The literature, culture and arts of Azerbaijan are so rich that the other side is trying to appropriate our national heritage. This is true not only of literature or works of Nizami. Our music is being shamelessly stolen by the Armenians. They appropriate the works of the genius composer Uzeyir bey. Our cuisine is being stolen by the Armenians as well. They are trying different ways to present it as Armenian cuisine, although the names of their national dishes are Azerbaijani words. If you ask an Armenian what the word dolma means, he will not be able to ﬁnd an answer. This is the case with the word Karabakh, for them it is just a word, and they do not understand it, because it is not an Armenian word. Therefore, this behavior is very depressing for us, of course. We need to protect our national and cultural heritage. Ilham Aliyev President of the Republic of Azerbaijan From a speech at the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, April 26, 2011 Karabakh cuisine is an integral part of traditional Azerbaijani national
culinary culture. It has learned a lot from other regions, inﬂuencing them at
the same time. The culinary traditions, terminology, folklore, dishes, utensils,
cooking technology, festive rituals and ceremonial meals of Karabakh are all
identical with the cuisines of other regions of Azerbaijan. At the same time,
there are obvious local differences due to climatic, geographical and traditional
conditions. Karabakh is far from the sea, so Karabakh cuisine does not use sea
ﬁsh. Fish dishes are borrowed. Karabakh cuisine used only freshwater ﬁsh,
mostly in boiled and fried forms. Karabakh people themselves consider ﬁsh
dishes "self-indulgence" and not very serious food.
Takhir Amiraslanov, Aynura Amiraslanova
In some areas of Karabakh, near lakes and rivers, there are complex ﬁsh
dishes, but there are very few of them. These include dishes from freshwater
ﬁsh, "lavangi", "gurgut" and "ﬁsh buglama" (stewed ﬁsh). In contrast to ot-
her regions, lentil and rice are added to the Karabakh "lavangi" (stuffed ﬁsh).
In addition to these products, the stufﬁng includes tomatoes, peppers, celery,
green onions and sour cherry plum lavashana. In contrast to other regions, the
Karabakh lavangi is steamed.
For the "gurgut", the ﬁsh is stuffed with minced akhta zogal (dried pitted
Cornelian cherry), and ﬁne-cut onions, lavashana, hot and sweet peppers are
added. The stuffed ﬁsh is salted, a little water and butter is added, and then it is
cooked on low heat for 30-40 minutes.
The ﬁsh buglama (stewed) is cooked in different ways. The ﬁsh is stewed
with different fruits and vegetables. These ﬁsh dishes in various forms are
made throughout Azerbaijan.
The fact that ﬁsh from the Kura River, which ﬂows near Barda, was bro-
ught to Karabakh, particularly to Barda, was recorded by the 10th century Arab
travelers, al-Muqaddasi (10th century) and al-Istahri (10th century). They men-
tioned ﬁshes like "kasbuvin", "tirrikh", "surmakhi", "zarogan" and "ishubat".
Sheep-herding has been developed in Karabakh for centuries. Local ag-
riculture was diversiﬁed, settled and cultured. A great place was occupied by
grain-growing, melon and gourd growing and gardening.
Karabakh cuisine uses nearly all types of traditional Azerbaijani open and
closed hearths: tandir (oven made of clay in a hole in the earth), chala (pit),
ojag (bonﬁre), saj (iron disk for baking bread), chargrill, bukhari (ﬁre-place)
and kura (furnace), which, taking into account local features, make it possible
to highlight certain nuances in local cuisine.
Islam had an enormous impact on Karabakh cuisine. In particular, it
does not use pork, and pigs have never been bred and sold at local markets in
Archaeological and historical studies show that over the millennia, the cu-
linary culture of Karabakh has maintained its traditional look. Excavations in
the settlement of Chalagantapa indicate that materials from different layers
(horizons) do not differ from each other. From the time it was founded (6th-
5th millennia B.C.), the ancient population of Chalagantapa was familiar with
the culture of farming, cattle-breeding, mining and stone and bone processing
Takhir Amiraslanov, Aynura Amiraslanova
Sources note the high agricultural culture of Karabakh residents. On ir-
rigated land, they cultivated wheat, rice, cotton and mulberry. Mirza Jamal
Javanshir (1773-1855) recorded in his book "The History of Karabakh" that
one-fourth of seeded wheat provides 20 quarters of the harvest there. An espe-
cially rich harvest is yielded by rice and millet (over 50 quarters for one quar-
ter). In addition, he points to large herds of cattle and sheep and goats.
