This was easier Azeri food.
Piti, usually a mutton soup with mutton fat (challenging to replace), Khangal, pasta with mince and yoghurt sauce, salad, and sherbert, a sweet drink.
I don’t know why this photo is going all stretchy, and wordpress isn’t letting me fix it. Sorry.
First, the Sherbert. This was actually the second time I had turned my hand to sherbert-making. The first time, Mr mistook the liquid cooling in a bottle for me trying to soak a bottle, and tipped it down the sink. In his defence, it is clear. Then again, if he had given it a sniff, surely he would have noticed it had a strong smell of roses. In any case, it got made again.
I followed the recipe from the Ministry of Tourism, sort of. I didn’t use rose petals, because I can’t imagine where I would find them, without becoming a petal-robber, stalking Brunswick in the night. So I used rose water instead. Its easy to find here, with the big Lebanese influence in the area. Given I didn’t use real rose-petals, I also didn’t see the need to let it draw for such a long time. I didn’t add ice, I just poped the mix in the fridge until it was cold. My last change to the recipe? I added a little tiny bit of pink food colouring, so it wouldn’t get poured down the drain this time.
It was pretty good. Sweet, rose-falvoured (I love rose water!) with a lemony, citrus flavour underneath. (the lemon-acid referred to in the recipe is citric acid). Totally worth the small amount of effort, and it might just go into rotation at home.
Next was the Piti (I’ve also seen it spelled Pyty). It is usually made of mutton, mutton fat, butter, and vegetables. The veges were easy, of course. For the mutton I substituted Sanitarium vegan sausages, chopped into small bits and fried in olive oil. After that I followed this recipe, however as before, I could not find dried sour plums, so they were left out. I cooked it until the sausages were quite soft, to simulate the tender meat in the real deal, and added some beef flavoured stock to compensate for the lack of mutton butter.
This was also pretty tasty, and surprisingly buttery. Again, I can’t tell how close to the real thing it was, but it tasted good to me.
Last was Khangal. I have only found one description of this dish on the internet, and no recipe, but it sounded so good, I guessed at a recipe, which is below. It is a pasta dish, with mice meat, butter, and garlic yoghurt sauce. Challenging to veganise in Australia, where we don’t have vegan natural yoghurt, or butter, but we gave it a shot, ad it was fantastic! it will be made again, and was great with the salad I added. According to the article (link above) Khangal is not a dish shared with guests. If I guessed at the recipe correctly, that’s a shame, because it was very tasty, and might go with the sherbert into my dinner options list.
The salad was just a quick mixture of cucumber, parsley, corriander and dill.
Vegan Khangal Recipe
- One packet sanitarium mince
- One onion, chopped finely
- Olive oil (about 3 tbs)
- mixed spice
- dried mint
- chicken style stock
- flat pasta broken into strips (or you could make your own)
- Tofutti sour cream (1/3 cup)
- 1 clove garlic, chopped very very finely
- 1 tbs vegan margarine
- Chop all ingredients.
- Boil enough water to cook your pasta in, and begin to cook pasta. If you are going to make your own pasta, do so now, and cook it right at the end. (I didn’t have time this time around)
- Fry onion in a large frying pan, until soft.
- Add mince. It may need mashing with a fork to get the right consistency. Fry for at least 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add stock and spices to taste. Stir through. I like mine very flavourful, others don’t. Do your own thing.
- Add about 1/3 cup water, stir through and allow to simmer until water is soaked up.
- Mix the garlic with the sour cream in a small cup.
- Drain the pasta. Place it back into the saucepan and add margarine. Leave to melt (off heat).
- Place pasta on plates, cover with mince, then add dollops of sour cream mixture. Serve with salad.