“Govurma” – a traditional dish from the Nakhchivan region.

The development of Azerbaijani cuisine is very important to me! Thus I am ready to work on it with my energy. In my opinion, for the development of local culinary my colleagues also should join to such social initiatives and promote local heritage and gastronomic knowledge in global arenas by valuing all the existing opportunities. My first interaction with Slow Food initiative was at the National Culinary Congress organized by Azerbaijan Culinary Specialist Association where I am also a member. After the presentation of the local Slow Food representative about the EU-funded COVCHEG project, my interest in the project went beyond being an audience and I immediately signed up as a local Slow Food Youth Network member. The philosophy of the project is strongly identical to my thoughts, thus I am looking forward to work on social initiatives such as protection of biodiversity, organic waste management, and healthy nutrition together with our youth community.

The COVID-19 pandemics has crushed tourism and gastronomy segment of the local economy, but the reminded the value of local products and heritage. Also, during the pandemics period, I have attended seminars and online programs which helped me to keep my motivation and enhance knowledge, which I am planning to put in work to promote local cuisine.

Under current circumstances, writing an article about my homeland`s cuisine and its elements is an essential attempt to promote them in an international horizon. Products that used to be part of a tradition in each household, now are disappearing and observing it triggers me to take an action. – Rauf Kerimov member Slow Food Youth Network and Azerbaijan Culinary Specialists Association.

“Govurma” is one of the tastiest dishes of traditional Azerbaijani cuisine. The fact that the “govurma” was mentioned in epos “Kitabi-Dada Gorgud” also confirms its historical presence. “Govurma” is one of the stock supplies for winter in the Nakhchivan region which is prepared during spring, summer, and autumn months. It is commonly prepared from veal or lamb. 120-150 gram pieces of meat are cut and rested for a day before its stewed. It is not recommended to overcook it since it will sperate into pieces. After the water is removed and remaining pieces of meat are fried in oil with salt (to protect meat while its preservation).

The fried meats are collected in large glazed jars (nowadays glazed buckets are more common) and poured over with melted butter until its covered. While cooking male mutton meat instead of butter, melted lamb fat is used. Due to its high-caloric composition, Govurma is very convenient to provide the necessary energy for the human body during cold winter season. It should be noted that govurma is digested easier than other fried dishes. The reason for this can be the method of its preparation.

Many dishes are prepared in Azerbaijani cuisine with Govurma. Such as porridge with govurma, govurma soup with eggs, hay-hay, and bezirgani soup. In the winter season, it is used in the preparation of bezirgani soup. Firstly onions are sliced and fried in fat then pieces of govurma are added and fried together. Then tomato paste, salt, and water are added. After the mixture is well heated fresh eggs are added and mixed.