Azerbaijan, located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, is known for its rich culinary heritage. The country's cuisine is a fusion of Eastern and Western flavors, combining a variety of ingredients and cooking techniques.
From savory meat dishes to sweet desserts, Azerbaijan offers a diverse range of delicacies that are a must-try for any food lover. In this article, we will explore some of the most popular local delicacies that you should not miss when visiting Azerbaijan.
If you want to taste the delicious Azerbaijani cuisine, you need to obtain an Azerbaijan visa. Here is a guide on the different visa types available and how to obtain them.
Check if your country is on the visa-free country list. If yes, you do not need a visa to enter Azerbaijan.
If you are not eligible for the visa-waiver program, apply for an E-visa. The application process is online. Fill out the Azerbaijan visa application form, provide the necessary documents, and pay the application fee. You will receive your visa by email within several days. You can expedite the process by paying an additional fee.
If you are not eligible for an E-visa, apply for a short-stay visa. The application process is not online. You will apply at visa application centers, embassies, or consulates. The processing time is around three weeks, and the fee is around 20-35 USD.
Foreigners who want to work, study, or reunite with their family in Azerbaijan can apply for a long-stay visa. The application process is not available abroad for some nationalities. Such people must obtain a short-term visa and apply for a long-term visa in Azerbaijan. The reason for the application for a long-term and short-term visa must be the same.
All foreigners transiting from Azerbaijan can do so without obtaining a visa for up to 24 hours. If the time exceeds 24 hours or you leave the international airport area, you must apply for a visa.
Here are 17 popular Azerbaijani foods:
Plov, also known as pilaf, is a traditional Azerbaijani dish made from rice and meat. It's a staple dish in Azerbaijani cuisine and is often served during special occasions like weddings or holidays.
The dish is made with long-grain rice, lamb or beef, onions, garlic, and saffron. Other ingredients like dried fruits, nuts, and vegetables can be added to enhance the flavor.
The preparation of plov involves slow-cooking the meat with the onions and garlic until it's tender and juicy. The rice is then added to the pot, along with saffron, which gives the dish its distinct yellow color.
Plov is typically served in a large dish, with the meat and rice arranged in layers. It can be garnished with fresh herbs and served with yogurt or a salad on the side.
In conclusion, plov is a flavorful and satisfying dish that represents the rich culinary heritage of Azerbaijan.
Plov, also known as pilaf, is a signature dish in Azerbaijani cuisine. It's a savory rice dish that is cooked with a variety of ingredients, such as lamb or beef, dried fruits, and vegetables.
One of the most famous variations of plov is Shah Plov. This dish is made with saffron-infused rice and tender pieces of lamb or beef. It's often garnished with fried dough pieces, which add a satisfying crunch to the dish.
In Azerbaijani cuisine, rice dishes are often accompanied by fried dough pieces. These crunchy pieces of dough add texture and flavor to the dish. They are made by frying small pieces of dough until they are golden brown and crispy.
So, if you're looking to try a delicious and unique rice dish, be sure to try plov, and don't forget to add some fried dough pieces on top for an extra crunch!
Dolma is a traditional Middle Eastern dish made of stuffed grape leaves. It is popular in many countries, including Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, and Iran. Here are some key points about Dolma:
Dolma is a delicious and healthy dish that is enjoyed by many around the world.
Saj Ichi is a traditional Azerbaijani barbecue dish that is loved by locals and tourists alike. It is a skewered meat dish that is grilled over hot coals and served with various accompaniments such as grilled vegetables, herbs, and bread.
Overall, Saj Ichi is a mouthwatering and satisfying dish that is perfect for any occasion, whether it's a family gathering or a special celebration.
Piti is a dish widely recognized as one of Azerbaijan's national soups, but it's more like a stew due to the lengthy cooking process. The primary ingredients of Piti are diced lamb or mutton, toasted chestnuts, chickpeas, and saffron water. The mixture is cooked in a traditional clay pot, slowly simmering for 5 to 6 hours.
The slow-cooking process allows the ingredients to blend, creating a rich and flavorful broth that is served separately from the meat and vegetables. When you're ready to enjoy Piti, the broth is poured over the other ingredients, and the dish is served hot.
