By Nigar Orujova
Qutab is another masterpiece of Azerbaijan cuisine, which you must taste while you are here. No one can speak about this mouth watering dish without a desire to eat some herb or meat qutabs.
Qutab is the Azerbaijani equivalent of a pizza, which can be easily prepared from the content of your fridge.
Traditionally, there are green, meat and offal, cottage cheese and pumpkin qutabs, and many other variations, even with camel meat. It is made from thinly rolled dough cooked briefly on a saj, a local oven in the form of a flat iron plate.
Each region of Azerbaijan has their own favorite qutabs. You can taste Shamakhi qutab in the north of the country and Jorat qutab in the settlement near Baku. The tourist destinations, like Sehirli Tendir and Manqal 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.
First, cooking qutab may seems like a complicated thing to do, 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.
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 you 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 oil.
Hurray, your qutabs are ready to be served. Do not forget to drizzle them with heated butter and serve with yoghurt. You can also dredge them with sumac, roll into tubes and eat with fingers. Nush olsun!
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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