POMEGRANATES & SAFFRON: A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan

Pomegranates And Saffron Hardcover | AZ Cookbook

Imagine a country where East and West are beautifully intertwined in the cuisine and culture and where its treasured cooking secrets are waiting to be discovered. Welcome to Azerbaijan. In Pomegranates and Saffron, Feride Buyuran takes you on a delightful culinary journey through this beautiful land in the Caucasus.

Explore over 200 tempting recipes for appetizers and salads, soups and stews, pasta, meat, vegetable and egg dishes, breads, saffron rice pilafs, aromatic drinks, and desserts, all adapted for preparation in a Western kitchen.

Interspersed throughout the text are fascinating glimpses of local culture and traditional proverbs related to food that will make your adventure even more memorable.

Winner of 5 major awards

1) Gourmand Best in the World Award (2015)
Prestige Award of the International Jury

2) Gourmand World Cookbook Award (2014)
Best Eastern European Cookbook in U.S.

3) Living Now Book Award (2015)
Silver Medal in the Ethnic Cookbooks Category

4) National Indie Excellence Award (2016)
Winner in the International Cookbooks Category

5)  Best Books Award (2016)
Finalist in the International Cookbooks Category

Gourmand Best in the World Award | Pomegranates & Saffron U.S. Winner of Gourmand World Cookbook Award | Pomegranates & Saffron Living Now Book Award | Pomegranates & SaffronNational Indie Excellence Award | Pomegranates & SaffronBest Books Awards - Pomegranates and Saffron


First Edition

  • Hardcover, 320 pages, full-color
  • Publisher: AZ Cookbook, 1st Edition
  • Publication Date: October 30, 2014
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-0-615-99943-2
  • Trim Size: 11 x 8.5 inches

Second Edition

  • Hardcover, 336 pages, full-color
  • Publisher: AZ Cookbook, 2nd Edition
  • Publication Date: September 30, 2015
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-0-9961731-2-4
  • Trim Size: 11 x 8.5 inches



Hospitality and Food

Special Days and Food Traditions

Recipes and Menus

About the Recipes

  • Appetizers and Salads
  • Soups and Stews
  • Lamb and Beef
  • Poultry and Game
  • Fish
  • Vegetables, Fresh Herbs, and Eggs
  • Khengel and Other Pasta Dishes
  • Pilafs
  • Milk Dishes
  • Sauces and Condiments
  • Pickles
  • Savory Breads, Pies, and Pastries
  • Pakhlava, Sweet Breads, and Other Desserts
  • Tea, Sharbat, and Other Beverages
  • Preserves
  • Menus

Basics and Techniques

Glossary of Ingredients and Terms

Where to Find Ingredients

Metric Conversion Charts


Additional Resources



Feride Buyuran is the creator of AZCookbook.com, a popular food blog that features recipes and stories from Azerbaijan and beyond. Her passion for cooking and fond childhood memories led her to produce this book–her first–about the cuisine of her homeland. She organizes and leads unique food and culture tours to Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Feride has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in English Philology from the State University of Languages in Azerbaijan. She also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from California State University. Feride lives in Long Beach, California.

Connect with Feride on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest

A delightful feast for both eyes and palate. The author invites you to her table and then whisks you away on a magical carpet to the land she loves—Azerbaijan!

Editor of Azerbaijan International Magazine, at AZER.com

…This cookbook reminds me by its sheer scope of Marcella Hazan’s on Italian cuisine or Najmieh Batmanglij’s on Persian cuisine. Honestly, I donət think I will be needing another work on Azerbaijani cuisine. It is comprehensive and clearly laid-out; the collection of recipes will satisfy the most exacting cook. The cultural tidbits and descriptions will delight those of us who yearn to travel through food. In that sense, it is not just a cooking guide, but also a travelogue. This book sums-up five years of canvassing Azerbaijan, tasting recipes, mingling with locals, questioning Feride’s relatives and contacts and getting hundreds of tips.. Read full review.


Author of Taste of Beirut

While Azerbaijan’s culture and cuisine are not yet well known to many of us, Feride Buyuran’s book Pomegranates and Saffron is about to change this omission. This amazing, extensive, and comprehensive compilation on this ancient culture and cuisine is a must for anyone interested in expanding their culinary repertoire.

Award-Winning Author (with Nur Ilkin) of The Turkish Cookbook

Pomegranates and Saffron is a comprehensive introduction to the cuisine and culture of Azerbaijan. It’s the perfect beginner’s guide to the ingredients, techniques, celebratory customs, and flavors of a lavish, yet little known, land. A fantastic addition to any cook’s collection!

