They are an obligatory feature on special occasions, such as weddings. Azerbaijanis love to make kebabs at picnics and at their summer houses and, as is the case the world over, it is the men who take charge of the barbecue. The traditional name for kebabs, shishlik, after the metal skewer or shish on which a kebab is cooked, entered the Russian language as shashlik, which is now the name for any kind of barbecued meat in Russia. Azerbaijani cuisine has a variety of kebabs, one of the most popular of which is lula kebab, made from minced lamb.
Preparation time: 45 min
Cooking time: 20 min
- 325 g/13 oz lamb
- 25 g/1 oz rump fat (the breed of sheep popular in Azerbaijan has a very fatty rump/tail – guyrug. Fat from this area, is widely used in Azerbaijani cooking. It can often be replaced with butter for a lighter result, but in lula kebabs guyrug helps to create the right consistency to keep the mixture on the skewers)
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 1 bunch of spring onions</li>
- parsley and basil
- 50 g/2 oz wheat flour
- salt & pepper</li>
- Mince the lamb, onions and fat.
- Add salt & pepper and mix thoroughly.
- Leave the mince mixture to cool for 20 minutes or so in the refrigerator.
- Shape the mince into a short sausages along each skewer. Long, thick metal skewers are used for kebabs in Azerbaijan.
- Barbecue over the burning embers of charcoal or wood.
- Take a piece of unleavened lavash bread to ease the lula kebab off the skewer.
- Serve with more lavash bread, sliced onions, dill, parsley, coriander, and sumach.
- It's popular to eat lula kebab wrapped up in lavash with herbs, onion and sumach, a red ground powder which has a zesty flavour. Alkaline sumach is thought to aid digestion of acidic meat.