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Turkish “Split-Belly” Stuffed Eggplant

Turkish "Split Belly" Eggplant

My love for eggplant! It is a never-ending love affair. I even have a childhood “trauma” associated with it. I remember that day clearly, now after so many years. I was probably about 7 or 8, or maybe even a little older. This happened back in Baku.  My mom made stuffed eggplant dish for dinner. We were sitting around the […]

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Kufte-Bozbash or Azerbaijani Meatball Soup

Azerbaijani Meatball Soup (Kufte-Bozbash)

Today’s recipe is for kufte-bozbash, more commonly called just kufte. This is one of the staples of Azerbaijani cuisine. Jumbo apple-size meatballs cooked in a simple broth with chickpeas and potatoes. Kufte is the Azerbaijani word for meatball. The word kufte is derived from the Persian “koftan,” which means “to pound.” The name reflects the general method of preparation of […]

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Azerbaijani Pasta With Meat and Yogurt Topping

Khengel - Azerbaijani Pasta with Meat and Garlicky Yogurt Topping

Pasta is not only made in Italy:) On chilly winter days a few things can be as comforting to Azerbaijanis as gathering around a table to enjoy warm and satisfying pasta dishes, khemir khorekleri (dough dishes), that come in a variety of forms and shapes. Take khengel, for example. Khengel is a versatile category of pasta dishes that branches out into […]

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Meat Stuffed Flatbread (Et Gutabi)

Cooking the Gutabs, Filled Flatbreads, on a Saj

It has been more than a year since my last trip to Azerbaijan. Memories are still hovering fresh above my head and it feel like I was there yesterday. I do miss many things about that trip. I miss our trip to Balaken and Zagatala in particular. It was a bittersweet trip, however, as I was no longer to see […]

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Cabbage Rolls Stuffed with Meat, Rice, and Fresh Herbs (Kelem Dolmasi)

Hi there. I am back (did I sound like I just awoke from a winter sleep or what?). I hope you all had a great time during the holidays. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones once again. I was planning to begin the new year with a sweet recipe, but changed my mind because I’ve been wanting […]

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Lahmajun + Yogurt Drink (Ayran)

I am a huge fan of Turkish food. Have been even since I tried my first doner kabab in Baku, sometime back in the early 90s (boy, was I excited!), when the Soviet Union had just collapsed, and countless donerci shops began to spring up rapidly soon after. Also, ever since I have been blessed with a mother-in-law (she is […]

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Meat Stuffed Blinchiki (Crêpes)

One of the Russian foods that were imported to Azerbaijan when the country was a part of the Soviet Union, is the Russian pancake called blini, also known as blinchiki (plural for blinchik) in the Russian  speaking world, and as crêpes elsewhere. Blinchiki are great plain, or with a dollop of honey or jam on top. They are also delicious […]

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Red as Red Can Be – Borsch

Borsch is one of the  most popular soups across the vast region of Eastern Europe. It traveled to Azerbaijan from Russia during the Soviet reign and has been ever since wholeheartedly embraced by Azerbaijanis. I haven’t had a chance to sample different versions of borsch but I know that Russian and Ukrainian variations are the closest to what we make […]

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Stuffed Eggplants, Peppers and Tomatoes

stuffed-eggplants-peppers-and-tomatoes3

This is probably the most popular dish prepared in Azerbaijan in summer. When vegetables and fruits are in abundance, Azerbaijani women like to stuff them:) They stuff eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, quince and even apples! The general name for all the stuffed yummies is Dolma, which means stuffed in Azeri. Dolma of eggplants, peppers and tomatoes is everybody’s favorite […]

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Potato or Meat Pies a.k.a Pirojki

Potato Pirojki

This is a hands down winner in our family. Pirojki. They are believed to have originated from Russia, but have well blended into the cuisine of Azerbaijan and are popular both among the grownups and children alike. These dough pockets, stuffed with savory fillings such as cabbage, mashed green peas, potato or meat, can be either deep fried or baked […]

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Stuffed Grape Leaves

stuffed-grape-leaves

No Azerbaijani table is complete without DOLMA, the all-time favorite, and my favorite too as a matter of fact. The word DOLMA means “stuffed” in Azeri. Variations of this dish are present in cuisines of several other countries, including Middle Eastern, Persian, Turkish and Greek. I’ve tried different versions but still there is something special about Azerbaijani dolma. There is […]

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