Make haste to taste “King” of national cuisine

By: Amina Nazarli

The originality and taste of Azerbaijani cuisine has attracted the attention of many gourmands. Each country has its signature dish, and in Azerbaijan, the “king” of the national cuisine is typically considered to be “plov,” a rice dish.

For those who have never tried it or who want to re-experience its familiar taste, the nation’s capital will host the International Plov Festival in early December.

At such festivals, the aroma of the saffron-covered rice wafts throughout the entire venue, making the visitors’ mouths water. More than 60 different kinds of plov are typically offered at the festival. This delicious dish includes cherries, pumpkin, fennel, dried fruits, and beans.

Many variations of plov have evolved from the original ancient recipe. Among the main types of plovs are dishes that include meat, chicken, and vegetables.

This hearty dish is difficult for an inexperienced cook to prepare, as it should never be sticky.

Every Azerbaijani holiday, whether it is the celebration of springtime – Novruz Bayram — or a special occasion such as a birthday or other important family event, always includes plov, often called “Ash” here.

Served on special occasions, plov is the final savory dish at wedding feasts and is brought in with great ceremony.

Rice is a popular dish in many Eastern and Asian countries, and every country has its own delicious version of plov.

The festival, which will be held in the country for the second time, will gather participants from several countries that have the same tradition of cooking plov. The list of participants will be released at the end of November.

The organizers of the festival, the National Cuisine Center and the Azerbaijani National Cuisine Association, noted that the event aimed to present the nation’s signature dish to its foreign guests.

During the festival, chefs will familiarize visitors with the variety of Azerbaijani dishes made from the rice of different countries.


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