Herb pancakes recipe (Goyerti gutabi)

Gutabs, a version of pancakes, are an Azerbaijani national dish and can be made with meat, herbs or pumpkin.

Gutabs are widespread in the Shirvan region which covers Baku, Shamakhi and the plain south to the Kur River. The cuisine of the Shirvan region is known for its flour-based dishes and, in particular, gutabs and dushbara.

Preparation time: 60 min
Cooking time: 10-15 min
Serves: 5-6

Ingredients

For the dough:
150 g/6 oz wheat flour
1/2 egg
1-2 tsp plain yoghurt
water
salt
For the filling:
1/2 egg
1-2 tsp plain yoghurt
Salt & pepper
A variety of green herbs such as sorrel and spinach (150 g/6 oz each), spring onions (50 g/2 oz), coriander and dill (25 g/1 oz each). Varieties and quantities of herbs can be varied, according to taste and availability. Sorrel is a traditional herb for gutabs as it gives an edge to the flavour. Lemon juice can be used if sorrel is not available.

Preparation

Wash and dry the herbs. Chop but not too finely. Try to avoid crushing the herbs or they will become liquid, but squeeze out any excess juice. Sprinkle with salt.
If using spring onions (50 g), soften the chopped herbs in a pan with a knob of butter.
Mix the egg and two to three teaspoons of yoghurt. Add the egg and yoghurt mixture to the chopped herbs.
Make dough with the flour, egg, one to two teaspoons of yoghurt, water and salt. The dough must be soft enough to roll out. Make the dough into small balls, roughly 100 to 120 grams.
Roll out each ball into a circle approximately 27 cm in diameter and 3 mm/0.2 inch thick. Traditionally a thin, light rolling pin is used.
Spread the herb mixture on one half of the gutab and fold into a semicircular shape.
Gutabs are traditionally cooked on a saj, a convex iron griddle. A large frying pan turned upside down can be an excellent substitute for a saj. Place two gutabs at a time on the hot saj. Do not use oil or butter during cooking. Turn over after 2-3 minutes or when the gutab begins to brown and cook on the other side.
Spread the cooked gutabs with melted butter or ghee (clarified butter) while still hot and place one on top of the other to serve. Serve with yoghurt.

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