Lamb or veal stew with chestnuts and dried fruit is a very popular Azerbaijani dish, served with rice pilaf.
It is an Azerbaijani version of a sweet and sour dish, although the various names for the dish usually refer either to the sweet or sour element, but not both together. The basic ingredients of the stew are lamb or veal, onions and dried fruit. If a dried plum called albukhara, similar to a dried greengage, is used, the dish is called turshu plov (sour pilaf) or turshu qovurma (sour fried meat). Albukhara are a tangy dried fruit, hence the adjective “sour”. When chestnuts, dried apricots and raisins are also used in the dish it can be called shirin qovurma (sweet fried meat). Shirin plov, however, usually refers to rice with dried fruit but without meat. A general name for the stew in some parts of Azerbaijan is ashin. Sweet and sour lamb or veal stew with chestnuts and dried fruit. We give below a recipe for the stew using albukhara, chestnuts, dried apricots and raisins. Either the apricots or the raisins can be omitted, if you want to reduce the sweetness of the stew. If you cannot get hold of albukhara or a zesty dried plum, use lemon juice instead.
500 gr lamb
5 pieces onion
300 gr chestnuts (not shelled)
200 gr albukhara, a dried fruit similar to dried greengages or plums. Albukhara have a sharp, tangy flavour.
Salt & pepper
Abgora – 1 glass, green grapes soft, or citric acid – 1 tsp. disclosed in 1 glass hot water