The most experienced gourmets coming to Azerbaijan have become connoisseurs of its cuisine. The dishes of Azerbaijani cuisine are original and unique.
It is not surprising that purely Azerbaijani dolma , bozbash , bozartma , chykhyrtma , khashil , shashlyk, piti , pilau, govurma are included in national menus of neighboring Caucasian nations.
The majority of national food is cooked from mutton, beef and poultry. Azerbaijanis as well as other Moslems do not eat pork.
Dishes from chopped meat and, certainly, fishes are widely spread there. He preferred fishes are stellate sturgeon and sturgeon.
Azerbaijani cuisine is famous for abundance of vegetables, first of all greens, eggplants, sweet peppers, cabbage, spinach, sorrel, beet, radishes , onions, cucumbers, green string bean, etc.
The national food range also includes many dishes from rice, flour, vegetables and greens.
Azerbaijani cuisine widely uses such domestic spices as caraway seeds, fennel , anise, bay leaf, coriander and such kitchen herbs as mint, dill, parsley, celery, basil, thyme etc.
Especially popular in Azerbaijani cuisine is saffron: more than 50 national dishes are cooked with this herb! To enhance the flavors of dishes Azerbaijanis extensively use lemons, green and black olives, cherry plums, dried apricots etc.
The most popular breads are oblong churek and pita - the bread baked in tendir.
Vegetable salads are special in Azerbaijani cuisine. Vegetables are very thinly sliced. Salads are eaten as side dishes. Starters and appetizers are very popular too.
The most often served are various pickles and marinades. From ancient times Azerbaijani dishes have been cooked in copper ware. Even today villagers observe this tradition believing that a meal prepared in such a way is much more delicious.
Azerbaijan cuisine is not only is tasty but also good for your health – the evidence to this is a lot of long-livers and centenarians in the Republic.
Traditional Dinner Ceremony in Azerbaijan
Tea is served first according to the tradition. Azerbaijanis always drink tea, mainly black, before dinner. As soon as guests arrive tea is the first thing to serve. The advantage of this tradition is that tea drinking with many guests around the table is makes conversation flow smoother. Tea in Azerbaijan is a symbol of hospitality.
Tea is served with quince, fig, water-melon peel , apricots, sweet cherry, cherry, peach, plum, cornel, walnut, strawberry, blackberry, grape jams. To make tea aroma stronger they add spices: dried savory, pink, cardamom leaves.
Cinnamon and ginger are used for brewing special teas.
After tea go main courses. Azerbaijanis normally do not serve soups at banquets, celebrations and weddings.
Abundant are every possible greens, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers (pickles in winter). Often after dinner (especially pilau ) they serve dovga - cold soup from sour milk. It is believed that dovga is good for digesting heavy foods (rice, meats etc.).
Azerbaijani dinner ends with sherbet or sweets.