Cardamom and Walnut Mutekke

A walnut filled sweet pastry – yummy!

Servings

24

Ready In:

30min

Good For:

Dessert

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About this Recipe

By Feride Buyuran, AZ Cookbook

Mutekke, shorgoghal, baklava and shekerbura are traditionally served on the sweet tray at the spring holiday, Novruz. We made baklava last year so we thought we would give another one from the collection a go. We had some walnuts leftover from the Aubergine rolls so we decided to make cardamom and walnut cookies from the AZ Cookbook.

The name Mutekke comes from their special shape which resembles a traditional tube-shaped pillow mutekke. They are super easy to make and I would describe them as more of a sweet pastry than a cookie but we don’t need to be fussy. This is a fun one to make with the kids who can get really involved kneading the dough, rolling it out and rolling up the mutekke.

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 4 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely ground
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar, for coating

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

First, prepare the dough. Put the flour and butter in a large mixing bowl. Rub them together between your fingers until you obtain fine crumbs and no lumps remain. Add the sour cream and egg yolks. Stir with your hands until you obtain a loose dough. Knead until the dough comes together nicely and is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Divide the dough into 3 parts and shape each into a ball. Wrap the balls in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Step 2

Prepare the filling. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground nuts with sugar and cardamom. Stir to mix. Set aside.

Step 3

Preheat the oven to 380˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Step 4

Work with one ball at a time and keep the rest covered with a kitchen towel. Using a rolling pin, roll the ball into a thin 11-inch circle. Using a sharp knife, cut the circle into quarters, then cut each quarter into 2 wedges, making 8 wedges total.

Step 5

Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of the filling on each wedge, leaving a ¼-inch border along the edges. Roll the wedges up toward the pointed end. Continue with the remaining dough balls in the same manner. Place the roll-ups on the baking sheets, pointy side down, spacing them about 1 inch apart.

Step 6

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes, or until the roll-ups are light golden around the edges. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool completely, then dust with powdered sugar.

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Goyarti Gutabi

Goyarti Gutabi

Goyarti Gutabi

Herb filled pancakes, perfect for snacking on.

Servings

4

Ready In:

1 hour 30min

Good For:

Starter

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About this Recipe

By Phoebe Wood, SBS Website 

The weather has now turned warmer and we are ready for some lighter meals which is brilliant as Goyarti Gutabi served with yoghurt and pomegranate molasses fits the bill perfectly.

Goyarti Gutabi are an Azerbaijani herb-filled pancake that are simple to make, just a selection of herbs, onion and cream cheese filling the pancakes. They are perfect for snacking on whilst watching the Grand Prix.

Nom nom – these are right up my street – I’m a sucker for this type of snack.

I found this recipe on SBS Food’s website along with a good selection of other Azerbaijani recipes.

They are lovely – make them.

Ingredients

  • 275g plain flour
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 80ml milk
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Spinach and Herb Filling

  • 3 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1  onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch spinach, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/2 bunch dill, chopped
  • 1 tsp tarragon, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp cottage cheese
  • to serve yoghurt
  • to serve pomegranate molasses

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Place flour and sugar in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Place eggs, milk and oil in a separate bowl and, using a fork, beat until combined. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir to combine. Knead mixture for 2 minutes to form a dough, then cover with a clean tea towel and set aside for 1 hour to rest.

Step 2

Meanwhile, to make filling, heat 1½ tbsp oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until softened and translucent. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add spinach and cook for 2 minutes or until wilted and liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in herbs. Set aside to cool completely, then stir in the cottage cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Step 3

Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and roll out each piece between 2 pieces of baking paper to a thin 20 cm round.

Step 4

Place 2 tbsp filling in the centre of each round. Fold over into a semi-circle so that the edges meet. Heat 2 tsp oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Working one at a time, cook gutabi for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden and dough is cooked. Wipe out pan and continue with remaining oil and gutabi.

Step 5

Serve with yoghurt and pomegranate molasses.

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Roasted Hen with Potatoes and Apples

Roasted Hen with Potatoes and Apples

Roasted Hen with Potatoes and Apples

An Azerbaijani Chicken Tray Bake.

Servings

2
 

Ready In:

1 hour 30min (+ overnight marinating)

Good For:

Mains
 

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About this Recipe

By Flavours of Baku 

I have to say that Flavours of Baku is one of my go to website for Azerbaijani food and this is a lovely dish to make.

Roasted Hen with Potatoes and Apples takes a little forethought as you need to marinate the hen in onions overnight, but the rest of the dish is super simple. It is quite a hearty meal with half a hen each, so we had plenty leftover for the kids the next day.

Just don’t forget to by cherry tomatoes on the vine like I did, as the final effect is not quite the same.

Ingredients

  • cornish hen, half per person
  • 1 onion
  • potatoes
  • apple
  • 2 tbsp sour cream or mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • for decoration vine tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Place the hen with the breast side up and using a sharp knife, cut the hen in half by slicing down the middle of the breastbone to separate the rib cage, then cutting all the way through.

Step 2

Slice the onion, put it into a bowl, and add 1/2 tsp of salt. Massage the salt into the onion and squeeze it with your hands until the onion gets soft and a little juice comes out.

