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: 45 min
Cooking time: 20 min
For the dough:
112 g/4.5 oz wheat flour
For the filling:
112g/4.5 oz minced lamb or 56 g/2.25 oz minced lamb and 56 g/2.25 oz minced beef
salt & pepper
12 g/1.5 oz lavashana (thin rolled sheet of dried plums or cornelian cherries) or 20 g pomegranate
Soak the small piece of lavashana in water until it dissolves. It will dissolve more quickly in hot water.
Peel and chop the onion.
Mix the minced meat with the chopped onion. Add salt and pepper and lavashana liquid. Set the mixture aside.
Mix the flour, water and salt to make dough. Separate the dough into 80-100 gram balls.
Place the dough balls on a tea towel and cover with clingfilm. Leave the balls to rest for 5-10 minutes.
Roll out the dough balls until they are 3 mm/0.2 inch thick. Traditionally a thin, light rolling pin is used. Use a small plate to shape the rolled-out dough into rounds approximately 20 cm in diameter.
Spread the mincemeat mixture thinly on one half of the the dough round. Fold in half into a semi-circle, pressing the edges together.
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. Traditionally gutabs are cooked without oil or butter, although some cooks do cook their gutabs in oil. 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 melted clarified butter while still hot and place one on top of the other to serve.
Meat gutabs are often served with sumach, a red ground powder which has a zesty flavour. Alkaline sumach is thought to aid digestion of acidic meat.