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Pakhlava – Azerbaijani delicious sweet pastry


Pakhlava, perhaps the most famous of the national sweets. There are many variations of pakhlava in Azerbaijan – Baku, Guba, Shaki, Ganja, and each has its own characteristics.

For example, the most common, classical Baku pakhlava is in the form of diamonds, on the surface of each of which a nutlet is laid. Pakhlava can contain up to 10-12 layers of thin wheat dough filled with nuts, mixed with sugar and cardamom.

The Ganja pakhlava resembles a Baku pakhlava, however, pink infusion (gülab) is added to its dough during cooking, and the walnuts used for the filling are completely peeled, making the pakhlava light. From above, the Ganja pakhlava 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 pakhlava (or halva) is made from rice flour, chopped nuts with spices, syrup or honey. Usually Shaki pakhlava is cut in the form of rectangles.

Guba pakhlava, is also prepared from rice flour, but it is cut into the usual rhombuses with a nut in the middle, like Baku pakhlava. At the same time the dough of this pakhlava is unusual, trellised like a thin mesh. Guba pakhlava can contain up to 50 layers of dough, layered with nuts. Its production (as well as Shaki pakhlava) 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.

About Fidan Abdullayeva