Embark on a gastronomic adventure as we explore the rich culinary heritage of Azerbaijan through the delightful and aromatic recipe of Balig Tandir. This traditional Azerbaijani dish showcases the region's love for seafood and mastery in blending spices to create a symphony of flavors.

Balig Tandir, translated as "Fish Tandoor," is a beloved dish that encapsulates the essence of Azerbaijani cuisine. In this culinary masterpiece, fresh fish is marinated with an array of vibrant spices, herbs, and citrusy elements before being slow-cooked in a tandoor, resulting in a tender and flavorful delicacy.

Join us in unraveling the secrets behind the preparation of Azerbaijani Balig Tandir, and immerse yourself in the captivating world of Azerbaijani culinary traditions. From the sizzling tandoor to the table, this recipe promises to transport you to the heart of Azerbaijan, where every bite is a celebration of culture, tradition, and the artistry of Azerbaijani cooking.


  • 2 lbs whole fish (such as trout or sea bass), cleaned and scaled
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


Prepare the Marinade: In a bowl, combine yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, ground coriander, ground cumin, paprika, turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Mix well to create a smooth and well-blended marinade.

Marinate the Fish: Make shallow diagonal cuts on both sides of the fish. This helps the marinade penetrate the flesh. Place the fish in a large, shallow dish and coat it thoroughly with the prepared marinade. Ensure the marinade gets into the cuts for maximum flavor. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2-4 hours or overnight for the best results.

Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).

Prepare the Baking Tray: Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and lightly grease it to prevent sticking.

Bake the Fish: Place the marinated fish on the prepared baking tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. You can also finish it under the broiler for a couple of minutes to get a slightly charred and crispy exterior.

Garnish and Serve: Remove the fish from the oven and garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley. Serve hot with lemon wedges on the side.

Enjoy: Dive into the delightful flavors of Azerbaijani Balig Tandir. The combination of spices, yogurt, and the unique baking method creates a dish that is both tender and packed with bold, aromatic tastes. Pair it with your favorite side dishes or enjoy it on its own for a true Azerbaijani culinary experience.

Nutritional Values:

Nutritional values can vary based on specific brands and variations in ingredients. Here's a general estimate for the nutritional values per serving of the Balig Tandir recipe:

Note: The nutritional values provided are approximate and based on common food databases. Actual values may vary.

2 lbs whole fish (trout or sea bass):

  • Calories: 500-600 kcal
  • Protein: 60-80g
  • Fat: 25-35g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g


  • Rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential nutrients.
  • Supports heart health and provides essential vitamins like B12 and D.

1 cup plain yogurt:

  • Calories: 150 kcal
  • Protein: 12g
  • Fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 9g


  • Excellent source of probiotics for gut health.
  • High in protein, calcium, and B vitamins.
  • May boost immune function and promote weight management.

3 tablespoons olive oil:

  • Calories: 360 kcal
  • Protein: 0g
  • Fat: 42g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g


  • Healthy monounsaturated fats support heart health.
  • Contains antioxidants that may have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Provides vitamin E, essential for skin health.

2 tablespoons lemon juice:

  • Calories: 8 kcal
  • Protein: 0g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 3g


  • High in vitamin C, which boosts the immune system.
  • Aids digestion and may promote hydration.
  • Adds a refreshing citrus flavor to dishes.

4 cloves garlic, minced:

  • Calories: 16 kcal
  • Protein: 0.8g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.4g


  • Known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Supports heart health and may help regulate blood pressure.
  • Adds a rich and savory flavor to dishes.

1 tablespoon ground coriander:

  • Calories: 15 kcal
  • Protein: 0.6g
  • Fat: 0.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 3g


  • Contains antioxidants and may have anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Provides dietary fiber, iron, and magnesium.

1 tablespoon ground cumin:

  • Calories: 22 kcal
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 1.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.6g


  • Supports digestion and may improve blood cholesterol levels.
  • Rich in iron, providing an essential mineral for the body.

1 tablespoon paprika:

  • Calories: 19 kcal
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g


  • Contains capsaicin, which may have metabolism-boosting properties.
  • Rich in antioxidants, including vitamin A.

1 teaspoon turmeric:

  • Calories: 8 kcal
  • Protein: 0.2g
  • Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.7g


  • Known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • Contains curcumin, which may have various health benefits.

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper:

  • Calories: 6 kcal
  • Protein: 0.3g
  • Fat: 0.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.3g


  • Contains capsaicin, which may aid in weight management.
  • May have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

Salt and black pepper (to taste):

  • These contribute negligible calories, protein, fat, and carbohydrates.


  • Essential for enhancing flavor in dishes.
  • Provides trace minerals and aids in digestion.

Fresh cilantro or parsley (for garnish):

  • Calories: 0-5 kcal (depending on the amount used)
  • Protein: 0-0.5g
  • Fat: 0-0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 0-1g


  • Rich in vitamins A, C, and K.
  • Acts as a natural breath freshener.
  • Adds a burst of freshness and color to the dish.

Lemon wedges (for serving):

  • Calories: 1-5 kcal (depending on the size of the wedge)
  • Protein: 0-0.1g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0-1.5g


  • High in vitamin C and antioxidants.
  • Enhances the overall taste of the dish and provides a citrusy element.

Keep in mind that these values are approximate, and actual nutritional content may vary based on the specific ingredients and quantities used in your preparation.


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