By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijan's national cuisine is incredibly delicious and diverse. The national cuisine is famous for plenty of vegetables, herbs and different spices.
With its unique flavors, pilaf is rightfully named one of the most famous and widespread food in Azerbaijan. Pilaf is also a tradition dish to try in New Year.
Azerbaijani pilaf (rice) is bursting with layers of excellent flavors. So if you are a food lover but still haven’t tasted this delicious rice, then it’s time to go on a food journey to the Land of Fire.
Pilaf is usually served on its own dish or plate, with sauces or stews served in separate bowls. Qazmaq, a crust made at the bottom of the pan when the rice is steamed, is highly prized and is served in pieces with the rice or on a separate plate. It is traditionally served at large events, like celebrations and weddings, or before a long journey.
The national cuisine offers more than 40 different pilaf recipes. Most popular among them are Shakh, Parcha-Dosheme, Shirin and Fisinjan.
Shakh Pilaf (Crown pilaf) is the signature dish of national cuisine. The name of this dish is derived from its shape which resembles the crown of a Medieval Eastern ruler. It is traditionally presented as the main dish at wedding ceremonies in Azerbaijan.
Parcha-Dosheme Pilaf is cooked with all the ingredients in one pot, but placed in careful layers. This pilaf recipe features meat and dried fruits like date, dried black plum, apricot, chestnut and raisins.
The recipe of Shirin Pilaf is similar to the previous one, but it doesn’t include any meat. In the fall, chestnuts are typically added to the pilaf. In winter time, dried black plums give a warm sour flavor, while apricots are added in the hot summer days.
Fisinjan Pilaf contains chicken, walnuts, onion and various spices, Sometimes it includes meatballs or poultry.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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