The population of Karabakh ate various wild grasses and cultivated gre-
ens. The vizier of Ibrahim Khan of Karabakh – the outstanding Azerbaijani
poet, thinker and statesman, Molla Panah Vagif, says in his poems:
"Dirrik - tərəvəzə yaxşı keşik çək kişniş, şüyüd, təzə tərəni saxla" ("Guard
your vegetables and ﬁelds of greens - coriander, dill and fresh watercress very
well, and take care of them!").
In his book, Doctor of History Professor Ziyadkhan Nabibayli names 245
wild plants which were used only in the cuisine of Lachin District.
Karabakh cuisine also widely used dried fruit, and it was served as a dessert.
It was used to make khoshab (compote) and was added to the pilaf, soups, meat
and other dishes. At the All-Russian Exhibition in Moscow in 1882, Karabakh
fruits - Cornelian cherries, mulberry and cherry plum lavashana (sour candy),
made by the daughter of the Karabakh khan - poetess Khurshudbanu Natavan,
were put on display. Having visited Azerbaijan, Alexander Dumas (father) and
the painter Monet met with her, and Dumas described this meeting in his book
"Journey to the Caucasus".
Lavashana was borrowed by Slavic cuisine from Azerbaijani cuisine: it is
mentioned in "The Domostroy" under the name of "levashinki."
The Arab author Ibn Haukal (9th century) recorded that Barda chest-
nuts were larger and more productive than Syrian ones. This is conﬁrmed by
Hamdallah Qazvini, who writes about Barda in his essay "Nuzhan al-Qulub"
("Delight of Hearts") (14th century): "There are a lot of fruits here, especi-
ally nuts and chestnuts, which are better than anywhere else." His words are
conﬁrmed by other Arab travelers. The Arab traveler Al-Istahri (10th century)
recorded in his "Kitab Masalik al-Mamalik":
"If we talk about Barda, it is a place with a healthy climate, fertile, arable
land and multiple fruits, and less than one farsakh from Barda, in the town
of Andarab, there is a wide network of gardens and plantations where they
grow melons and all kinds of fruit. The local hazelnut is better that those from
Samarkand, while chestnuts are better than those from Sham. Another fruit,
called "ruchal" (zugal, zogal - Cornelian cherry - T.A.), grows here.
"The chestnut is half the size of the black walnut and tastes like persimmon
and hazelnuts. Figs are brought to Barda from Lasub. This is the best ﬁg. There
are many ownerless mulberry trees here."
The Arab traveler Al-Muqaddasi writes about Barda in the 10th century:
"Berda'a is a nice and beautiful city rich in fruits. It is a nice city with beautiful
pastures and two rivers running through it: the faces of its inhabitants are like
a pearl and coral, and they are also generous and merciful.
"In Berda'a, there is a Sunday market called 'Kurkiyu'... There is nothing
like the fruit called 'zukol'. They have ﬁgs and chestnuts of extremely good
Ibn Haukal (10th century) also wrote about Barda. "In Bardaa ... there are
nuts and shihaballut (chestnut – T.A.), which stand above the Syrian shihibal-
lut in size, charm, taste and abundance of fruits. They grow 'zukal' (apricot),
which is the size of 'gubeyra'. It has a date seed and tastes sweet when it is ripe.
In Berda, ﬁgs are imported from Lasub, their mulberry trees are available to
the public, and they do not have owners and are not sold or bought."
Nizami Ganjavi added in the 12th century: "How wonderful and glorious
Barda is. And ﬂowers bloom here in winter and summer."
