This is a national Azerbaijani soup which is normally cooked in special clay pots in special wall stoves. But because in modern world such ovens are almost non-existent, we make pity in normal pots and on cookers. I had the pleasure of tasting the real piti when we were in the city of Sheki where we attended a restaurant very famous in Azerbaijan for delicious piti. I have to say, it is an unforgettable taste and I will always remember it. It was so good that even I, the person who doesn’t eat chickpeas, ate the whole plateful without leaving anything on the plate. It was presented in clay pots and we had to transfer it to plates ourselves. We ate it with onions, fresh herbs and pickles.
Homemade piti tastes slightly different from the one we had in Sheki but I love it too. I don’t make it very often as it is not everyone’s favourite in the household. So, we need:
Lamb, preferably on bone and with fat, 1 piece per portion
Potatoes, large, 1 per portion
Chickpeas app. 25 gr. per portion
1 medium size onion
Cherry plums (optional)
salt and pepper
Soak chickpeas in water over night and half-cook it in the morning. Wash the lamb, put in a pot and poor water over till it covers the meat. Add one whole onion. Cook on medium heat. Skim the foam when it appears. It is important as the soup must be clear. Season.
Lamb takes long to cook, so it may take about an hour (depending on how young the animal was. It took me one hour). Check that lamb is cooked using a fork or a knife. When meat is cooked, remove the onion. It is used to absorb the smell of the lamb. Peel and add potatoes. Add turmeric on the edge of a knife, semi-cooked chickpeas and cherry plums (optional). Leave everything to simmer until potato and chickpeas are cooked. Add half a teaspoon of tomato puree (you can also use finely chopped tomato but puree is preferable). Cook for another 5-10 minutes. Serve with lavash or bread and pickles.
Nush olsun! Bon appetite!