By Aygul Salmanova
Tasting Azerbaijan’s food is one of the ways of consuming the country’s ancient history. A slurp of Dushbara or a bite of Dolma is the best way reflecting the life of ancient Azerbaijani people and their rich cuisine.
One of such dishes, Qutab, is definitely among the most popular representatives of the country’s cuisine having an abundance of diverse national meals.
Qutab is a sort of pancake with different stuffing, among which different kinds of meat, spinach, cheese, pumpkin are the most popular.
While there are many variations when it comes to the filling, the dough is usually prepared from flour, eggs, salt and water. Take 600 gr. wheat flour, 1 egg, and pinch of salt and mix them into dough. Divide and form small dough balls in the size of gold balls, then roll them out as thinly as possible.
For your filling, take 600 gr. of spinach, 200 gr. of green onions, 600 gr. of cilantro and 600 gr. of dill. Actually, you can take your favorite potherb. Clean, wash and chop them nicely. Add salt, mix and steam together with fried onions.
Cool the mixture and add 400 gr. of cottage cheese, pepper with salt and mix again.
Place the filling into the circle of dough and fold into a half moon shape. Then fry both sides in a pan without adding oil.
The dish is drizzled with heated butter and served with yoghurt. You can also dredge them with sumac, roll into tubes and eat with your hands. In addition, Azerbaijanis serve Qutab with ayran, a cold yogurt beverage mixed with salt and herbs.
The form of Qutab is a semicircle, which originally symbolized a crescent moon. Traditionally, these patties are cooked in a special oven called tandir. However, today it is possible to find such a "tool" only in villages and settlements in the Caucasus and some Asian peoples. However, in modern conditions, Qutab can also be cooked in a cooking stove.
Each region of Azerbaijan has its own favorite Qutab. You can taste Shamakhi Qutab in the north picturesque region of the country and Jorat qutab in the small settlement near Baku. For those who prefer to stay in the capital city, the tourist destinations, like a number of traditional cafes in the Old City, are specialized on this meal.
However, you can also cook it by yourself anyway around the globe, using your imagination and affordable products.
Nuş olsun! (Bon Appetit!)
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