1/10/2022 - Country #4 - Azerbaijan

Updated: Apr 18

Today was Azerbaijan (don't ask me to pronounce it because I will just butcher it and that would be disgraceful). Originally, I'd planned to make two dishes, plus the traditional black tea, but I didn't for three reasons: 1. Time got away from me; 2., I didn't have a necessary ingredient for the second dish; and 3., the second dish I'd selected was meant to be a side dish, but upon further reading of it, it was a main dish. I don't need two main dishes; so, I just made the one.

(I don't know how much of this is Azerbaijan - Georgia and Armenia border it, and I couldn't find a standalone map image, so I had to use the Snipping tool. Use your imagination and a grain of salt. For reference, it is also near Asia.)

It is a wintry day, so I made Stuffed Meatballs and Chestnuts in Saffron Broth (Küfta Bozbash) (saveur.com) and some black tea. Soup and tea - what more do you want? I looked up dishes from Azerbaijan on The 20 Best Dishes in Azerbaijan (theculturetrip.com).

I have NEVER made such a unique soup before. It is the most fantastic and texture-filled soup I've ever made.

First, there's stewed down dried fruit that'd been rehydrated in boiling water with onions and butter, then stuffed that into ground beef with more onion:

The salted ice water in the back corner was used to wet my hands as I stuffed the meatballs with the fruit filling. Then they became ovals.

These were then boiled. You were then supposed to discard the broth, but I put that stuff in the broth it made me make anyway. It was full of bits of onion and meats and fruit - you can't dump that!

When was the last time your soup was comprised of fruit-filled meatballs, chickpeas, and roasted chestnuts???

Topped with red onion and green onion and eaten with a mug of decaf black tea.

This was sooo interesting (but you only say interesting when you have nothing nice to say, Hannah!!!). No, I mean it sincerely. This soup is rounded with spices of turmeric and saffron. The meatballs are tender and soft and savory. The red onion and chestnuts add sweetness; the chestnuts and the chickpeas have a similar texture of cooked through but not soft. The dried mint and cinnamon work in this. I was supposed to skim the top of fat, but leave that ish in!!! It's sooo good. This soup is full of soft, mealy, and crunchy textures. The tea works with it, too.


Country: Azerbaijan

Day made: 1/10/2022, Monday

Day posted: 1/10/2022, Monday

Would I make it again? 7.5/10 stars, probably would

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