By Rasana Gasimova
Azerbaijan has a rich cuisine that is unique in many ways. It is famous for its diversity, and tastiness. The country’s location and favorable climate provides its inhabitants with all the necessary products to cook delightful meals.
Azerbaijanis enjoy about 2,000 national dishes that primarily contain vegetables and greens, as well as eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, beets, radishes and cabbage; and meats such as lamb, beef, and chicken.
In every season of the year, the country attracts food lovers from around the world with the authentic tastes and flavors of its cuisine. Autumn is no exception. The country's rich and bounteous cuisine will warm you up on a chilly day.
So, what are the must-try dishes for those visiting Azerbaijan during this season?
Here are the dishes that are most popular both among citizens and visitors of the Land of Fire.
Khangal is probably the first dish that comes to mind when talking about Autumn in Azerbaijan. As soon as it starts getting cold, you can hear locals say “It’s a great weather to have a Khangal”. In fact, people are waiting for autumn to open the “Khangal season”.
Khangal is made by rolling and cutting the dough into thin, small squares, and then boiling it in a meat broth. Served hot and with lamb or chicken, the dish is accompanied by a garlic sauce.
Khash is also one of the signature dishes of national cuisine. It’s a soup made from stewed sheep or cow’s trotters.
Men are said to enjoy this meal more, yet there are women who also love to start a cold day with a steaming bowl of khash. The dish is also believed to have numerous health benefits.
Piti is another popular soup of the Azerbaijani cuisine. It is cooked with lamb, potatoes, peas, onions, garlic, chestnuts and herbs.
The secret to real piti flavor lies in the pots in which it’s cooked. The dish is cooked in ceramic clay pots called “dopu”. The ingredients are combined in a pot filled with water and then placed in an oven for a slow cook.
The best place to try piti is Azerbaijan’s Sheki region. However, there are plenty of places to eat a plateful of this mouthwatering dish in Baku, too.
You will definitely want to try dusbara when the weather is cool. It will warm your stomach and surprise you with its appetizing taste and aroma.
Despite looking quite like Russian dumplings, dushbara is much smaller in size. And it’s cooked as a soup, as the dish is served with broth. It’s widely consumed by locals, especially Baku citizens.
The dough is cut into tiny squares and stuffed with small portions of meat filling. The dumplings are then boiled in water and served with dried mint or wine vinegar infused with garlic.
If you have visited Azerbaijan and have not tried kebab, consider your time wasted. There’s no “wrong time” to enjoy kebab, yet savoring its taste in cold weather is particularly delightful.
Some kebabs are made with lamb or beef, others with chicken or fish. Kebab is typically served with grilled vegetables like potatoes, eggplant, green peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes.