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Balva | Mallow soup

Balva - Mallow soup
The soup takes its name from the Azerbaijani for mallow – balva – a wild herb that is widespread in the Caucasus.

The mallow makes this a refreshing spring or early summer soup. While other herbs can also be added, traditionally wild mallow and spring onions were used

Preparation time: 20-25 min
Cooking time: 30 min
Serves: 4


  • 100 g/4 oz short-grain rice
  • 50 g/2 oz melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 25 g/1 oz lavashana (thin rolled sheet of dried plums or cornelian cherries)or 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 4 tsp wheat flour
  • large bunches of mallow and spring onions (spinach and coriander can also be used but mallow and spring onions are traditional)
  • salt & pepper


  • Soak the small piece of lavashana in hot water until it dissolves.
  • Wash and roughly chop the mallow and spring onions
  • Cook the rice for 15 minutes in a large pan of water.
  • Add 4 teaspoons of water to the flour and mix into a paste.
  • Add the paste, chopped herbs, butter, soaked lavashana, salt & pepper and beaten egg to the soup. Stir well for 5 minutes until the paste has dissolved.
  • Simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes until the soup is ready.

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