Award-Winning Author of Nile Style

The cuisine of Azerbaijan deserves to be better known, and with Feride Buyuran’s beautiful book, I am confident that it will be. As I began reading Pomegranates and Saffron, I was struck by the number of enticing dishes that were new to me, like red bean spread with walnuts and pomegranate juice, pickled garlicky green bean salad, and the tart green plum salad with fresh herbs–and this was just from the salad chapter! I love this book not only because of the delicious compilation of dishes and the fascinating information about their role in Azerbaijan’s culinary culture, but also because Feride Buyuran is an outstanding recipe writer. With the aid of her clearly written directions and step-by-step photographs, a reader who is new to this cuisine can expertly make such dishes as half-moon dumplings filled with herb-flavored cheese, flaky shorgoghal pastries with a toasted spice filling, and delicate shekerbura turnovers filled with sweetened, cardamom-flavored nuts.

Award-Winning Food Writer, Author of Feast from the Mideast

Azerbaijani cuisine is “the product of centuries of cultural exchange between East and West,” writes food blogger Feride Buyuran in her introduction to this colorfully illustrated and informative cookbook. Her homeland’s cuisine is a mezze, if you will, of pickled vegetables, grain and bean soups, wildly diverse pilafs, an array of savory and sweet baked items, and grilled kebabs, originating from Russia, Iran, Turkey and the Middle East. As such there is no one, single Azerbaijani cuisine, but many: the starch-heavy dishes of the capital, Baku; cured meats in the rugged northwestern districts of Gakh and Zagatala; stuffed fish recipes from Lankaran near the Caspian Sea. Recipe headnotes offer rich details that set Azerbaijani regional cuisine apart, such as the light infusion of ginger and cardamom in the northern highland “Sugar Bread” cookies from Lahij, or traditional Tabriz meatballs, the size of soccer balls (serves 2-3). More than just a cookbook, Buyuran’s work is an educational, epicurean ramble through a region not often spotlighted on cookbook shelves.

AramcoWorld Magazine

…Feride Buyuran was born and raised in Baku, Azerbaijan, and moved to the United States at the age of 24. She is the award-winning author of Pomegranates & Saffron: A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan and the writer behind the blog, AZ Cookbook, where she shares recipes and stories from her native Azerbaijan and beyond. She currently teaches culinary classes in her home in Long Beach, California, and cooking schools, offering participants a hands-on experience of cooking the foods of the Caucasus and Turkey, while allowing them a cultural immersion with the knowledge she shares.

Azerbaijani cuisine has a fascinating culinary history—it evolved gradually over the centuries as new ingredients and techniques were introduced and embraced or discovered as a result of a centuries-long cultural exchange between East and West. Although mainstream local foods are typically known and cooked all over the country, there are also lesser-known food traditions of ethnic groups living there, including Molokan Russians and Jews, who contribute to the culinary repertoire of the country, enriching it even more. Read full review.

Jewish Food Experience

. . .Each recipe is illustrated with a beautiful full-color photograph (some step by step) that showcases beautiful Azeri embroidery, place settings and tools. Each recipe intro and chapter heading gives further information into Azeri culture and food traditions, especially regional ones. A detailed bibliography and additional resources into culture, language, and literature and folklore are also provided… Pomegranates and Saffron is a gorgeous cookbook that deserves every award it is up for; the stunning photography, rich cultural background, and the physical book itself (oversized, with a red satin bookmark) will immerse you in the sights and smells of Azerbaijan’s rich culinary history. Read full review.  (Also named as one of  Top 10 Cookbooks by Sarah Hodge).


…The book is stuffed full of information even beyond the kitchen, including traditional Azerbaijani hospitality and table etiquette, along with special days and feasting traditions, like the new year celebration in March called Novruz. There is also a scattering of Azerbaijani words of wisdom and proverbs throughout: When a cat cannot reach the meat, he says it was rotten anyway, and You can’t make pilaf from words – you need rice and butter. Each one adds sentiment to your cooking experience. Read full review.

Visions of Azerbaijan

. . .The country, with its wide-ranging topography, is known for its abundance of vegetables and greens — a factor that influences Pomegranates and Saffron, which has many vegetable-forward recipes. Read full article.


. . . Pomegranates and Saffron is a vibrant, personal journey and Feride had me pulled in by her second paragraph when she wrote “I developed a strong passion for recipes. To me, they read like page-turners.”. . . Photographs of marketplaces, the stunning faces of the people of Azerbaijan and its food are plentiful throughout this title. 200 diverse recipes, as diverse as the history and people of this unique country, are written clearly and with great detail. . . . Pomegranates and Saffron is a thoughtful, loving, in-depth study of Azerbaijan covering its cuisine, people, and their traditions. It is little wonder it is an award-winning book. It won the Best in the World Gourmand award as well as several other awards. It has won my heart and I’m sure it will win yours. Read full review.