The 17th century traveler Evliya Chelebi records: "Karabaglar… a garde-
ner named Yazdon–gulu brought us 26 varieties of juicy pears. Trying the 'ma-
lanja', 'abbasi' and 'ordubadi' pears, you feel the taste of a candy in your mouth.
There are pomegranates like a ruby. The chefs are clean and all Muslims." In
another place, he says: "Karabakh includes separate sultanates in the posses-
sions of Tabriz. Food and drinks deserve commendation. There are 10 sorts
of juicy, ruby-colored grapes; cherry syrup, soft drinks; 18 kinds of delicious
juicy pomegranates. The local quince the size of the human head is famous."
In his book "Yelizavetopol Province, Impressions and Memories," the
Russian scientist I. L. Segal describes the Agdam bazaar in 1902 in the follo-
"Vans and carts were ﬁlled with bags and chuvals of grain bread, baskets of
fruits and motals (cheese in wineskin – T.A.). The Agdam market has existed
since 1867. Gardening, mainly mulberry-growing, is one of the most important
sectors of the economy in Agdam."
Under Article 6 of the Treaty of Kurakchay signed on May 14, 1805 bet-
ween Ibrahim Khan of Karabakh and the Russian Empire (signed by P. D.
Tsitsianov), Ibrahim Khan agrees to sell the Russian army wheat and oatmeal.
One of the main components of the meal of every Azerbaijani is bread.
Various types of bread were baked in Karabakh - kullama, bozlamaj, tandir,
churak, kozlama, komba (ash-cake), lavash, khamrali, yukha, fatir, galincha,
maldili, chapartma, jad and ajitma.
In both summer and winter, the favorite kind of bread was yukha, which
was thin as paper. It could be stored for years. People took a saj with them
when traveling in order to bake yukha. Baked yukha was dried and stacked in
a pile. Before use, water was sprinkled on it to make it "fresh". For messengers,
it was milled into ﬂour, and they could eat it on the go without dismounting
from the horse or quickly prepare it like the Russian "tyuri" by adding water
and dried minced meat.
Yukha is used to make the traditional sandwiches "durmak" or "burmak".
To do this, yukha is stuffed with cheese, cottage cheese, herbs or butter, jam or
meat, rolled up as a tube, folding the bottom so that the stufﬁng does not fall
or spill out.
The oldest sajs – made of clay – were found in Karabakh during excavati-
ons at Uzarliktapa (Agdam District). They belong to the 4th millennium B.C.
Stone and clay sajs were found during archaeological excavations in the entire
territory of Azerbaijan. Now iron sajs are used.
Sajs are good not just for baking bread and yukha (a kind of ﬂat bread),
they are also used to bake jad (corn cakes), kata and gutabs (thin pieces of
dough stuffed with meat and other ﬁllings), national pastry products such as
fasali, kata and various dishes - sajichi, govurma and jiz-biz. An inverted saj is
used as a kind of tava (pan).
Unlike other regions, the saj was used in Karabakh to bake "layli yukha"
– yukha made of layers: in this case, one side of yukha was prepared on the
previous one. This bread could not be stored for a long time, but it was more
aromatic and tasty than the usual yukha.
If the dough was kneaded with milk adding honey or sugar, "khirt-khirt
yukha" (crispy yukha) was made. It was made on holidays and sometimes
without the sweet ﬁlling.
"Lavaş" was made on a saj and tandir. The lavash was mostly cooked in
Gubadli, Jabrayil, Zangilan and Fizuli districts of Karabakh. "Komba" of puff
pastry was made in a tandir and under a saj, or on ashes.
Such ﬂour products as "sudlu churak" (milk bread), "fasali", "bishi", "yagli
koka", "eyirdek", "keppeche" and "sakkizlik" are common in Karabakh. We
would like to dwell separately on the "kata" (ﬂat pie with greens). Kata is made
Takhir Amiraslanov, Aynura Amiraslanova
on a saj. To this end, chopped greens and various ﬁllings (with cheese, cottage
cheese, potatoes, etc.) are spread on half of a thinly rolled yukha. The other
half covers the stafﬁng. The edges of the dough are stuck and baked on both
sides on a saj. When it is served, a piece of butter is placed inside and gatig
(yogurt) is served alongside. Another type of kata is gutab. It is smaller in size.
