Perhaps the most famous sauce in Azerbaijani cuisine is the pomegranate sauce – “Narsharab”. It has become so popular that it can be found not only in almost every city in Russia, Ukraine or Belarus, but also in some countries of Western and Eastern Europe. However, in addition to “Narsharab”, which is manufactured at the factory, the option that is prepared at home is popular in Azerbaijan. Let’s start the story with him.
First of all, I note that the taste of homemade pomegranate sauce is noticeably different from its factory counterpart. In addition, homemade “Narsharab” contains no additional impurities in the form of various fixatives, preservatives and other things, which the modern food industry cannot do without.
Grandma’s recipe is generally pretty simple.
First of all, we clean the grains of 5-6 ripe pomegranate fruits. Next, pour the grains into a saucepan, crush them a little with a spoon so that the juice stands out, and boil them over low heat for 30-40 minutes. Add about 100-120 g of granulated sugar and a teaspoon of salt.
After the pomegranate mass is ready, put a sieve on a clean pan, pour the boiled grains with the released juice there and begin to grind the mass with a tablespoon in order to separate unnecessary small bones. You should get a thick mass. If the mass seems not thick enough, you need to boil it for another 15-20 minutes.
The resulting tasty sauce will not be stored for a long time, because you will eat it in the first month. It will be a great addition to any meat, fish and chicken dishes. Ideal with lamb and pork kebabs. You can grease chicken with this sauce and bake it in the oven.
The technology is identical in the preparation of the sauce from ripe plums and thorns. Unlike the Georgian “Tkemali”, which is most often made from unripe plums, sweet yellow or red plums are used in Azerbaijan.
The plums are boiled with water for 40 minutes. Additional ingredients are usually cilantro, dill, red and green basil, or dried thyme.
After the pitted plums have boiled down, finely chopped herbs or dried thyme are added to them. Sugar is added depending on how sweet the plums are. It can be 100 g of granulated sugar per 1 kg of plum, and 150 g. Before pouring the sauce into bottles, it is best to mix everything in a blender to obtain a more homogeneous mass.
This sauce goes well with fish and chicken. For flavor, try adding a tablespoon of this sauce to any vegetable or fruit salad that is prepared with any vegetable oil. I assure you that you will find new flavors in these salads!
Another very common sauce is dogwood sauce. All the same technology of boiling over low heat with the addition of a small amount of water, but unlike previous sauces, granulated sugar must be added at least 200 g per 1 kg of dogwood mass, already peeled.
This sauce can be served with any type of meat, poultry and fish. Cornelian cherry sauce is often applied to lamb or chicken before baking. It can be added during the frying process of meat or chicken for new, custom flavors.
Take 3 ripe quince fruits. Peel and carefully remove the middle. Then cut into small cubes and put in a saucepan. Fill with clean water to the level of surface coverage and bring to a boil.
Then add 100-120 g of granulated sugar, 1/3 teaspoon of cinnamon, finely chopped zest of one lemon and simmer for 45 minutes over low heat. After that, beat the whole mass in a blender and bottle it.
This aromatic sauce is especially suitable for chicken dishes. For example, to chicken with dried fruits or simply to grilled chicken baked with apples.
And finally, I will share my own recipe for adjika, which is most cooked in the north-western region of the country, where the influence of Georgian and North Caucasian cuisine is noticeable.
- Tomatoes – 2 kg.
- Sweet pepper – 1.5 kg.
- Hot pepper – 200 g or 3 pods.
- Garlic – 200 g.
- Parsley and dill – 1 bunch each.
- Apple cider vinegar – 50 ml.
- Granulated sugar – 50 g.
- Thyme – 2 tablespoons.
- Salt – 100 g.
- Hot paprika – 1 tablespoon.
- Turmeric – 1 tablespoon
- Chopped coriander seeds – 1 tablespoon.
Tomatoes must be peeled. This can be done quickly by making cuts and holding the fruit for 30 seconds in boiling water.
Peppers and hot peppers, peeled from seeds, cut into small pieces. Then grind all these vegetables in a blender. Peel and chop the garlic finely. Add vinegar, spices, sugar, salt and herbs and beat again in a blender.
Store adjika in a sealed jar in the refrigerator.
Traditionally, adjika goes best with kebabs. But it goes well with baked meat.
Finally, I want to wish everyone good health. And don’t forget that tasty, healthy and varied food strengthens the body.
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