. . . The cookbook reveals a cuisine redolent with fresh herbs, and is sprinkled with food-related proverbs. Read full article.

OC Register

. . . Feride’s award winning cookbook features a very accessible cooking style that celebrates Eastern European, Russian and Middle Eastern flavors. Ingredients and spices from the region are presented with a special flare we attribute to Ms. Buyuran’s culinary skills in her adaptation of recipes culled from family and friends. Read full article.


. . . This cookbook inspires me with Azerbaijani cuisine’s diversity of flavors and techniques. I enjoyed reading this book and can’t wait to trek to this exotic and picturesque country. Read full article.


. . . Pomegranates and Saffron includes over 200 recipes for appetizers and salads, soups and stews, pasta, meat, vegetable and egg dishes, breads, saffron rice pilafs, aromatic drinks, and desserts. And many of the recipes featured are exclusively Azerbaijani, and not originally from another country. Read full article.


. . . I’m inspired by Feride’s story, her determination, her pride in her beautiful heritage, and her joy in sharing her gifts with others.  Pomegranates and Saffron has already become a treasured piece of my cookbook collection, making me feel in a way a little closer to my Ukrainian heritage. I know many of the recipes in the book will be making their way onto my family’s table.  As the Azerbaijani saying goes: May your table always be abundant! Read full article.


. . . Pomegranates and Saffron, Feride Buyuran’s award-winning cookbook, is a vibrant, personal journey sharing the bounty and beauty of Azerbaijan. Feride’s culinary journey began when she moved to the United States. In order to quell her Turkish husband’s cravings for the food of his homeland and her own, she began creating their native dishes. It was at that time she discovered her passion for cooking. She states, “Food we realized, connected us to our homes.”  Read full review.


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Reader Reviews

Mary Beth Kepper
We just received our cookbook from Feride Sadikhova Buyuran. The only words I keep feeling are stunning and magnificent. Even if we never cook anything it is a treasure. But of course we will be elbow deep in the kitchen very soon. Thank you!!!

Barbara Hansen
I can’t say enough good things about your book. It is thorough, very well written and outstanding in the original material that it contains, and the history and traditions you describe. It is very good news that you will do another book, with recipes from the different groups living in Azerbaijan.

Sarah Thacker-Estell
I received mine as well! This is truly the most beautiful cookbook I have. I also love the “education” about Azerbaijan and traditions and culture.

Judy Shifrin
I wish you so much luck with the submission for any cookbook award – it is fabulous! Not only are the recipes and photos mouth-watering, but the information sprinkled throughout about the country is so interesting. You are a ground-breaker, Feride, and thank you so much for your labor of love! Keep us posted about any related news!

Khanoum Rasul Bagirov
Feride, my sister in law received her books. She is so impressed by your book. She speaks so highly of it. She got me one as well for New Year’s present. And I cannot wait to have it in my possession.

Nanna Hartman
Dear Feride. Yesterday your cookbook arrived in our post office, BUT – today it is home with me! Actually I opened the package in the post office, couldn’t wait to see…. So now, at least 2 books are in Denmark, Europe. Looking great and – delicate!! I look forward to reading and cooking and showing to my Azeri husband… Love and congratulations.

Melita Buljevic
I soooooooo love your cookbook! But then again it’s not a cookbook, it’s a delicious, fun, amazing trip to Azerbaijan! It’s great literature; I love it and am so proud of you! Congratulations! I knew it’d be great, but you have surpassed anything I expected!

Gulya Hajiyeva
Dear, Feride, in this cold and snowy weather my heart was warmed by my long awaited two copies of your brilliant book that arrived in the mail. Thank you for your beautiful work. Sending you a picture together with my enormous appreciation.

La Notte
The book absolutely exceeds any expectations! The Author has obviously put her heart and soul into creating it, as well as a lot of effort and work. The recipes are very detailed, with possible modifications, origin and cultural context provided. They are also original, authentic and go beyond the standard ‘plov-dolma-kabab’ variations that you come across in most Azerbaijani cookbooks – for example, well done on including dishes from Talysh or Lezgi cuisines: Azerbaijan would not be Azerbaijan without all the peoples that live there, so the cultures and cuisines of the ethnic minorities are an important part of the overall Azerbaijani culture and cuisine. And, of course, I really loved the food-related proverbs and words of wisdom included here and there in the book. Thanks a lot, Feride! I’m definitely proud to own this book.