Gutabs are cooked with herbs, meat, pumpkin, etc. They look like Azerbaijani
chebureks (chiy borak, borak with raw meat), but unlike chebureks, they are
not fried, but baked without oil. Such products are common to all Turkic peop-
les. In Turkey, they are called "ay (lunar - T. A.) borek", in Borchali - "taycha-
rig" and in Bashkortostan and Tatarstan - "kystybyy".
Armenians have also learned to cook this dish in Karabakh and only in
recent years. The Armenians present this dish under the name of "zhingalov
For example, in this connection, we read on the website analitika.at.ua:
"On April 21 at 2000, the opening of the festival 'Zhingalov Hats' will be held
on the stairs of the City Cafe (in Moscow – T. A.). 'Zhingalov Hats' is an ori-
ginally Karabakh dish, which is not found in the cuisine of all other regions of
Armenia." But this dish is cooked in all areas of Azerbaijan and almost by all
the Turkic peoples "in general". So neither the saj nor kata have anything to do
with Armenian cuisine, whatever they call it, and consequently, this Karabakh
dish and Karabakh itself have no relation to the Armenians.
Hats in Armenian (ats, khats) derives from the Turkic word has (khas, as,
khash, ash) and means bread or food. Zhingal derives from the word khingal
or khangal – a Turkic dish made of thinly rolled dough.
In the Karabakh zone, dairy cuisine is the same as in other regions of
Azerbaijan. Cow, sheep and goat milk is used. Buffalo and goat milk is consi-
The ﬁrst milk, which is received after the birth of a calf, is called "agiz". In
the cooked form, it is a tasty dish called katamaz. As a ritual meal, it is divided
between neighbors (usually 7 families). Sometimes artiﬁcial katamaz is coo-
ked, for which one egg yolk is added to 1 liter of milk and cooked. If you put
a raw beaten egg wholly and carefully, so it does not curdle, and boil it, adding
honey, you will get a drink called "bulama" (beestlings).
Milk produced during the ﬁrst 2-5 days is also called "bulama". In additi-
on, sulug was made from "agiz" and "bulama" milk. To this end, the membrane
of the placenta is thoroughly washed, ﬁlled with milk, then buried in warm as-
hes and kindled from above, or is placed in a hot tandir. After 1.5-2 hours, it is
taken out. A tasty cheese-like mass comes out. Sometimes "sulug" is placed in
a large cauldron and boiled. Sulug is also made from normal milk, and it turns
out very tasty like baked milk.
Katamaz and bulama in a cauldron with the addition of ﬂour and butter is
used to make "gaymag chorak" or "shan-shan" on a saj. The latter, in contrast
to the "gaymag chorak", has many "holes" - shana.
Milk was also used as a standalone drink, especially with fresh bread, as
the basis for cold (dogramaj - "okroshka" (cold soup with chopped vegetables
and meat)) and hot soups, and for making pastry and bakery products.
Sheep milk was mainly used for making rennet cheese and was valued
very highly. For fermentation, they used the abomasum of newborn lambs or
grass "dalama otu" (rennet grass). But goat cheese was considered the most
expensive, as well as medicinal cheese. Cheese from cow milk is considered to
be of lower quality than sheep cheese.
Cow and buffalo milk was used mainly for cooking the fermented milk
product "gatig" (yogurt). Buffalo gatig was especially valued: it is denser, fat-
ter and tastier.
Gaymag (the fat part of the gatig - thick cream) made from buffalo gatig is
denser and more delicious than that cow gatig.
Gaymag is made from milk. To do this, it is poured with a thin layer in
a broad and shallow dish (sini (tray), tapsi). A day later, a ﬁlm (thick cream)
appears on the surface – this is milk gaymag. If milk is not boiled and is po-
ured into the same dish immediately after milking, you get "chiya", i.e. "raw
gaymag". "Sud gaymag" (milk gaymag) was obtained from boiled milk in the
same kind of dish. "Gati gaymag" (thick cream) was obtained from evaporated
milk. In Karabakh, such a product was also called "sudbashi". Sometimes milk
was boiled on low heat in order to make it, periodically adding raw milk.
