Beat heat with fresh summer recipes
By Laman Ismayilova
With its tradition of bright herb-studded recipes, Azerbaijani cuisine has a rich variety of recipes worth discovering when the temperature gets warmer.
All you have to do is whip up these pleasing plates and enjoy the day with your family.
In the hot summer days, there is nothing better than a refreshing cold soup.
If you haven't had cold soup before, treat yourself with Azerbaijan's traditional soup - doghrama.
Doghrama is basically a king of soup that is served in cold state. This mouthwatering summer soup is packed with fresh garden flavors.
Kefir (milk drink), cucumber, green onion, parsley, basil and garlic are among some the main ingredients of doghrama.
When the weather heats up, we are also looking for some fresh salad recipes.
Shepherd's salad, Pomegranate salad and Khazar will definitely give your tummy some healthy love.
Shepherd's salad is a classic Azerbaijani salad, found in many homes and restaurants, especially in summer. Tomato, cucumber, pepper, onion and herbs are the main ingredients of this salad. Add salt and pepper and leave to stand for up to 1 hour before serving. Dress with 2 tablespoonfuls of vegetable oil before serving (optional).
Pomegranate is considered the national symbol of Azerbaijan. Therefore, this fruit takes a special place in the country's traditional cuisine. A special holiday is held every autumn devoted to this king of fruits.
Bursting with tart flavor, pomegranate seeds are total saviors when it comes to dressing up salads.
To cook pomegranate salad, dice the boiled potatoes when cool. Place in a salad bowl and sprinkle pomegranate seeds. Cut the red onion cut into fine rings. Place the rings over the pomegranate. Finely chop the coriander and scatter on top of the onion rings. Add salt and mayonnaise and mix all ingredients. Serve with fresh crusty bread.
Fish lovers are going to love Khazar salad which is a must-have on every table.
With its marvelous taste, this fish salad is guaranteed to be a hit with your entire family.
Cut the fillet of sturgeon and boil over medium heat. Add salt and pepper and cook until tender for about 20 minutes.
Boil the potatoes for 30 minutes. Once they're done, remove the potatoes and let them cool down. After that peel off its skin. Cut the potatoes and cucumbers. Then, place the mixture on a serving plate and decorate with pieces of sturgeon. Garnish with sliced lemon.
Stuff eggplants, peppers and tomatoes are especially popular among Azerbaijanis in summer. The general name for all the stuffed yummies is dolma. Three vegetables are cooked at the same time in the same pan and them stuffed with minced meat.
There are currently more than 25 varieties of dolma. In spring it is made of vine leaves, in summer of aubergines (egg-plants), tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, in autumn it is made of cabbage leaves, apple and quince, in winter it is made of preserved vine leaves. Dolmas are traditionally stuffed with ground lamb and/or beef, rice, onions, and herbs.
Hurry and make these fresh summer recipes while you still can!
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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