Aynur Jafar
Arrived home and found this beautiful book on my door. What a great book! I have had a 30 minute journey to the great Motherland, felt the smell of ground after rain in my lungs, remembered our home in beautiful Karabagh, my grandmother’s little house, my Mom in the kitchen… What an amazing book, Feride! I am so much grateful! Yes, I already feel that this will be a great journey for me as you mentioned, there is magic about this book, I feel it Thank you, dear! I am sure this will not be the last book! Lots of love from Berkeley!

Sevda Karimova
What could be a better gift for a foodie (which I have recently discovered I am) than receiving a cookbook for Thanksgiving? And not just any cookbook. A masterpiece Azerbaijani cookbook. Created by my dear friend Feride. I couldn’t contain my joy when I held the book in my hands and went through the pages devouring the beautiful food stories, recipes, and impeccable food photography. Feride, I couldn’t be more proud of you! Thank you so much for your hard relentless work! I hope that this book decorates the bookstore shelves in the US (but doesn’t just stay there :)) and travels around the globe. I hope you won’t get exhausted by ordering copies again and again for the years to come reminding you all the while what an amazing job you have done for the Azerbaijani cuisine & culture. Sending you my warmest hugs from the other side of California.

Gunel Taghizade
Is there anyone happier than me right now? I am feeling so proud and thankful for the job what you have done Feride!

Farzin Farzad
Brooke and I received our copy of Pomegranates and Saffron by Feride Sadikhova Buyuran! Thank you so much, and we’re both excited to make some traditional Azerbaijani dishes, especially Tabriz Kuftesi!

Vmb Vusala
So happy to receive my copy of the very first Azerbaijani Cookbook ever printed in the Western Land. Onward Brave Motherland Onward…may your name spread through the palates that taste your food and the eyes that see its beauty. Proud of my cultural heritage!

Fariba Kazemi
Feride Sadikhova Buyuran! Got your amazing book, so excited! Can’t believe some of the recipes you have in there (Lavashana!) picture to come later this week.

Tarana Kadirova
Dearest Feride. Finally, I can proudly show this beautiful, colorful and excellent book to my friends in Guyana, where I live. I cook Azerbaijani food and EVERY one loves it, but when it comes to recipe, I say: I do it from my memory; I grew up with it in my far homeland Yevlakh. I have culinary books, but they are either in Azerbaijani or Russian languages. I admire your hard work but the results are worth it. Please keep it up. Wish you and your family good health and happiness.

Noppacha Ann Tuansa-ard
It’s here and worth waiting for! More-than-a-cookbook by my uber talented friend, Feride Sadikhova Buyuran.

Natella Isazada
Pomegranates and Saffron is everything that I had expected it to be and more! I guess the best way I can describe this book is – when I take it in my hands, I just want to dig in!

Muzaffer M Cakir
Şu anda kitabını zevk ve ilgiyle okuyorum çayımı içerken. Seninle gurur duyuyorum her sayfayı çevirdiğimde. Yarattığın eser yemek kitabından da fazla bir ürün. Azerbaycan’ı ve güzel kültürünü tanıtıyorsun büyün Dünya’ya. Gelecek nesillere de ölümsüz bir eser bırakıyorsun. Okudukça ne kadar uğraştığını ve özendiğini görüyorum bu kitaba. Resimler çok güzel, tanıtım yazıların çok güzel ve ilginç. Bir Türk olarak ve arkadaşın olarak çok gurur duydum bu eserinle. Eminim başarılarının devamı gelecektir. Bütün ailene sevgiler ve selamlar.

David Gimpelevich
A dear friend, Devin Squaglia, just gave me a copy of your cookbook for the holidays and it is just lovely! Thank you for putting so much love into it. I am from Baku, so the book is a lovely taste of home.

Minaya Alakbarova
Dear Farida, I was thrilled while I was turning the pages of that incredibly attractive culinary book by you, was feeling proud to see among the bestsellers. Since “yarpaq dolmasi” was and still one of my favorites all the time couldn’t take myself when I encountered on that super book. So decided to treat myself after a long time, inspired by your book. Once again thank you so much! Best of the luck!

Amy Jane Joiner
We are sooo excited to cook every recipe! Fantastic pictures, history, and culture info too! THANK YOU Feride for writing this beautiful book-we LOVE IT, you’re amazing!

Jenn Campus
I am so excited about this cookbook! My friend, fellow food blogger Feride sent me a copy of her beautiful opus, this gorgeous cookbook featuring food and culture of her homeland, Azerbaijan. I remember when this cookbook was just a dream. Feride has worked long and hard on this labor of love and it shows! The book is jaw-dropping beautiful and I can’t wait to start cooking from it. I am just so tickled for her; she is not only one of the nicest people, but a tantalizing chef! I wish her so much success!

