Top 15 Most Popular Desserts in Azerbaijan
Because of their vibrant appearance and distinct aromas, Azerbaijani desserts are hugely popular and have garnered widespread acclaim. Honey, almonds, and fresh dough are some of the natural ingredients used in traditional Azerbaijani desserts. These elements help create robust tastes without an overabundance of sweetness.
As with many other meals in Azerbaijani cuisine, desserts can differ from one city or town to the next, with certain places being particularly well-known for unique tastes.
Because you can keep Azerbaijani pastries for a long time, you can not only indulge in them while visiting the country but also bring them home with you. So, let’s cut to the chase and see what you can expect in Azerbaijan in terms of desserts:
Cookies, or kurabye, are ubiquitous in Azerbaijani bakeries and can be made quickly and easily without sacrificing flavor. Baku-style kurabye is a cookie in the shape of a flower created with shortcrust dough. A dot of jam is added in the middle of each cookie before it is baked.
Kurabye can take on a variety of forms. For example, cookies in the shape of sticks, each with a hollow running the entire cookie length, which you can be filled with fruit jam and powdered sugar.
Bamiye has a unique and exotic flavor. The choux pastry used to make it is put through a meat grinder fitted with a special nozzle with a toothed hole in the center. The result is a ribbed pasta dough, divided into equal portions, stretched to a length of 7-8 cm, and fried in vegetable oil.
The bamiye is then submerged in sugar syrup until entirely saturated. Once dried, sugar is sprinkled over it. Then taste it – you’ll need someone to stop you!
3. Sheker Chorek
Sheker chorek is an easy to make and well-liked type of sweet bread that originates in Azerbaijan.
The sweetened dough is kneaded with melted butter and then formed into balls. They are then coat with egg yolk and baked.
This delightful delicacy is not easily available, but it is worth seeking out and given a go. It’s a traditional Yemeni dish, but Azerbaijanis are very good at making it.
Fresh dough is greased, folded in many layers, cut into rectangles, twisted, and flattened vertically to produce a thin, circular cake with a diameter of 10-12 cm. Both sides of the fasali are cooked in butter in a frying pan and dusted with powdered sugar before serving.
5. Shirvan Puff
At long last, we get to the classic tart with nut filling. Shirvan puff is made with a puffed up with butter to create air pockets. Nuts and honey are spread on squares of the dough, which are then folded into the shape of an “envelope”, which is then brushed with an egg wash.
When baked, the borders of the puff open up, exposing the delicious filling inside. The completed puff has a glossy and dark yellow crust and is crumbly and crispy.
6. Almond Tubules
These delicious rolls are the size of a tiny finger and are filled with a mixture of almonds (badam), or any other nuts, sugar, and cardamom.
A piece of dough is rolled out with one end slightly broader than the other. The filling is placed on the dough, beginning at the broader end, then the ends are folded inside and the dough is rolled up into the shape of a tube.
The finished almond tubules are dusted with powdered sugar. They are delicious with a cup of tea or coffee.
These pastries resemble bagels, but the filling is made with fruit rather than cream cheese. The sweet yeast dough is rolled up into tubes before being baked. The filling is most often made with apricot jam.
After shaping a piece of dough into a triangle, the filling is then placed on top of the dough and it is rolled into a tube.
The national dessert known as baklava is arguably the most well-known of all the desserts in Azerbaijan. You may find baklava in a wide variety of forms, including Baku, Guba, Shaki, and Ganja; each has its own distinct qualities.
For instance, the most typical and traditional form of Baku baklava is in cut into diamond shapes, and a nut is set on the top of each one. Typical baklava will have anywhere from 10 to 12 layers of wheat dough, layered with chopped nuts, sugar, and cardamom.
Ganja baklava is quite similar to Baku baklava; however, while cooking it, a pink infusion called “gulab” is added to the dough, and peeled walnuts are used for the filling. These give ganja baklava a lighter texture. Ganja baklava is covered with a tincture of saffron and sprinkled with poppy seeds. The poppy seeds are pre-scalded with boiling water and cleansed, which is why they are white.
Rice flour, chopped nuts, spices, and honey or syrup are used for shaki baklava, also known as halva. Shaki baklava pieces is typically cut into squares or rectangles.
Sheker-bura is another well-known Azerbaijani dessert often made at home, but can also be purchased from bakeries. Sheker-bura is made with a crumbly dough loaded with nuts, granulated sugar, and spices.
The term bura comes from the Turkic word borek, which means pie. However, because of the unique cooking method used in Azerbaijan, it looks different.
First, they place the nut mixture on one half of the dough, then cover it with the other half of the dough and seal it up by twisting the sides. Finally, designs are pricked into the surface.
The dough for badam-bura is flakier than the dough used for sheker-bura, and the filling always contains chopped almonds combined with sugar, as suggested by the name (badam means almond in Azerbaijani).
However, the filling is shop bought badam-bura often consists of either hazelnuts or a variety of other nuts combined together. Powdered sugar is sprinkled over the top.
Traditional gogal is a type of pastry composed of puff dough and can have either a savory (called shor-gogal) or sweet filling (shirin-gogal). The most commonly used sweet filling is either a combination of butter, flour, and sugar or nuts crushed with sugar.
Kyata is an national Azerbaijani dessert that is found in a variety of shapes and is known for its delicious flavor. The Baku kyata and Karabakh kyata are the two most popular forms.
The shape of Baku kyata is either triangular or rectangular and has jagged edges. The Karabakh kyata is quite similar to a broad, flat bun with a delicious filling inside it. The filling is butter, sugar, and flour.
This is a traditional desserts that Azerbaijanis have produced for hundreds of years. It involves soaking cilantro seeds or cardamom in sugar syrup.
The sugar syrup is heated and then vinegar is added. In a special type of pot, the cilantro seeds or cardamom “cook” in hot air so they puff up, then they are covered in icing and flour.
Rich in flavor, guymag is a traditional dessert. This meal, native to Azerbaijan, is heavy in calories despite being prepared with only three essential ingredients: wheat, butter, and water. Cinnamon is often added to enhance the flavor.
In certain cultures, it is given to women who have recently given birth and to patients who have undergone surgery, in order to keep their strength up.
Guymag can also be served warm for breakfast when the weather is chilly.
15. Kulcha (Kulche)
Kulcha is a sweet and spicy pastry that is often cooked in a clay oven. The bread, known as kulcha, is also popular in India and Pakistan, and most likely derives its name from the same word kulcha (kulche).
In Azerbaijan, there are two distinct varieties of kulcha: spicy kulcha, which originates from the town of Shaki in the northwest of the country, and filled kulcha, which comes from Lankaran in the south.
So, which Azerbaijani desserts should you try first? These are all delicious choices that will leave you wanting more. Azerbaijanis are very proud of their cuisine, and there’s good reason for that. Be sure to check out our blog for many recipes that you can make at home!
Related: Most Popular Foods in Azerbaijan