Gatig is used as a separate dish, but they also prepare various dishes (dov-
ga, dogramaj, ovdug, shirin gatig) and atlama (a soft drink made of water and
sour clotted milk) from it.
Kasmik (cottage cheese) is made from ayran (liquid obtained by beating
butter from gatig) sometimes from gatig by boiling. It is salted and dried a little
bit to make shor - crumbly cheese. For storage and ripening, the shor is placed
in a motal - sheep wineskin. They also make motal pendir – cheese in a motal.
The cheese and cottage cheese, which ripen in a motal, have a special taste and
are valued higher.
Takhir Amiraslanov, Aynura Amiraslanova
The liquid remaining after cottage cheese is called zardab (whey) and after
cheese – dalama (fresh cheese). Both are used for making drinks and for ba-
king bread. This bread lasts longer and tastes better than the one made in water.
If dalama is boiled, it becomes "nor".
The dish "lor" is prepared by mixing fresh cottage cheese with boiled milk
and salt. When milk is added to gatig, a dish called "karamaz" comes out.
Straining gatig or ayran through a cloth, they get a concentrated product
called suzma (condensed sour milk), which is used as a separate dish and for
cooking some foods.
From suzma with salt, they get "gurut" - dried cheese balls or cones. Gurut
can be stored for several years and is used as a base for sauces and khangal
(made from thin slices of dough).
If in Lankaran they mix fresh snow with bakmaz (boiled down juice of
grapes, mulberry, etc.), families and shepherds of Karabakh, who climb mo-
untains with ﬂocks in summer, mix a black sheep's fresh milk with mountain
snow and call this dish "gar karamazi" (snow karamaz). Sometimes dishes
with gar karamaz are buried in the snow or put on ice. The main difference
from ice cream is that sugar is not added to the mixture. Interestingly, the "gar
karamaz" is prepared only from the milk of a black sheep.
In Karabakh cuisine, meat, preferably lamb, is used more than any other
ingredient. Local sheep are valued higher than other breeds. It is called "kasma
goyun" (slaughtered sheep) or "atlik" (meat), i.e. "table or meat mutton". If
other breeds yield "pure meat" - from 48 to 52 per cent, the Karabakh breed
yields no less than 56 per cent.
The Karabakh breed of sheep has a very large guyrug (rump). Sometimes
they have to place a trolley on wheels under the rump. In the bazaars of the
Caucasus, experienced butchers preferred to buy Karabakh sheep as they were
preferable to others. The meat of black animals was especially valued.
The lamb of the Karabakh breed is used to cook the best kebabs. Making a
good kebab is a science, and kebab is a separate culinary specialty.
For kebabs, what matters is not only what sheep it is cooked from, but also
what side of the sheep the meat is taken from, as well as the sex, age, feeding
conditions, what ﬁrewood or charcoal are used and how the animal was killed.
Kebab is served with fresh herbs, sumakh, narsharab (boiled pomegranate ju-
ice), etc. The ﬁnished meat is removed from the ramrod with a piece of bread,
as if wrapping the ﬁnished dish it in. Yukha made on a saj and lavash from the
tandir are more suitable for this. Kebab is sliced meat, while basdirma is kebab
meat kept in onion, vinegar or lemon juice before cooking. One of its varieties
is lula kebab which is made of minced meat strung on a ramrod in the form
of "round cutlets". Kebab and lula kebab are served with tomatoes, Bulgarian
pepper, eggplants and potatoes baked over a ﬁre on a ramrod.
Lamb and beef are used to make govurma (roast meat), sajustu doshama,
jizbiz (roasted offals), gavli, dolma, yakhni, bagirbeyin, bozbash (dish made of
chopped meat, pea and potatoes), khash (a dish cooked from the hooves of the
cattle), kalla-pacha (soup prepared from ram's, lamb's or sheep's head and feet)
and various soups. Yakhni and govurma are mentioned in the ancient Turkic
monument of Kitabi Dada Gorgud. Khash is mentioned in written sources of
the 11th-12th centuries. The meat serves as a garnish (gara) in different forms
for pilaf and chilov. In Lachin District, one large dolma meal in cabbage lea-
ves, weighing about 200-350 grams, is served at weddings and funerals. This
custom is also widespread in Gabala and Ismayilli districts of Azerbaijan.
