HAVASKAR QOVURMASI (Lamb cooked with saffron)
The word «qovurma» in the name of a dish («kavurma» in Turkish) means that it contains cooked meat. The full name of this dish “Havaskar qovurması” from Azerbaijani language translates literally as «Amateur cooked meat». The word “amateur” comes from the Latin «amat» meaning “he loves”, so the main idea of this dish to prepare it the way you like it — by your choice.
Havaskar Qovurmasi combines two main classic Azerbaijani ingredients — lamb and saffron. The other ingredients added to the dish, are optional, by your choice.
2 pounds (1 kg) lamb chops (8 chops)
1 large onion
2 tablespoon of clarified butter
1 cup of saffron infusion
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup of pomegranate seeds or cherry-plums (sour Alcha)
1 cup of shelled chestnuts or 4 small potatoes
Prepare the saffron infusion. Place а ½ teaspoon of saffron threads into a cup. Fill the cup with boiling water and let it sit. Immediately, the water will turn an opulent yellow color, deepening over the next few minutes until it becomes a clear, bright orange.
Slice the onion into very thin half-rings, and fry them in a deep frying pan in the clarified butter until golden brown. Add the lamb chops to the pan, and cook them together with the onion for a few minutes. Add salt, pepper and a cup of saffron infusion, then lower the heat, and stew until the lamb is cooked.
If using optional ingredients, add cooked shelled chestnuts, or peeled and cut in half potato, to the almost cooked lamb. Add green cherry-plums or pomegranate seeds (if using pomegranate, add them to the lamb 5 minutes before lamb is ready). Stew all together until the lamb is cooked.
If using tomato, cut them in half and fry separately in butter.
Serve Havaskar Qovurmasi on a large plate and garnish with tomato and chopped herbs.
Bon Appétit! Enjoy!
This post is also available in: Russian