Shusha to host Int'l Culinary Festival
By Laman Ismayilova
Shusha city, the heart of Azerbaijan's Karabakh region is getting ready to welcome its guests. One of the country's ancient cultural centers will host the International Culinary Festival on August 10-15.
Azerbaijan National Culinary Association (ANCA) invites talented chefs to join the festival and send their applications until June 1, 2021. The large-scale event will be dedicated to Karabakh cuisine.
According to the festival rules, each team will consist of 5 culinary experts (captain + 3 cooks + 1 cook).
Karabakh cuisine is an integral part of traditional Azerbaijani national culinary culture.
Traditional meat dishes, yahni and govurma are mentioned in the epic tales of Dede Korkut. Moreover, meat serves as a garnish (gara) for various recipes of pilaf and chilov.
Lavash and yukha baked on saj, a traditional frying pan are among some of the most delicious Karabakh flour products
Lavash can be backed both in saj and tandir (clay oven). In addition, kemba from puff pastry was also baked in tandir, under saj or on ash.
Among the local types of yukha (bread), one can note khyrt – khyrt yukha (crispy yukha), which was made from dough mixed with milk with the addition of honey or sugar. It was usually served on holidays.
Flour products such as sudlu churek (milk bread), fasali (pancake), bishi, yagly keke, sekizlik, etc, are also widespread in Karabakh cuisine.
Among the dairy products of the Karabakh cuisine, a kind of traditional type of ice cream should be mentioned.
In summer, Karabakh shepherds mixed fresh sheep's milk with the snow lying in the mountains, calling this dish "gar keramazy" (snow keramaz). Sometimes dishes with keramaz were buried in the snow or placed on a glacier.
The main difference between gar keramazy and ice cream is the absence of sweet taste. Traditionally, it was prepared only from the milk of a black sheep.
There are a lot of vegetarian dishes in Karabakh cuisine, including khashyl, horra, sum-sum , yarma hashil pilaf, chilov and others.
Famous Karabakh soups are dovga, evelik shorba, erishte shorba, khash, bozbash. The region is also famous for its dolma recipes: apple dolma , quince dolma, eggplant dolma. etc.
Meat dishes like bozartma, basdirma kebab, rib kebab, lula kebab, sweets and pastries like guymag, Karabakh kyata, fish dishes lyavangi, gurgut and buglama and other culinary delights will definitely fill your stomach and soothe your soul.
Lentil and rice added to lavangi (stuffed fish) make this recipe unique and set apart from others.
Another peculiarity of Karabakh lavangi is its preparation method: the fish is steamed.
In order to prepare gurgut, a mixture of minced akhta zogal (dried pitted Cornelian cherry), and fine-cut onions, lavashana, hot and sweet peppers is used as a stuffing for the fish. A little water and butter is added to the salted fish, and then it is cooked on low heat for 30-40 minutes.
As you can see, Azerbaijan's Karabakh cuisine boasts a wide range of traditional recipes that are passed on through generations.
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