|Imagine a meatball
as big as a soccer ball, stuffed with a baked chicken that, in
turn, is stuffed with a hard-boiled egg. That would be a Tabriz-style
kufta. One meatball is enough to feed many people. Because of
its dramatic size, kufta is a favorite at big parties.
But kuftas in the Republic of Azerbaijan are rarely that large:
they're more likely to be the size of a walnut or, at best, of
an apple. In comparison, they are simpler fare, best for a quick
winter lunch but not a special occasion.
The root "kuft" in Persian means to hit against something
and refers to chopping the meat into small pieces. These days,
meat for kufta is usually minced at home in a machine. Inside
a kufta you'll find minced lamb, rice and herbs. Split peas,
potato, egg, saffron and dried mint may also be added. Dried
sour plums are also placed inside and are said to help with the
digestion of meat. Kuftas are served in the clear broth, in which
they have been simmering for hours.
From Azerbaijan International (8.3) Autumn 2000.
© Azerbaijan International 2000. All rights reserved.
Back to Directory
of Azerbaijani Food
Back to Index
AI 8.3 (Autumn 2000)