Step 3

Season the hen with salt and pepper to your taste. Place half of the sliced onion into a container, then place the hen skin side down. Cover with the remainder of the onion. Marinade overnight in the fridge.

Step 4

Remove the hen from the fridge for one hour before roasting, and remove all onion from the hen. Cut the potatoes and apple into large pieces. (We used two apples.)

Step 5

Pour the melted butter over the roasting pan, then place the hen (skin side up), potatoes, and apples in a roasting pan and rub them all over to coat with the sour cream (or mayonnaise.)

Step 6

Preheat the oven to 200C. Add 1 cup of chicken broth or water to the pan and roast until the hen and the potatoes are cooked and golden brown. Baste the hen and turn the potatoes and apples over every now and again.

Step 7

When the hen is almost cooked, place some tomatoes into the roasting pan as well.

Step 8

Serve whilst hot.

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Toyug

Toyug

Toyug

Lemon and sumac chicken kebabs – perfect for the hot weather.

Servings

4

Ready In:

45min

Good For:

Mains

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About this Recipe

By Azerbaijan Cuisine 

Toyug is the Azerbaijan word for kebabs. Kebabs are popular at celebrations such as weddings, but also at picnics and summer events. Given the weather hit 30C in London this weekend, it seemed appropriate we made our first Toyug.

We opted for chicken toyug which are lighter than the lamb version. I found the recipe on Azerbaijan cuisine. The toyug were super easy and the kids tucked into them as the lemon juice helped them to stay moist. We served ours with fried onion rings (from the marinade), grilled aubergine and herby cous cous.

Really tasty!

Ingredients

  • 500g chicken
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • handful coriander
  •  sumac
  •  salt
  • pepper

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Cut the chicken into 40-50 gram/1.5 to 2 oz pieces. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and place in a bowl with rings of raw onion. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice and mix well. Cover and leave to marinade for an hour or so before cooking.

Step 2

Thread the marinaded chicken pieces onto long thin metal skewers and cook over hot coals.

Step 3

As soon as they are cooked, serve the chicken pieces with cooked rings of the onion, chopped herbs and sumac. Sumac, an alkaline red powder from barberry bark, has a zesty flavour and is thought to aid digestion of acidic meat.

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Aubergine Rolls

Aubergine Rolls

Aubergine Rolls

A powerful burst of garlic, herbs and walnuts all wrapped up in grilled eggplant.

Servings

4

Ready In:

1 hour 10min

Good For:

Starters

Inroduction

About this Recipe

By Feride Buyuran, AZ Cookbook

This probably the best thing you can make with an aubergine. Our house has a love/hate relationship with aubergines, but grilling or griddling them saves them.

This recipe from my favourite AZ Cookbook is delicious. The herbs and walnut counteract the powerful garlic mayonnaise. They are delicious – next time there is a left over aubergine lurking in our fridge we will be making these.

Enjoy – but beware of the garlic breathe afterwards…not for the faint-hearted!

Ingredients

  • aubergine
  • 125ml olive oil
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

With a large sharp knife cut the eggplant lengthwise into slices, about 1/4-inch (1/2 centimeter) thick. You should be able to get about 8 slices.

Step 2

Arrange the eggplant in a colander in layers, sprinkling each with plenty of salt. Put the colander in a sink. Place a weight, such a plate or lid, on top. Leave for 30 minutes, to allow the bitter dark juices to drain. An alternative way to extract the bitterness from the eggplant would be to place the slices in a bowl with cold water mixed with 1-2 tablespoons salt, putting a weight on top and leaving for about 30 minutes, then draining and pat-drying them.

Step 3

In a medium non-stick frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Rinse the eggplant, drain and pat dry. Layer the eggplant slices in batches in hot oil. Fry for 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Add more frying oil if necessary (eggplant absorbs oil quickly). Remove the eggplant and drain on paper towel for about 5 minutes.

Step 4

Lay the eggplant on a flat surface, such as cutting board. Using a spoon, spread about a teaspoon of mayonnaise evenly over each slice, then spread a little crushed garlic, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Top the slices generously with chopped herbs.

Step 5

Beginning at the narrow end, gently roll up the eggplant, and transfer to a serving patter. Enjoy!

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Kourma Plov

Kourma Plov

Kourma Plov

Azerbaijan’s national dish

Servings

8

Ready In:

1 hour 15min

Good For:

Mains

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About this Recipe

By Angela Nahas, SBS Australia

Azerbaijani cuisine has a lot in common with Iranian and Turkish cuisine. The national dish of Azerbaijan is reputed to be Plov. Plov comes in many guises, kourma (mutton with onion) plov, chilov (bean) plov, Toyug (chicken) plov and the list goes on. Whatever recipe you chose to go with remember that Plov is carefully arrange on the plate, with the rice, the meat and the herbs side by side – never mixed together.

The Lamb Plov recipe I have chosen to cook was suggested to me by friend Martyn. Thank you.

We served the dish with flat breads and Yogurtlu Kabak Salatasi.

