Khamrashi (xəmraşi) can be made with a clear beef or lamb broth, as in this recipe, or with chicken broth.
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 3 hours
500 g/1 lb 4 oz mutton or lamb on the bone
1 tablespoon of allspice
125 g/5 oz of black-eyed beans (known as “nightingale’s eyes” or bül-bül göz in Azerbaijani)
5-6 threads of saffron
1 large onion
salt & pepper
dried mint and grape or apple vinegar to serve
For the noodles:
250 g/10 oz premium quality plain wheat flour
1 large egg
a pinch of dried mint
100 g/4 oz onion
salt & pepper
Make a light dough from the flour, water, salt and egg.
Divide the dough into four large balls. Place the balls on a tea towel and cover with clingfilm. Leave to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Roll out the dough to a thickness of 2-3 mm. Traditionally, a thin, light rolling pin is used. Add flour when rolling out if the dough is too sticky.
Cut the rolled dough into strips and lay out on a tea towel. Leave for 24 hours to dry.
Noodles that are not used in the soup can be kept in a dry place for future use.
Put the lamb bones in a saucepan and cover with water, 5 cm/2 inches above the level of the bones. Bring slowly to the boil and skim off the foam that forms on the surface. Add 1 tablespoon of allspice. Simmer over a low heat for 2 to 3 hours. Strain the broth. Remove any meat from the bones to go into the meatballs before discarding the bones. As the broth cools, fat forms on top. This fat is not removed in traditional Azerbaijani cooking, but it can be skimmed off and thrown away for those who don’t like very fatty soups. (Broth can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.)
Mince the cooked meat and raw onion and add salt & pepper. Mix well and shape into small meatballs.
If using dried black-eyed beans, rinse them and simmer in a generous amount of water until soft (approximately 45 minutes).
Bring the broth back to the boil, add 6 threads of saffron and boil for 3 minutes.
Add a large quantity of the noodles, more than you would normally add to soup but not so much that they soak up all the liquid. Also add the cooked beans, meatballs and salt & pepper.
Bring the soup back to the boil and simmer until the onion in the meatballs and noodles are cooked (5-10 minutes).
Serve with a sprinkling of crushed, dried mint on top and vinegar on the side.