Wednesday, March 22, 2023


Azerbaijan was next on our list, and it is such an amazing country!  It was the first Muslim-majority, democratic, secular country in the world.  Its capital Baku is the lowest lying country capital in the world at 28 meters below sea level, and it has the greatest concentration of mud volcanoes in the world.  So many cool things about this country!

Video List

For the food, I checked out this list of popular dishes in Azerbaijan.  We had already tried gata for our Armenia studies and the others looked a little more involved, so I went with plov, mentioned elsewhere as Azerbaijan's national dish.  There are lots of different regional variations, and the recipe I chose is called Parcha-Dosheme Plov (layered rice pilaf with dried fruits and chestnuts).  I couldn't get chestnuts at our local grocery store, so I ordered them on Amazon.  I was able to get everything else locally (substituting regular prunes for the dried sour plums), even Afghan saffron!

First step is to sauté the dried fruit in butter - smells so yummy!

Setting the dried fruit aside, the chicken is layered on the bottom of a pan, covered with sliced onions, and then come the partially cooked basmati rice, the dried fruit, and a final layer of rice.  This all gets steamed together for an hour.

The final result was delicious!  If I made the recipe again, I would use a smaller but deeper pot, as the wide pan I used meant the chicken in the middle got overcooked before the meat on the edges was properly done.  I would probably also use more chicken and add more water to the saffron so that it could give all of the rice that beautiful color.  But overall, it is a dish we really enjoyed!

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