Perched at the crossroads of West Asia and Eastern Europe, Azerbaijan is a land exploding with contrasts and contradictions. From glitzy, cutting-edge, modern structures to timeless rural villages, from semi-desert mud volcanoes to the soaring Caucasus Mountains, Azerbaijan is packed with elements that will tempt you to visit this fascinating land. However, when it comes to temptation, there is one particular, outstanding element that hands down takes the cake – Azerbaijan traditional food! So with out further ado here’s a our list of what to what to eat in Baku, Ganja and other Azerbaijani cities.
The Ultimate Azerbaijan Food and Drink Guide
Food plays a key role in the culture and history of any region, and Azerbaijan is no exception! Featuring a tantalizing blend of Middle Eastern and Eastern European flavours, Azerbaijani cuisine is unbelievably delicious. The richness of Azerbaijan food can be credited to the country’s versatile climate, and its location along the Caspian Sea (here’s where the mouth-watering sea food comes from!).
Azeri food features a spread of different dishes such as plov (saffron-covered rice, which also happens to be the national dish), a variety of kebabs and shashlik, an array of seafood dishes, fresh-fruits and vegetables, sumptuous soups, and lots of other dishes cooked using fresh, aromatic herbs and spices.
Baku Food and Other Popular Azerbaijan Food Dishes
One of the most famous and widespread Azeri food, Plov is a classic Azerbaijan food preparation featuring saffron-flavoured rice, cooked using meat, onions, prunes, dry fruits, eggs, and fresh herbs. Brace yourself – Azerbaijan has more than 40 different Plov recipes!!
Yet another traditional recipe from Azerbaijan cuisine, Dolma is a delectable Azeri food prepared using rice mixed with minced lamb, mint, cinnamon and fennel wrapped in cabbage leaves or vine leaves! The vast majority of all Baku restaurants serve this dish!
A dream come true for seafood lovers, Baliq consists of fish, usually sturgeon, grilled on a skewer and served with a tart sour-plum sauce. The fish is typically marinated using a combination of chopped dill, lemon juice and salt and is usually always accompanied by lemon wedges.
Also Read: Best Places to Visit in Azerbaijan
Lavangi is a tasty food of Azerbaijan consisting of chicken or fish stuffed with walnuts, raisins, onions, and other herbs. Additional condiments that are sometimes used for filling include sour prune, cherry or pomegranate. The preferred fish to be used for this dish is usually carp but sturgeon is also an acceptable substitute!
5. Lyulya Kebab
Minced lamb mixed with spices and herbs, squeezed around a skewer and barbecued – insanely scrumptious! The meat used in this dish in tenderized and put in to a large meat grinder. After this it is mixed with heaping amounts of lemon and salt. It is eventually cooked on a large coal barbecue known as a mangal and served hot!
Literally soup for the soul, Piti is a delicious soup prepared using mutton, vegetables, and chickpeas, cooked and served in earthenware pots. It forms an essential part of the Azerbaijan cuisine!
Also known as ‘Baklava’ world-wide, Pakhlava is a sinfully flavorsome pastry consisting of layers of dough, stuffed with nuts or pistachios, and coated with honey or syrup! Azerbaijan food doesn’t get better than this!
A specialty of Sheki in North-west Azerbaijan, Halva comprises of chopped nuts sandwiched between thin layers of fried dough, normally savoured with tea.
This food of Azerbaijan is a type of pancake, stuffed with cheese, spinach, or minced lamb.
Popular Beverages & Drinks of Azerbaijan
10. Black Tea
Among Azerbaijan food and drink, Black Tea holds a permanent important spot. It is the undisputed national drink of Azerbaijan. A huge part of daily life in Azerbaijan as well as Azeri cuisine, it is impossible to leave the country without sampling this fantastic type of tea.
11. Azerbaijani Sherbet
The Azeri’s just love their sherbet. The most widespread drink in Azerbaijan, sherbet is sweet cold drink, made using boiled water infused with sugar, various fruits, berries, mint and so on.