Karabakh cuisine has a lot of vegetarian dishes: sikhma, suyug, kata with
herbs, etc. Flour is used to make khashil, khorra, sum-suma from grain - vari-
ous kinds of hadik, govurga, govut, nukurd, gatmali, ayranli, yalanchi dolma,
siyig, sudlu siyig, yarma khashil, pilafs, chilovs and many more. Legumes are
also used in cuisine.
As a dessert, they prepare various kinds of tar halvah and umaj halvah,
shirin kata, koka, baklava, shakarbura, guymag and govud for holidays and
rituals. Fruits are also served on the table.
As for drinks, a variety of sorbets, khoshabs and drinks prepared on the
basis of bakmaz (boiled juice of mulberries, grapes) are served.
Excellent honey is made from Karabakh herbs. Children had honey, fresh
gaymag or butter for breakfast.
As the sauce, they used the boiled thick pomegranate juice "narsharab",
and pomegranate is also used to prepare the additive "nardacha". This was
recorded by the German traveler Adam Oleary in the 18th century: "Wild gre-
nades are all sour, and a lot of them are near rivers in Karabakh.
"Grains are removed from them, dried and sold in other places under the
name of nardan (nar - pomegranate apple). These grains are consumed in order
to make the meal dark and sour: they are soaked in water and the juice is squ-
eezed from them through linen. They also boil fresh pomegranate juice, pro-
duce and store it. They usually use it to embellish their saracha millet (rice) at
feasts, which makes them pleasantly acidic. They also use fruits of the dyeing
Takhir Amiraslanov, Aynura Amiraslanova
wood we know for the same purpose." Such thick sauces are also made from
Cornelian cherries, sloe, zirinj (barberry) and other plants.
The Turkish scientist Dr. Yasar Kalafat writes: "Karabakh cuisine is a brid-
ge between the cuisines of western and eastern Azerbaijani Turks - between
the cuisines of these two parts of Azerbaijan (the author is referring to Iranian
Azerbaijan, where most Azerbaijanis live and the Azerbaijan Republic – T.
A.)." In addition to the diversity of options, there is no difference.
Yasar Kalafat names such Karabakh dishes as:
Soups: dovga, evelik shorba, umaj, arishta shorba, borsch (came from
Slavic cuisine – T. A.), chicken shorba, khash (khash – T. A.) and bozbash.
Dolma (cooked by wrapping round forcemeat mixed with rice in vine lea-
ves or cabbage): dolma made from apples, quince, dough, tomatoes, eggplants,
yarpag (grape leaves - T. A), dolma, cabbage dolma.
Vegetable dishes: from evelik, nettle, green beans, spinach, shomu (sort of
spinach – T. A.), merovga, zirish, mountain coriander, gushappayi, gutabs, kata
with greens, kuku and other dishes with greens.
Kebabs made from potatoes, tomatoes and peppers.
Meat dishes: rennet gutabs, bozartma, basdirma kebab, rib kebab, lula ke-
bab, doyma kebab, tika kebab, ﬁsh kebab (sturgeon) and gut kebab.
Sweets: guymag, baklava, halvah, shor gogal, Karabakh kata and kurabye.
Karabakh families went to the mountains to visit pastures and relax in
The Russian scientist, I. L. Segal, also reported about the holidays of
Karabakh beys in 1902. "In summer, almost all Karabakh beys come to Shusha.
They live here as in their estates in a totally Asian way: they eat and sleep on
the ﬂoor strewn with carpets. After the meals, dishes are washed, dried and
placed on wide ledges in the room." Incidentally, Segal also gives information
about Karabakh carpets here - "The main contingent of skilled craftswomen
In winter, people went to the lowlands, the Castilian ambassador Clavija
recorded in the early 15th century...
