Azerbaijan goes well with Afghanistan

For quite a while, I have been interested in learning about different cultures especially their cuisines. I have decided something- there are about 195 countries in the world, most recipes in a given region seem to differ only slightly from their close counterparts, so this year I intend to cook (Vegetarian food, of course) dishes from different countries. Sort of compare and contrast in my mind the cuisines from different regions, you know. As a start- I present to you, a tandoor bread from Azerbaijan (akin to our naan) and tomato-yogurt soup from Afghanistan (akin to tomato kadhi)
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The recipe for Tendir Choreyi (tandoor bread) is modified from AZ cookbook

1 package (1/4 oz / 7g) dry yeast
1 ½ cups (12 fl oz/375 ml) warm water
1 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour, plus extra for kneading
1 tbsp caraway seeds
1 egg yolk, for brushing
4 tsp nigella seeds


Mix yeast with water until the yeast dissolves.

Add the flour to a large bowl. Mix in salt and caraway seeds. Add yeast mixture gradually until everything is roughly mixed. 

Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough, punching it down with your fists, folding it over and turning. Knead for about 8-10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

Shape the dough into a ball and put it back into the large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Leave the dough to rise in a warm spot  until doubled in bulk. (The dough should look puffy and be soft when poked with a finger- mine took about 2hrs or so). Punch down the dough, then transfer it onto a lightly floured surface.

Shape the dough into a ball, and with your hands flatten slightly and stretch it lengthwise. Using a rolling pin, start rolling the dough becomes a long flat bread (about ½ inch thick (1.27cm), 14 inches long (35cm) and 8 inches (20cm) wide). Transfer it to a cookie sheet and shape it accordingly. Let it rest for about 15 min

In the meantime, preheat the oven at 400F.

Using a knife, make shallow slashes on the bread (4 from right to left and 4 the opposite way, each at a slight angle). Brush the bread evenly with the egg yolk and sprinkle with nigella seeds.

Bake for 20- 25 min until the top is golden.

Serve warm with a side of smart balance and some Afghan Soup…
Sherwa-e-Lawang, recipe modified from here
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tbsp margarine and 1 tbsp EVOO
16 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups yogurt, strained for about 1 hr
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley to garnish


Fry garlic in the oil-butter mixture until it browns. Add the tomatoes, and cook until they turn reddish brown (took a while because of all that liquid in the can). Season lightly with salt and pepper.

In a separate bowl, combine strained yogurt, flour, water, turmeric and some salt until there are no lumps of the flour. Slowly add this mixture to tomato-garlic in the pan. Bring to a boil, simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley.
The bread with some butter and soup- ultimate comfort food. Oh the warm smell of yeasty bread- nothing comes close to it, does it?! 
The only thing- I should have reduced the fat in the soup a bit, could feel a prominent taste there and was not too fond of it.

2 thoughts on “Azerbaijan goes well with Afghanistan

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