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Карабахская кухня 

● 29
Karabakh cuisine
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

30 ●
Karabakh cuisine 
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 
Karabakh.
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 
techniques.

● 31
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.

32 ●
"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 
quality."
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-
wing way:
"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.
Karabakh cuisine 

● 33
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

34 ●
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 
hats".
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-
dered medicinal.
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 
Karabakh cuisine 

● 35
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

36 ●
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 
Karabakh cuisine 

● 37
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

38 ●
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 
summer.
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 
are Muslims."
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 
people.
Karabakh cuisine 

● 39
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 
from assimilation.
With the help of the Refugee Committee of the Azerbaijan Republic, the 
Ministry of Culture and Tourism collects and studies the culinary heritage of 
Karabakh.
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

40 ●
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 
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