"We were told (March 3, 1405) that the ruler Omar Mirassa (Timur's son
Omar Miranshah – T. A.) was in Karabakh. He spends the winter together with
his troops there. This Karabakh is rich in pastures."
He continues to write in his diary about the hospitality of the Karabakh
In his diary, he records: "On Sunday, the ambassadors came to the village
of Santgelan (Zangelan - an area in Karabakh – T. A.). We dined in the village
of Tusalar. The local tribe calls itself Turkaman. In each of these villages, the
ambassadors were treated to food. Such is the custom here. The ambassadors
must dismount from their horses and sit down on the carpet. Food was imme-
diately brought for them from all houses. They brought bread, a dish ﬁlled with
gatig (yogurt) and usually various rice dishes. If the guests stayed overnight,
then they brought a lot of meat dishes for them. What was brought at the be-
ginning was only aimed at welcoming them."
Like the rest of Azerbaijan, Karabakh was open and hospitable. 160 years
ago, it gave shelter to Armenians who betrayed their former "homeland" - the
Ottoman Empire and the Iranian state. They found new land for themselves.
And there, they erected a monument in honor of the 160th anniversary of the
resettlement of Armenians to Karabakh. But someone who once betrayed will
betray again by habit.
Azerbaijan is doing everything possible today not only to support the one
million Karabakh Azerbaijanis, building modern housing for them and provi-
ding them with free public services, free treatment, free university education
and many other things, but also to protect spiritual and material culture (mu-
sic, folklore, carpet-weaving, etc.) in general and culinary culture in particular
With the help of the Refugee Committee of the Azerbaijan Republic, the
Ministry of Culture and Tourism collects and studies the culinary heritage of
On July 20-23, 2011, the Festival of the National Cuisine of Azerbaijan
was also attended by Karabakh cooks from Shusha and Barda. Karabakh chefs
took ﬁrst place in kebab competitions and third place in pilaf competitions.
In the competition on the "kata", which the Armenians are now appropria-
ting, Tovuz District, which does not border on Karabakh, took ﬁrst place. Like
Gazakh District, Tovuz is far from Karabakh, but borders on Armenia from
where Armenian "Christians" are still killing innocent civilians - children and
the elderly - in these districts.
In 2011, a culinary team from Karabakh, which represented Azerbaijan in
international championships attended by 32 countries, won a bronze medal in
the team championship. And in the youth culinary championship, a representa-
tive of the Karabakh team won a gold medal.
Takhir Amiraslanov, Aynura Amiraslanova
During Novruz celebrations in Baku in 2010-2011, refugees from Armenian
expansion in Karabakh, along with other areas of Azerbaijan, showed their ex-
cellent cuisine. The celebrations were attended by foreign guests, ambassadors
and the republic's government headed by the president of Azerbaijan.
Today, the one millions refugees from Karabakh are thinking not about na-
tional cuisine, but about how to survive tomorrow and see their homes in their
dreams. For the sake of a handful of Armenians, who are considered Christians,
almost the whole world is indifferently watching the grief of one million pe-
ople. And while we are talking about Karabakh cuisine as a thing of the past,
ﬂocks of Karabakh sheep are being stolen and fertile Karabakh ﬁelds are being
mined, and instead of bread, they grow drugs there, having destroyed hundreds
of public catering and food industry enterprises. The unique Museum of Bread
in Agdam was looted and destroyed. Today Armenian "experts" present every-
thing stolen by them, including in Karabakh, as their own to the whole world -
land, culture, cooking, and monuments. Armenian websites have even opened
pages called "Karabakh cuisine". If earlier, in Soviet times, Armenian cookbo-
oks carefully wrote only about two dishes: Karabakh bozbash and Shusha boz-
bash, now they are talking about the entire cuisine of Karabakh as Armenian,
although neither Karabakh nor Karabakh cuisine and bozbash are Armenian.
By irony of linguistics, the word "boz" in Armenian means "prostitute" and
"bash" (a Turkism in Armenian) means "head"...
Takhir Amiraslanov Aynura Amiraslanova Karabakh cuisine