Gutabs are widespread in the Shirvan region which covers Baku, Shamakhi and the plain south to the Kur River. The cuisine of the Shirvan region is known for its flour-based dishes and, in particular, gutabs and dushbara.
Preparation time: 45 min
Cooking time: 20 min
- For the dough:
- 112 g/4.5 oz wheat flour
- For the filling:
- 112g/4.5 oz minced lamb or 56 g/2.25 oz minced lamb and 56 g/2.25 oz minced beef</li>
- 1 onion
- salt & pepper
- 12 g/1.5 oz lavashana (thin rolled sheet of dried plums or cornelian cherries) or 20 g pomegranate
- Soak the small piece of lavashana in water until it dissolves. It will dissolve more quickly in hot water.
- Peel and chop the onion.
- Mix the minced meat with the chopped onion. Add salt and pepper and lavashana liquid. Set the mixture aside.
- Mix the flour, water and salt to make dough. Separate the dough into 80-100 gram balls.
- Place the dough balls on a tea towel and cover with clingfilm. Leave the balls to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Roll out the dough balls until they are 3 mm/0.2 inch thick. Traditionally a thin, light rolling pin is used. Use a small plate to shape the rolled-out dough into rounds approximately 20 cm in diameter.
- Spread the mincemeat mixture thinly on one half of the the dough round. Fold in half into a semi-circle, pressing the edges together.
- Gutabs are traditionally cooked on a saj, a convex iron griddle. A large frying pan turned upside down can be an excellent substitute for a saj. Place two gutabs at a time on the hot saj. Traditionally gutabs are cooked without oil or butter, although some cooks do cook their gutabs in oil. Turn over after 2-3 minutes or when the gutab begins to brown and cook on the other side.
- Spread the cooked gutabs with melted butter or melted clarified butter while still hot and place one on top of the other to serve.
- Meat gutabs are often served with sumach, a red ground powder which has a zesty flavour. Alkaline sumach is thought to aid digestion of acidic meat.