By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijani cuisine is unbelievably delicious. The cooking style varies from region to region.
Anyone who is newly familiarizing themselves with the Azerbaijani cuisine, must try mouthwatering dishes qutab and lavash.
For the first time, Qutab and Lavash Festival has been held at the Gala State Historical and Ethnographic Reserve in Baku.
At the festival, guests were shown the process of making qutab stuffed with various ingredients including herbs, meat, intestines, chestnut and pumpkin.
Director of the Icherisheher Museum Center Amina Melikova said that the main purpose of the festival is to popularize the dishes of Azerbaijani national cuisine in the world.
Azerbaijani people can’t really imagine their breakfast without qutab and lavash.
Lavash is thin flat bread made of water, flour and salt. Its thickness varies depending on how thin it was rolled out.
The word "lavash" comes from the ancient Turkish word "ash". Moreover, it is baked in tandir – a traditional bakery oven in the Turkic world.
Toasted sesame seeds or poppy seeds are sometimes sprinkled on before baking. Many regional varieties of flatbread are baked in the tandir oven.
Azerbaijanis like to have it for breakfast, traditionally spreading butter and cheese on it.
Lavash making usually brings together families and friends. The bread is widely consumed in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Iran.
In 2016, lavash, a traditional thin flatbread was officially added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Qutab is a type of pancake, stuffed with many ingredients such as herbs, meat, cheese, pumpkin and beans.
Each region of Azerbaijan has its favorite type of qutab. You can taste Shamakhi qutab in the north of the country and Jorat qutab in the settlement near Baku.
First, cooking qutab may seem like a complicated job, requiring much craftsmanship. But once you've tried your hand at it and most importantly enjoyed eating it, it will become your favorite homemade fast food.
To make your qutab party at home, you will have to decide which flavors and ingredients to choose from. I suggest you to try to make qutab with greens and cottage cheese as it cannot be spoiled.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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