Menu: Azerbaijan

The Azerbaijani table is commonly adorned with flatbread, yogurt, sumac, and fresh herbs. This is because diners scoop meat dishes up into either lavash or pita bread and then top them with these regional “condiments.”  Although a month late, we’re celebrating the spirit of the Azerbaijani holiday “Novruz” by gardening and spring cleaning before our feast.

Sides & Condiments: Pita Bread, fresh mint and other herbs, sliced red onion, sumac, and yogurt

Rice Pilaf with Potato Kazmag [Recipe]
Basmati rice, steamed over a crispy layer of potato slices, then tossed with saffron butter.

Laura Kelley’s Green Beans with Azeri Tomato Sauce [Recipe]
Laura was kind enough to share this recipe from her cookbook “The Silk Road Gourmet, Volume 1.”
Her book was recently nominated for a “golden ladle” in Le Courdon Bleu’s World Media Food Awards. Congratulations, Laura!
Fresh green beans are cooked with caramelized onion, then tossed with a creamy, tangy tomato sauce.

Spicy Meatballs in Pomegranate Sauce (Fesinjan Kyufta) [Recipe]
Ground lamb and beef is mixed with onion, paprika, breadcrumbs, and mint.
The meatballs are served in tangy pomegranate sauce.

Azerbaijani Grilled, Ground Lamb (Lyulya Kabob) [Recipe]
Spicy ground lamb served on skewers, mixed with cumin, cayenne, Hungarian paprika, garlic, and fresh mint. Delicious!

Sweet Saffron Custard with Rose Water (Zerde) [Recipe]
The haunting flavors of cinnamon, rose-water, and saffron permeate this custard.
Coarsely ground almonds give crunch to an otherwise creamy dessert.


  1. Jessica Bennett says

    I just went to our local International Street Fair and had a saffron rice custard type dish with sliced almonds. It was from the Iranian booth. Your menu sounds delicious. I normally don’t care for fruit flavours with meat or poultry, but the meatballs sound tasty.

    • Were the almonds on top or mixed in? I’m trying to decide which way I want to make it… the recipe suggests stirring them in.

      • Jessica Bennett says

        I’m sorry I didn’t see this until now. I thought I’m supposed to get notifications when comments are added, but I guess not. Obviously, it’s too late, but the almonds were mixed in. There weren’t too many, so every bite did not have a crunch, and the slivers were very small. I liked it.

  2. Hi Sasha!

    What a wonderful idea!

    Sounds like you have the Azeri menu worked out nicely! They do have some really great veggie dishes as well, like: String Beans in Spicy Tomato Sauce or Eggplant stuffed with Pomegranate Seeds or cinnamon potatoes with pine nuts – yum!.

    My all time favorite is their sour cherry sauce – over lamb or veg – amazing! I use the bottled sour cherries from Persian markets and it still comes out delicious!

    The cabbage-leaf rolls stuffed with chestnuts and dill is also a great appetizer.

    Keep me posted on the results and/or contact me for further suggestions – I am happy to be of service.

    I’ll post a link to this site on my next update as well. . .


    • Thanks so much Laura!

      I had trouble finding a veggie dish… the string beans sound wonderful! I’d love to add them to the menu – if you want to share your recipe 🙂

  3. Denise says

    The link to the beans didn’t work. I’d really like to try them.

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