Buglama, meaning "steamed" in Azeri, is a beloved dish that hails from Azerbaijan and Georgia. This traditional meal is unique in that it's cooked over its own ingredients' juice, resulting in a flavorful and aromatic dish.
To make Buglama, combine diced or chopped lamb, onions, tomatoes, bay leaves, peppers, and a small amount of liquid in a pot. Seal the pot tightly and cook it slowly over low heat. The end result is a tender and succulent meal that's perfect for sharing with loved ones.
While lamb is the traditional meat used in Buglama, you can substitute it with fish, beef, or poultry. For a vegan twist, many cultural restaurants offer Buglama made with tofu as a meat substitute.
Buglama is a must-try dish for those looking to explore the rich culinary traditions of Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Gutab, also spelled as Qutab, is a popular fast food item in Azerbaijani cuisine. It is considered the brightest representative of fast food in Azerbaijan and has gained reputation in South Caucasian and Jewish regions as well.
Gutab is made of stuffed Lavash, a traditional flatbread, with a wide range of fillings. The fillings can be vegetarian or non-vegetarian. The herb version of Gutab is called Green Gutab or “Yashyl Qutab” and is made with pumpkin, spinach, cilantro, onions, and dill.
The non-vegetarian Gutab can include ground meat as a filling. In addition, there are sweet versions of Gutab that include sumac and pomegranate seeds.
Gutab has a half-moon shape and is meant to be served with cultural yogurt condiment or beverage. It is a popular fast food item that is often consumed as a snack or a quick meal.
Overall, Gutab is a tasty and versatile fast food item that is enjoyed by many in Azerbaijani cuisine.
Lavangi is a popular Azerbaijani dish known for its use of spices and flavorful ingredients. Its origin can be traced back to the Gilan province of Lakaran, though its exact date of creation is unknown.
Regardless of the base ingredient, Lavangi is stuffed with walnuts, onions, and a variety of condiments and seasonings that make it a delectable fusion of flavors.
Overall, Lavangi is a must-try dish for anyone looking to experience the rich and diverse cuisine of Azerbaijan.
Kebab is a popular Middle Eastern dish that has become a beloved food item all around the world. This traditional dish is usually grilled or roasted over an open flame and is known for its savory flavors and unique cooking method.
Kebab is an invention of the Turks but has since become a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. The word “Kebab” in the Arabic tongue means “roasted meat”. This dish can be found in many Middle Eastern countries and is often associated with street food.
There are numerous Azerbaijani recipes for Kebabs, but the most common version is Lula Kebab. Traditionally, Lula Kebab is made from minced lamb or mutton, salt, lemon, seasonings, and herbs. The meat is then shaped into cubes and skewered before being roasted to perfection.
Lavash is a traditional Azerbaijani flatbread that pairs perfectly with Kebab in general. Slices of red onion are also often served alongside this dish, adding a nice crunch and a hint of sweetness to the meal.
Looking for a new way to enjoy vegetables in a salad? Try Azerbaijani Mangal Salaty, a mixture of grilled or roasted vegetables that is sure to delight your taste buds.
The irreplaceable ingredients for this salad include eggplants, tomatoes, red onions, and peppers. Other local spices are optional.
While it is often served as an accompaniment to kebabs or grilled meat dishes, Mangal Salaty is a vegan food and can be enjoyed on its own. It's perfect for a delicious breakfast alongside some bread. If you're a vegetarian, eggs are an excellent addition to this dish.
Give Azerbaijani Mangal Salaty a try and discover a new way to enjoy grilled vegetables in a tasty and nutritious salad.
If you love dumplings, you might want to try Azerbaijani Dushbara. Unlike the large and doughy dumplings in American food culture, Dushbara is more closely related to the most ancient dumpling recipe—the Chinese version.
It's a dish made of ground meat, herbs, and spices wrapped in a flat dough, then boiled. However, the signature of Dushbaras is their small size. In fact, there's a challenge for either the cook or eater to fit as many Dushbaras as they can on a spoon.
The traditional way to serve this dish is in lamb broth, with some mint, wine vinegar, and garlic. This combination creates a hearty and flavorful meal that is perfect for colder days.
If you're looking for a unique and delicious dumpling experience, give Dushbara a try.
Bozbash is a popular traditional dish that originated in the 19th century and is widely enjoyed in Armenia, Iran, and Azerbaijan. The name Bozbash is believed to be a compound word of "boz" - which means light gray, and "bash" - which means head in Turkish Azeri, indicating the color of the dish.
