In traditional Azerbaijani cooking you will not find products with cream or cakes. For baking, it most often uses shortcrust dough or yeast dough, and the filling is prepared using butter, honey, nuts, fruits and spices. But there are a lot of sweets options. We give only a few that are found in widespread sale.
Azerbaijani pastries are stored for a long time, so you can not only enjoy it during a trip to the country, but also take it with you.
Easy to prepare, but very tasty cookies – kurabye, in Azerbaijan you will find in any pastry shop. Kurabye in Baku style is made from shortcrust dough and is a flower-shaped cookie, in the center of which is placed a drop of jam. However, the form of kurabye may differ. There are cookies in the form of sticks, with a hollow along the entire length, filled with fruit jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Whatever form it is, tender kurabye will be enjoyed by both adults and children.
Bamiye is a rather unusual sweetness. It is made from choux pastry, which is passed through a meat grinder with a special nozzle with a toothed hole in the middle. It turns out ribbed flagella dough, which is cut into equal parts, 7-8 centimeters long and fried in vegetable oil. After that, the bamiye is placed in sugar syrup to saturate. Finally, after drying, sweetness is sprinkled with sugar.
As a result, bamiye acquires a crisp outside, while remaining juicy and tender inside.
Sheker chorek is a simple and popular Azerbaijani pastry, the name of which is translated as “sweet bread”. For its production from the steep sweetened dough, kneaded in melted butter, form balls, which are smeared with egg yolk and baked.
It turns out crumbly biscuits, perfectly suitable for home tea.
This exquisite sweetness is not often available, but it is definitely worth finding and trying it out.
Fresh dough for fasali cooking is oiled, folded in several layers, cut into rectangles, twisted and flattened in a vertical direction to form a round thin cake with a diameter of 10-12 centimeters. Fasali on both sides are fried in butter in a frying pan, and then sprinkled with powdered sugar.
You can imagine what a delicacy in the end it turns out: puff cake, crispy and crumbly, moderately sweet and buttery.
Finally, we come to the description of the traditional pastry with nut filling. Shirvan puff is made from dough, repeatedly puffed with butter. When making puffs, nuts and honey are put on the dough cut into squares, then closed in the form of an “envelope” and smeared with egg on top.
When baking the edges of the puff open, revealing an appetizing filling. The finished puff is crumbly and crunchy, with a glossy dark yellow crust.
These sweet rolls, the size of a little finger, are filled with a mixture of almonds (badam) or any other nuts, with sugar and cardamom. Originality of the almond tubules in the form of twisting. A portion of dough is rolled into a ribbon, one end of which is somewhat wider than the other. On the dough from the wider end put the stuffing, bend the ends and roll in the form of a tube.
Finished almond tubules sprinkled with powdered sugar are great for a cup of tea or coffee.
These, a kind of bagels with a fruit filling are made from sweet yeast dough, rolled up in the form of tubes. For the filling, most often use apricot jam. The filling is put on a piece of dough in the form of a triangle and rolled into a tube.
Mutaki are light yellow, soft and crumbly.
Baklava, perhaps the most famous of the national sweets. There are many variations of baklava in Azerbaijan – Baku, Guba, Shaki, Ganja, and each has its own characteristics.
For example, the most common, classical Baku baklava is in the form of diamonds, on the surface of each of which a nutlet is laid. Baklava can contain up to 10-12 layers of thin wheat dough filled with nuts, mixed with sugar and cardamom.
The Ganja baklava resembles a Baku baklava, however, pink infusion (gülab) is added to its dough during cooking, and the walnuts used for the filling are completely peeled, making the baklava light. From above, the Ganja baklava is smeared with tincture of saffron and sprinkled with poppy seed, which is also pre-scalded with boiling water and cleaned, therefore the poppies are white.
In turn, Shaki baklava (or halva) is made from rice flour, chopped nuts with spices, syrup or honey. Usually Shaki baklava is cut in the form of rectangles.
Guba baklava, is also prepared from rice flour, but it is cut into the usual rhombuses with a nut in the middle, like Baku baklava. At the same time the dough of this baklava is unusual, trellised like a thin mesh. Guba baklava can contain up to 50 layers of dough, layered with nuts. Its production (as well as Shaki baklava) is a labor-intensive process and it is performed mainly by men.
By the way, from the same rice dough in Guba they make another original sweetness – bukme. It consists of several layers of lattice rice dough, in which a filling of nuts and granulated sugar with spices is wrapped. You can try this product only in Guba.
Another famous Azerbaijani pastry is sheker-bura, which is often prepared by housewives and found on sale in pastry shops. Sheker-bura (“bura” from the Turkic “Borek” – pie) is a product of crumbly dough stuffed with nuts and granulated sugar, with spices. It has a recognizable appearance, thanks to a special cooking technology. On one half of the mug of dough they put the nut mince and close with the other half, screwing the edges with a spiral. Then, various patterns are applied to the sheker-bura surface by prick.
The finished product is light yellow, crumbly and fragrant.
Badam-bura differs from sheker-bura in that its dough is flaky, and the filling, according to the name (“Badam” in Azerbaijani – almond), must contain chopped almonds, mixed with sugar. But most often, hazelnuts or a mixture of various nuts is put in the badam-bura filling found on sale. The finished product is sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Classic gogal is a pastry made of puff dough with various fillings – salt (shor-gogal) or sweet (shirin-gogal). As a sweet filling, a mixture of butter with flour and sugar or nuts ground with sugar is most often used.
Gogal is one of the most common and favorite traditional Azerbaijani flour products.
Kyata is a very tasty Azerbaijani national confection, which can be of different forms. Its most common types are the Baku kyata and the Karabakh kyata.
Baku kyata is puff, triangular or rectangular, with jagged edges. And the Karabakh kyata resembles a wide flat bun with a sweet filling. And in both varieties of kyata filling is made from butter, ground with sugar and flour.
Each type of kyata has its admirers. Baku kyata is crumbly with crispy baked edges, and Karabakh kyata is softer and more porous, like a bun.
This is the most famous traditional Azerbaijani candy. Sweetness is made by running in sugar syrup cilantro seed (there is also an option with cardamom instead of cilantro).
The dressing for cilantro seed is a boiled sugar syrup with the addition of vinegar. In a special pot, seeds of cilantro or cardamom roll overgrown with icing and flour. Gradually, the product increases in shape, acquiring a round bumpy shape.
Nogul is a candy with an indescribable original taste familiar to many Azerbaijanis since childhood.