Leonie Khanali
Just received my copy of Pomegranates and Saffron. I must thank you for writing this beautiful book. I am myself English, my husband is Azeri, we live in France & have just had our first baby girl. I am thrilled to finally be able to try out some delicious Azeri recipes to delight my husband & to be able to pass on your cookbook to my daughter for her to discover traditional cuisine is a dream come true. Can’t wait to start cooking.

Kamila Javanshir
Feride, I wanted to thank you and congratulate you once again with the release of your wonderful book! I finally got my three copies when I got to be in Houston at the end of last year. I have to tell you, that even though I knew that you’ve done an outstanding job on that cookbook, the actual book surpassed all my expectations! I brought it back “home” to Saudi Arabia with me. Here, two of my dear friends received their copies of your book as a present from me. Both ladies, as well as their families, have fallen in love with Azerbaijani cuisine since I’ve started introducing it to them four years ago. We spent the entire evening yesterday flipping through the pages, discussing the recipes and histories behind them. At one point we caught “the husbands”, all three of them, including mine, bent over the book. Good luck to you on all your future endeavors! This one was worth waiting for!

Ayten Giyas
Əzizim Fəridə, kitabını əlimə alanda səniniə bir daha fərəhləndim. Afərin sənə! Her bir detalı düşünülmüş, rəngarəng, keyfiyyətli, gözəl kitabın münasibəti ilə səni bir daha təbrik edirəm! Əhsən!

Saeed Bidar
I got your book today, very impressed, you put lots of work into it. Really proud of you.

Dilshad Aliyarli
Amerikada Azərbaycan mətbəxi haqda ilk kitabın müəllifi Feride Sadikhova Buyuranı bir də təbrik edirəm! Gözəl tərtibatda kitabınız gəldi çatdı. Böyük əmək və sevgi ilə hazırladığınız hər səhifəsindən bəllidir.

Aygun Ka
В первый день весны и в преддверии Новруза, хочется сказать – Feride Sadikhova Buyuran, спасибо тебе за эту замечательную книгу! Она не только кулинарная, но и красивая, и полезная, и национальная и историческая и так приятно что в Мире есть такие люди как Ты, это те позитивные лучики, которые делают жизнь прекрасней и вдохновляют! Большой удачи тебе, дальнейших творческих успехов и конечно – спасибо за то что на странице, посвящённой любимому празднику фотография моей Новрузовской Хончи.

Click Here for Amazon Reviews


Although we did a thorough editing of both the First and Second editions, inevitably, as is the case in the publishing world, some errors (little typos, measurement mistakes) slipped by anyway and made it into print. Luckily, so far we have found only a few measurement mistakes.


First Edition

Page 35 – Eggplant Caviar: In the ingredients, we listed 1/2 cup olive oil, but only call to use 1/4 cup of it in the directions, to fry the onions. Please add the remaining 1/4 cup oil to the dish right after you season it with salt and pepper and cook over medium-law heat.

Page 48 – Yogurt Soup with Purslane: In the ingredients, there should be 4 cups of plain yogurt, not 6 cups, to produce a thick cold soup. 6 cups will still work but you will get a less thick soup. Also, if the purslane bunches are very small, use at least 4 of them instead of the suggested 2.

Page 58 – Khash (cow feet soup): The directions ask to “cut each foot in half lengthwise, and then cut the lower part into two, to split.” Instead, each foot should be cut in half crosswise, and not lengthwise, before cutting the lower part into two.

Page 133 – Eggplant Kuku:
In the ingredients, there should be 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, not the suggested 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons).

Page 223 – Shorgoghal: In the ‘To Stuff the Breads” section, right after the sentence “You will obtain a stuffed bread,” should come “Turn the breads upside down” before the next steps.

Page 258– Nut-Filled Roll-Ups: In the filling ingredients, there should be 1/4 cup granulated sugar, not 1/2 as listed. If you use 1/2 cup sugar, your results will still be good, although the filling will be sweeter and less nutty as it would be with less sugar.

Second Edition

Page 35 – Eggplant Caviar: In the ingredients, we listed 1/2 cup olive oil, but only call to use 1/4 cup of it in the directions, to fry the onions. Please add the remaining 1/4 cup oil to the dish right after you season it with salt and pepper and cook over medium-law heat.

Page 229 – Shorgoghal: In the ‘To Stuff the Breads” section, right after the sentence “You will obtain a stuffed bread,” should come “Turn the breads upside down” before the next steps.

Pomegranates & Saffron on Amazon.com