload on carbs. Totally worth it though.
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Dolma usually refers to a stuffed grape leave, but there are many other forms of it in Azerbaijan food, such as eggplant, tomato, pepper, cabbage, and quince dolma. Occasionally, you will even find dolma stuffed with potatoes, onions, or cucumbers.
Badimjan Dolmasi is one of the most popular types of dolma. It is served during every special occasion in a colorful trio consisting of a red tomato, a green bell pepper, and a purple eggplant. The trio is known as Uch Baji (three sisters).
Usually, all three are cooked at the same time and stuffed with meat and herbs such as cilantro, mint, and dill. Badimjan Dolmasi is simmered in its own juices and is served with a yogurt-garlic sauce.
Dushbara are a favorite and popular Azerbaijani foods that is simply meat filled dumplings cooked in a lamb broth. According to tradition every Azerbaijani woman not only needs to know to make this dish, she also must be able to make the dushbara as small as possible, to fit ten of them in a tablespoon.
This Azerbaijan food is very time-consuming to make. It takes some practice to make the dumplings that small, but you can do it and your friends and family will love you for it. Dusbara is absolutely delicious and I now understand why every Azerbaijani woman must make it. Enjoy!
Shekerbura is a delicious Azerbaijan food pastry made of half-crispy half-soft dough, with almond filling and a subtle cardamom aroma. This famous baked-good is a direct trip to Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan, whose name comes from azar, which means “fire”, and baijan, which means “guardian”, is a small country in the South Caucasus. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, this country’s landscapes explode with contrasts and contradictions.
Half the world loves a kebab, and the other half just hasn’t got around to knowing them yet. The secret to a delicious Azerbaijani foods dish, the chicken skewer is the souring agent, such as lemon juice or vinegar in the marinade. It seasons the dish and also tenderizes the meat.
Kabob Koobideh is made with ground lamb or beef or a combination of the two. This is one of the most popular Azerbaijan food kabobs you can find on the streets of Iran. This Kabob is usually grilled over hot coals and is served in fancy restaurants and clubs, as well as in the little shacks scattered in any given recreation park.
You can also find this kabob by following your nose in search of the source of the most heavenly aroma that fills the street or the indoor bazaar.
Some estimates put the number of different Azerbaijani foods plovs recipes at more than 200, but the most lavish is Azerbaijan’s national dish: shakh plov. Also called shah plov and khan plov, it translates to “crown pilaf”. Basmati rice is half cooked in a large pot of water and then placed into a pot lined with lavash that’s been drenched in butter.
The rice can be infused with saffron and studded with lamb, chicken, nuts and dried mixed dried fruits, such as apricots, sour cherries, golden raisins and prunes. Baked whole so the spices and sweetness permeate the rice, shakh plov, the Azerbaijan food is the size of a small drum and eaten on special occasions.
In Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, it’s available at most tourist-friendly restaurants, although you usually need to call ahead to order.
You cannot talk about Azerbaijan food without talking about dolmas! Dolma is a word that comes from the Turkish verb dolmak, which means “to be stuffed”.
It is a Azerbaijan food family of recipes of stuffed vegetable or leaves born in the kitchens of the former Ottoman Empire and its surrounding regions.
I was happy to see this Azerbaijani Sweet Milk Bread (Shirin Chorek) was included in the cookbook book (this is the bread featured at the top of the post). This beautiful yellow sweet bread is made with turmeric and not saffron. Turmeric offers a subtle flavor with its brilliant color.
This sweet milk bread is traditionally baked for special holidays like Nowruz, but you can bake it anytime you want because I am sharing you the recipe.
Today’s Azerbaijan food recipe is for kufte-bozbash, more commonly called just kufte. This is one of the staples of Azerbaijani foods. Jumbo apple-size meatballs cooked in a simple broth with chickpeas and potatoes.
Kufte is the Azerbaijani word for meatball. The word kufte is derived from the Persian “koftan,” which means “to pound.” The name reflects the general method of preparation of kufte: They are formed by pounding the meat to incorporate it with additional ingredients, then shaped into meatballs, small or big.
Although sturgeon from the Caspian Sea is the classic and most highly regarded fish in Azerbaijan food, you can use any firm, rich fish for these kebabs. The chunks of fish marinate briefly in a blend of lemon juice, salt, and dill before being threaded onto skewers and grilled. They make a great summer meal.
As I cracked open the book, I immediately landed on the recipe for the Azerbaijan food family called a Khingal – my beloved noodles! Olia cites the recipe’s origin as an Azerbaijani foods creation, not Armenian. The noodles in the book are also topped with browned onions and ground lamb, which I don’t remember from my childhood.
I decided to switch the lamb for mushrooms, since we don’t eat much meat at home. This pasta is exquisite. Bite after chewy bite, you don’t tire of the flavors of sweet onions, spiced mushrooms, and herby yogurt mingling with each other in your mouth. It’s so satisfying, yet so simple.
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