A food blog with delicious recipes and stories

Photo Tour – Part I

Hello there! As I promised – the virtual photo tour to Azerbaijan is here! Here you will see places, faces, get a glimpse of the local culture, the nature, food, and many more. I took some of the pictures with my camera, while others (not of  the best quality) with my phone. Some pictures took a few minutes to take, with really little preparation, while others took even shorter—seconds—as we flew by in our car. This is only Part I of the photo tour. Stay tuned for more. Meanwhile, enjoy!

Very first photo: “Bucket market” in the village of Vendam in the region of Gebele. All fresh! All good!

Tendir (tandoori) baked bread we enjoyed in the open air in the Guba region.

A beautiful view of a village in the Aghsu region.

Filled flatbreads, gutab, made in Corat (read Jorat) village not far from capital Baku. The most prized Corat gutabi is made with camel meat. Hot from the oven. Sprinkle sumac on top and you will come back here again and again.

Cousins having fun watering the trees and flowers in our Baku backyard.

Our black mulberry tree in Baku gave us some crop. These mulberries are delicious beyond words! Juicy and sweet. Dangerous too—they leave stains on your face and cloths if you don’t handle them with care.

On the way to the region of Guba. Those boys you spot in the distance sell fresh baby hazelnuts—pricy but good. Our wallets were emptied.

Welcome to the city of Sheki. It is a beautiful region in the northeast. With lots of history, delicious food, and friendly people with a good sense of humor.

Speaking of delicious food, this is Sheki’s famous delicacy. Sheki-style baklava (khown as Sheki halvasi). Crispy noodle-like layers filled with spiced nuts. Sweet and beautiful. Look at those saffron-painted patterns!

A glimpse inside that baklava. You may be hating me now.

That baklava goes particularly well with a glass of strong Azerbaijani tea, served in a pear-shaped glass, called armud istekan. This tea was enjoyed in the region of Ismayilli.

Tea glasses. Waiting to be filled.

A glimpse of nature in Gebele (alternative spelling: Gabala). A paradise worth visiting.

Watermelon fields, somewhere in the countryside.

Can you spot them? I can.

She told me, “Why would you take my picture? I am not pretty” and laughed. She was beautiful and friendly. She is a roadside baker with a tendir nearby. Oghuz region.

We were happy with our purchase. Hot tendir-baked breads that were devoured on the spot.

Happy ducks roaming the grass in the region of Ismayilli.

One day we went for a picnic in the region of Guba (northwest). No picnic is complete without a samovar steaming nearby. Here’s my cousin preparing the mighty vessel for the tea table.

Here’s a typical road scene in the countryside. They march along the cars peacefully. Took this one on the go.

On the road to Sheki we also spotted this.

My favorite sound is that of tumbling river. This river is in Zagatala in the northeast.

Tendir-baked breads baked in the  northeast look slightly different than those baked elsewhere. They are thicker, yellower on top, with a denser texture. This is Balaken-style tendir bread.

A picnic in the nature? Kabab is a must. Grilled meats on skewers browning to perfection.

Grilled vegetables are a must, too. Summer is here. Veggies abound.

On the road to Sheki.

Icy cold spring water in Zagatala. We posed for the picture, too.

Entering the region of Gakh (more photos in next tours).

Fresh haselnuts, not ripe enough yet. Zagatala. Cousin’s backyard.

Azerbaijan produces some good wine. Here’s a glimpse at wine bottles lined up in a supermarket.

A stolled the streets of Old City, downtown Baku, at night. A shop selling antique kitchenware. I dreamed of suitcases filled with them, to fly with me to LA.

Happy kids in the region of Balaken.

Spot me in the dark. Baku.

Our tea table for some impromptu guests in Baku.

To end the tour on a happy note—my cousin’s adorable son with his adorable dog Jessie. They live in Zagatala.

Stay tuned for more photos soon!

Leave a Reply

  1. Thank you for the wonderful road trip. I can almost taste the food.


  3. wish I could have made that trip with you guys. looks amazing!

  4. Loved the tour can’t wait to see more!!! Looking forward to getting your cookbook for our home and friends!!

  5. You make me miss Azerbaijan! The fresh produce there is incomparable. And the tendir… my mouth is watering! Thanks for these beautiful photos!

  6. What a wonderful photo adventure! I especially loved the mountainous areas and hope one day to visit them. The photos of those yummy looking breads were enticing as well. I can’t wait to bake some of those myself. Am really looking forward to getting a copy of your cookbook when it is published.

  7. We were in AZ last Summer. What great memories your pictures brought back!

  8. It was a wonderful glimpse of the lovely country-side. Loved it all

  9. Oh my… what a trip. I love the tour. And I particularly like it through your eyes… that of someone who knows and appreciates their country. Thank you for this precious gift of glimpses into AZ. Makes me want to visit! Can’t wait for the other parts of the tour.

  10. Looks great (agzim sulandi)! I’m glad you all had fun 🙂

  11. Thank you for the wonderful photo album. I was born and raised in Baku but haven’t been back since 1989. Time for a visit!! Miss my city! Thank you again

  12. I am so excited to have found your website! When you posted these pictures, I was still living in Baku. Now, back home in the US and three and a half years later, I am looking through your pictures with tears in my eyes as I see so many familiar places and sights.

    I found you through 196flavors.com as I was missing baklava and searching for a recipe. When I was in Baku, I regularly enjoyed coconut baklava from the bakery near my first apartment, even though I was told by local friends that it wasn’t considered “real” baklava. My other favorite variety contained pistachios, which I understand is slightly more common. Is coconut baklava found many places in Azerbaijan, or was it likely a specialty of that particular bakery?

    • Welcome to my blog, M! I am glad you returned with wonderful memories from Azerbaijan. Coconut baklava is not traditional, it is more of a new variation, must be the bakery’s specialty. Because I don’t live in Baku, I am not sure if this baklava is made in other bakeries, too. As to pistachio, it is not commonly used in Azerbaijani baklava either. Must be a new trend:) Traditional Azerbaijani baklava is made with walnuts, and sometimes with almonds and hazelnuts.

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