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Pumpkin pancakes – Balgabag gutabi

Pumpkin pancakes - Balgabag gutabi
Gutabs, a version of pancakes, are an Azerbaijani national dish and can be made with meat, herbs or pumpkin.

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: 10-15 min
Serves: 6-7


  • For the dough:
  • 150 g/6 oz wheat flour
  • water
  • salt
  • For the filling:
  • 250 g/10 oz pumpkin
  • 25 g/1 oz pomegranate
  • 25 g/1 oz chopped onion
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Butter


  • Peel and de-seed the pumpkin and cut into cubes. Cook the pumpkin cubes slowly over a medium flame for approximately 10 minutes. They will release water while cooking so leave the lid off the pan. If the pumpkin is not sweet, add a sprinkling of sugar.
  • Chop the onion and fry in butter until it is a golden colour.
  • Mash the cooked pumpkin and add the pomegranate, fried onion, cinnamon and salt.
  • 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 pumpkin mixture on one half of the the dough round. Fold the gutab in half into a semi-circle, pressing the edges together. If the edges cannot be pressed together, take out some of the filling.
  • 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 fat. 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.

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