Ingredients

  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 1.8 kg leg of lamb, deboned a cut into 5cm chunks
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • carrots
  • onions
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 200g dried apricots
  • 155g dried chestnuts
  • 500g long grain rice
  • 1 tsp threads of saffron
  • 500 ml beef stock
  • handful flat leaf parsley

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a high heat. Add the lamb and cook for 4 minutes until browned. Transfer into a bowl.

Step 2

Add garlic, carrots and onions to the pan and cook for 6 minutes or until golden.

Step 3

Stir in the lamb, cumin, apricots, chestnuts and 750ml of water.

Step 4

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook, covered with a lid for 1 hour or until the lamb is tender.

Step 5

Meanwhile, soak the rice in 1 litre of salted water for 30 minutes. Drain and stir in the saffron.

Step 6

Transfer the rice to a saucepan and stir in the stock and 125ml of water. Cover and bring to the boil.

Step 7

Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Step 8

Remove from the heat and stand for 10 minutes.

Step 9

Serve the rice, meat and herbs. (N.B. Remember the rice is served warm, never hot apparently)

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Yogurtlu Kabak Salatasi

Yogurtlu Kabak Salatasi

Yogurtlu Kabak Salatasi

Roasted Zucchini and Yoghurt Dip

Servings

8

Ready In:

1 hour

Good For:

Starter, Dips

Inroduction

About this Recipe

By Feride Buyuran, AZ Cookbook

Azerbaijani cooking is heavily influenced by their Turkish and Iranian neighbours. I found a delicious looking recipe for the summer time, a Turkish favourite, Yogurtlu Kabak Salatasi. The recipe I have chosen is from AZ Cookbook specialising in Azerbaijani cuisine – Roasted Zucchini Salad with Garlicky Yogurt Dressing.

I liked this recipe as I am hoping to get the zucchini past the children without them noticing. The eldest would eat tzatziki until the cows came home, so wish me luck…it should be no problem sneaking a vegetable past a toddler

Ingredients

  • 6-7 medium courgette (or squash)
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups natural yoghurt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • sprinkle paprika
  • sprinkle dried mint

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 210C.

Step 2

Slice the zucchini into medium-thick slices. Place on two baking sheets and sprinkle with the flour, salt and olive oil. Toss the zucchini to coat with the ingredients. Spread back to one layer thick. Bake until soft (about 20 minutes.)

Step 3

Then grill until slightly browned on top – a couple of minutes.

Step 4

Allow the zucchini to cool.

Step 5

Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the yoghurt, garlic and salt to taste. Stir to mix. The zucchini will lose its shape but that is fine.

Step 6

Chill in the fridge.

Step 7

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and paprika or just some dried mint. Enjoy!

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Garpiz Murebbesi

Garpiz Murebbesi

Garpiz Murebbesi

Watermelon rind preserve – yes really!

Servings

1

Ready In:

5 hours

Good For:

Desserts

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About this Recipe

This recipe will appeal to the frugile minded.

Garpiz Murebbesi is preserved watermelon rind! This certainly ends up in the bin in our house, but if you just peel off the green skin you can use the white flesh to make this preserve. In Azerbijan, Garpiz Murebbesi is usually served in ‘a preserves bowl with strong black tea’ for desert. We tried it as a desert, but it seemed more like a marmalade so put some on toast and enjoyed it that way too.

The downside of this recipe is that it is quite time consuming, but making any preserve usually is. I think the overall look of the preserve would be improve by using the crinkle cutter as advised in the recipe. Also we had quite a small watermelon so the rind was not very thick which meant we ended up with thin chunks. Still, it tasted good.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg watermelon rind, cleaned
  • 1.35 kg granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp baking soda
  • 15 cups water
  • 1 leaf unsprayed Rose Gernanium (or a small cinnamon stick)

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Remove the flesh of the watermelon and peel off the green skin leaving behind the white part of the rind.

Step 2

Use a crinkle cutter to cut the rind into rectangles or squares about 1 inch long.

Step 3

Place the rind in a large bowl. Pour in enough cold water to cover the rind and sprinkle 3 tbsp. of baking soda on top. Leave for 2 hours.

Step 4

Drain the rind, rinse thoroughly under running water and drain again.

Step 5

Place the rind in a preserving pan. Pour in enough water to cover the rind. Bring to the boil over a medium heat and continue to boil for 2 minutes, then drain the rind in a large colander. Return the rind to the pan and repeat.

Step 6

Return the rind to the pan and add the sugar and water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Maintain a gentle simmer and cook the preserves, uncovered for 2 hours 45 minutes. Add the geranium leaf or a cinnamon stick or cloves (we chose cinnamon) and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes or until the rind is golden and transparent and the syrup has reduced. (Be careful not to overcook or it will crystalize – if this happens add a cup of water to the pan, bring to the boil and then remove the pan from the heat.)

Step 7

When the preserves are golden and transparent, remove from the heat. Discard the geranium leaf or spices. Leave to cool in the pan.

Step 8

Spoon into sterilized preserves jar, making sure the syrup covers the rind. Seal it tightly. Keep in a cool, dry place.

Step 9

Serve in a round preserve bowl.

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