Bozbash is typically prepared using meat bases such as lamb or beef, combined with peas, potatoes, and local spices such as turmeric and saffron. The most famous version of this dish is Kufta Bozbash, which uses a large-sized cultural meatball. The Bozbash broth may have different flavors depending on the region.
Bozbash is typically served hot and can be enjoyed on its own or with bread. It is a hearty and flavorful dish that is perfect for cold weather. If you're looking to experience the rich and diverse cuisine of the region, Bozbash is definitely a must-try dish.
Sprouted from the Ottoman Turkish cuisine, the Azerbaijanis’ Pakhlava or Halva is a descendant of the world’s famous Baklava. Traditionally, Pakhlava is usually prepared for Novruz, a traditional festival in March to celebrate the upcoming spring.
However, it’s now widely used throughout the year, and almost every restaurant, bakery, pastry shop, or family has its own recipe for the cultural Pakhlava. Still, the signature of this Azerbaijani sweet is multiple layers of nuts flooded with syrup or honey.
It’s also usually topped with a mixture of yolk and saffron; nuts like walnut or hazelnut are for the garnishings.
Many would describe Pakhlava as the sweetest pastries they’ve ever tried, and the locals would likely enjoy it with their cultural black tea.
If you ever visit Azerbaijan, don't forget to indulge in this sweet delight.
Djiz-biz, also known as Jiz Biz or spells Jiz Byz, is a popular dish in Azerbaijani cuisine. This dish is made of fried lamb organs such as kidney, heart, lung, and intestine. Modern restaurants also serve this dish with fried potatoes, and tomato is a great companion during the summer.
Though it may feel like a hash made of lamb offal, Djiz-biz is a nutritious dish. Each of its components requires a specific cooking technique and is meant to be cooked separately. The locals would prefer to enjoy Djiz-biz with bread, pickles, vegetables, and red onions.
Djiz-biz is a delicious and unique dish that has been enjoyed by Azerbaijanis for generations. Here are some of the perfect companions to enjoy with this dish:
So, if you ever get a chance to try Djiz-biz, be sure to enjoy it with its perfect companions.
Azerbaijani cuisine is a blend of Iranian, Turkish, and Middle Eastern influences. Kefli Becha is a traditional Azerbaijani dish made with chicken and rice. It has been a popular dish in the region for centuries.
The dish is typically made with chicken thighs, rice, onion, garlic, tomato paste, and a variety of spices such as turmeric, saffron, and cumin. The chicken is first marinated in a mixture of yogurt, lemon juice, and spices, then cooked in a skillet with onions and garlic. The rice is cooked separately with tomato paste and spices, then combined with the chicken and simmered until fully cooked.
Kefli Becha is usually served hot and garnished with fresh herbs such as parsley and cilantro. It can be enjoyed on its own or with a side of salad or pickles. This dish is a perfect representation of Azerbaijani cuisine, which is known for its bold flavors and hearty dishes.
Dovga is a traditional dish of Azerbaijan, enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. This dish can be served both hot or cold, depending on the season. It is a mixture of yogurt, rice, spinach, chickpeas, dill, mint, and coriander. Eggs are also sometimes added to the soup.
Dovga originated in the Western region of Azerbaijan but is now a famous dish in Turkey, Iran, and Armenia. It is a popular dish served at Azerbaijan weddings and is usually served between meat courses.
Although the ingredients of Dovga soup are vegetarian-safe, it is important to inquire whether it contains any meat accompaniment. In some regions, such as Baku, restaurants may add small meatballs to the soup.
Are you looking for a simple and delicious breakfast recipe? Look no further than Pomidor-Yumurta, a popular Azerbaijani dish that's easy to make and packed with flavor.
To make Pomidor-Yumurta, follow these simple steps:
Pomidor-Yumurta is thought to have originated from the Ottoman cuisine dish called "Shakshouka" and is similar to the Turkish Menemen. However, Azerbaijan has put its own spin on the dish, making it a staple of their breakfast cuisine.
With its simple preparation and delicious taste, Pomidor-Yumurta is a great breakfast option for those who want to start their day with a healthy and satisfying meal. Try it out and experience the unique flavors of Azerbaijani cuisine.
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