Azerbaijan (EurAsia) 22 April 2022

Azerbaijan is located in the continent of Asia. It has Armenia to the north, the Caspian Sea to the northeast, Iran to the south, Syria to the southwest, Turkey to the west, and Georgia to the northwest.

The capital is Baku.

The official language is Azerbaijanian.

The climate is dry subtropical and has a mild winter for four to five months, and a very hot summer with temperatures between 81 to 109F.

The staple food are fresh herbs, vegetables, hearty soups, chargrilled meats and kebab, rice pilaf, slow-cooked stews, cabbage, onions, eggplant, tomatoes, chestnuts, and many more mouthwatering foods (https://www.veryhungrynomads.com/food-in-azerbaijan-10-most-popular-dishes/).

https://www.britannica.com/place/Azerbaijan

AZERBAIJANI PLOV (Lamb Pilaf) (https://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/lamb-pilaf-plov):

  • ¼ C olive oil
  • 4 lbs. lamb leg, deboned, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • ¾ C dried apricots
  • 1 C dried chestnuts
  • 2-1/2 C long-grain rice
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 2 C beef stock
  • Flat-leaf parsley, to serve
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat.
  2. Add lamb and cook for 4 minutes or until browned.
  3. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. Add garlic, carrots, and onions to pan and cook for 6 minutes or until golden.
  5. Stir in cumin, apricots, chestnuts, and 3-1/4 C water.
  6. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 1 hour or until lamb is tender.
  7. Meanwhile, soak the rice in 4-1/2 C salted water for 30 minutes.
  8. Drain, stir in the saffron and transfer to a saucepan.
  9. Add stock and ½ C water, cover and bring to a boil.
  10. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes or until rice is tender.
  11. Remove from heat and stand for 10 minutes.
  12. Spoon rice onto a platter and serve topped with lamb mixture and parsley.
Here is my version of the Azerbaijani Plov. It is delicious, but many people do not like lamb. I also used brown rice instead of white.

SHEKERBURA (https://www.196flavors.com/wprm_print/24796):

            For the dough:

  • 2 C flour
  • ½ C unsalted butter (cold), cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • ¼ C water (cold)
  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, butter, egg, and water. Knead until obtaining a homogeneous dough.
  2. On the work surface, shape the dough to obtain a long rope. Divide it into 15 pieces of equal size (about 1 oz/30g per piece). Form balls and flatten them slightly.
  3. Place all the balls, well-spaced, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate for two hours.

For the filling:

  • 1-1/4 C almond meal
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Prepare the filling by mixing the almond meal, sugar, and cardamom. Mix well.
  3. Roll each piece of dough into a circle about 4-inches (10cm) in diameter (not too thin).
  4. In the center of each disc, add a tablespoon of filling. Close the circle in half. Pinch the edges to seal them.
  5. Then pinch the edge more tightly, fold inward, and continue along the edge.
  6. Using small flat pliers, make geometric patterns on the top.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Here is how my Shekerbura turned out. I substituted a couple of things though. I used oat flour and Truvia Sugar blend. Still the flavors turned out really good, but the dough was crumbly.

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