What are some of the traditional and popular dishes that can be found in Ganja?

Ganja, also known as Gandja or Kirovabad, is a beautiful city located in Azerbaijan. The city is famous for its cultural heritage and rich cuisine. The city’s food is a fusion of Azerbaijani and Georgian cuisine with a touch of its own unique flavors. Here are some typical and regional foods that you must try when visiting Ganja.

– Piti: Piti is a traditional Azerbaijani dish that originated in Ganja. It is a soup made with lamb, chickpeas, and vegetables. The dish is cooked in individual clay pots served with bread. Piti is a filling and hearty dish perfect for cold winter days.

To make Piti, you will need:

– 1 lb lamb meat
– 1 cup chickpeas
– 2 onions chopped
– 2 potatoes diced
– 1 tomato chopped
– 1 tablespoon salt
– 1 tablespoon pepper
– 1 tablespoon cumin
– 1 tablespoon turmeric
– Water

In a large pot, add the lamb meat, chickpeas, onions, and potatoes. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam from the top. Add the spices and simmer for 2-3 hours until the meat is tender. Serve hot with bread.

– Pakhlava: Pakhlava is a sweet pastry that is popular in Ganja. It is made with layers of filo pastry filled with nuts and honey syrup. The dessert is usually cut into diamond-shaped pieces and served with tea.

To make Pakhlava, you will need:

– 1 lb filo pastry
– 2 cups walnuts chopped
– 1 cup sugar
– 1 cup honey
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon cardamom
– 1 cup butter melted

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix the chopped walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom in a bowl. Brush a baking dish with melted butter. Layer the filo pastry sheets in the baking dish, brushing each layer with butter. Add the nut mixture on top. Layer more filo pastry on top and brush with butter. Repeat until you have used all the ingredients. Cut the pastry into diamond-shaped pieces. Bake for 45 minutes until lightly browned. In a saucepan, heat the honey and pour over the pastry while it’s still hot.

– Dovga: Dovga is a traditional yogurt soup that is popular in Azerbaijan. The soup is made with yogurt, herbs, and vegetables. It is light and refreshing and perfect for summer days.

To make Dovga, you will need:

– 4 cups plain yogurt
– 2 cups water
– 1 cup spinach chopped
– 1 cup cilantro chopped
– 1 cup dill chopped
– 1 cucumber chopped
– 2 garlic cloves minced
– Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, mix the yogurt and water until smooth. Add the spinach, cilantro, dill, cucumber, and garlic. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve chilled.

Where to eat:

– Piti House: Piti House is a popular restaurant in Ganja where you can try the traditional Azerbaijani dish, Piti. The restaurant is located at Heydar Aliyev Avenue 62A.
– Asik Zeynalabdin Restaurant: Asik Zeynalabdin Restaurant is a cozy restaurant that serves traditional Azerbaijani cuisine. The restaurant is located at Hasan Aliyev Street 13.
– Shahdag Restaurant: Shahdag Restaurant is an elegant restaurant that specializes in Azerbaijani and European cuisine. The restaurant is located at Huseynbala Aliyev Street 31.

In conclusion, Ganja’s food is a perfect blend of Azerbaijani and Georgian flavors with a unique touch of its own. When visiting Ganja, make sure to try the traditional dishes such as Piti, Pakhlava, and Dovga, and don’t forget to visit the recommended restaurants to experience the culinary delights of the city.

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