Discover the tantalizing flavors of Azerbaijani kebabs with our step-by-step recipe. Made with marinated lamb, beef, or chicken, these grilled delicacies are a culinary delight. Immerse yourself in the rich history and cultural significance of Azerbaijani kebabs while enjoying a wholesome meal.

Azerbaijani cuisine is renowned for its rich flavors and aromatic spices, and one of the most beloved dishes is the Azerbaijani kebab. These succulent skewers of marinated meat are traditionally cooked over an open flame, resulting in tender and juicy morsels that are bursting with flavor.

Azerbaijani kebabs, known as "kebab" or "shashlik," have a rich and fascinating history deeply rooted in Azerbaijani culture and traditions. As a popular dish in Azerbaijan, kebabs hold a special place in the hearts and palates of its people. The history of Azerbaijani kebabs stretches back centuries, and it reflects the region's nomadic heritage and its vibrant culinary traditions.

The origins of kebabs can be traced to the nomadic Turkic tribes that roamed the vast lands of Central Asia and the Caucasus region. These tribes relied on livestock, particularly sheep and cattle, for their sustenance. As they migrated across the land, they developed techniques for preserving and cooking meat that would later form the foundation of kebab preparation.

In Azerbaijan, where livestock farming has been an integral part of the economy and culture for centuries, kebabs became a popular and essential dish. The traditional preparation of Azerbaijani kebabs involves marinating chunks of meat, typically lamb, beef, or chicken, and skewering them before grilling them over an open flame.

Azerbaijani kebabs are not just a culinary delight; they also serve as a social and cultural centerpiece during celebrations, gatherings, and special occasions. In Azerbaijani culture, the process of preparing kebabs is often a communal activity, where friends and family come together to share the experience of marinating the meat, skewering it onto the skewers, and grilling it over the fire. This process fosters a sense of community and reinforces the bonds between individuals.

Moreover, Azerbaijani kebabs are not solely about the meat; they are also influenced by the region's diverse range of spices, herbs, and flavorings. Traditional Azerbaijani marinades often include ingredients like onions, garlic, olive oil, yogurt, pomegranate molasses, and a variety of aromatic herbs and spices, creating a distinct and vibrant flavor profile that sets Azerbaijani kebabs apart.

The significance of kebabs in Azerbaijani culture is further enhanced by the way they are served and enjoyed. Typically, kebabs are presented on large platters alongside freshly baked bread, grilled vegetables, and traditional accompaniments such as pomegranate seeds, sumac, and fresh herbs. This communal way of sharing food promotes conviviality and strengthens the sense of togetherness.

In summary, Azerbaijani kebabs have a long-standing history deeply entwined with the nomadic traditions, livestock farming, and communal spirit of Azerbaijan. From their humble origins as a practical method of cooking and preserving meat, kebabs have evolved into a beloved culinary treasure that showcases the region's unique flavors and cultural heritage. Whether enjoyed at festive occasions or as a part of everyday meals, Azerbaijani kebabs continue to captivate both locals and visitors with their delectable taste and the stories they tell through their preparation and consumption.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of preparing Azerbaijani kebabs, along with some essential notes and nutrition facts to help you create an authentic and wholesome culinary experience.


1- 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) of boneless meat (lamb, beef, or chicken) cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes

2- 2 large onions, finely grated

3- 4 cloves of garlic, minced

4- 2 tablespoons of olive oil

5- 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt

6- 2 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses (or lemon juice)

7- 1 tablespoon of ground sumac

8- 1 tablespoon of ground cumin

9- 1 tablespoon of ground paprika

10- 1 tablespoon of dried thyme

11- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

12- Skewers (metal or bamboo, soaked in water for 30 minutes)


Marinating the Meat:

1- In a large mixing bowl, combine the grated onions, minced garlic, olive oil, yogurt, pomegranate molasses (or lemon juice), sumac, cumin, paprika, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper.

2- Mix the marinade ingredients well until they form a thick paste.

3- Add the cubed meat to the bowl and thoroughly coat it with the marinade. Ensure that every piece of meat is well covered.

4- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or ideally overnight, to allow the flavors to infuse.

Skewering the Meat:

1- Preheat your grill or barbecue to medium-high heat.

2- Remove the marinated meat from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to take the chill off.

3- Thread the meat cubes onto the skewers, leaving a small gap between each piece to ensure even cooking.

4- Once all the meat is skewered, brush the kebabs lightly with olive oil to prevent sticking to the grill.

Grilling the Kebabs:

1- Place the skewers on the preheated grill, ensuring they are evenly spaced.

2- Grill the kebabs for approximately 10-12 minutes, turning them occasionally to achieve an even char on all sides.

3- Keep a close eye on the kebabs to prevent overcooking or burning. Adjust the heat as needed.

4- Once the kebabs are cooked to your desired level of doneness, remove them from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.


1- Azerbaijani kebabs can be cooked using various types of meat, such as lamb, beef, or chicken. You can choose the meat that suits your preference.

2- Traditional Azerbaijani kebabs are often cooked over an open flame. If you don't have access to a grill, you can use a stovetop grill pan or broil the kebabs in the oven.

Nutrition Facts (Approximate Values per Serving):

  • Calories: 350
  • Total Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 100mg
  • Sodium: 400mg
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 36g

Here are approximate nutrition facts for some common ingredients used in Azerbaijani kebabs:

Lamb (100g):

  • Calories: 250
  • Total Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 9g
  • Cholesterol: 85mg
  • Sodium: 60mg
  • Protein: 17g

Beef (100g):

  • Calories: 250
  • Total Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 9g
  • Cholesterol: 85mg
  • Sodium: 55mg
  • Protein: 17g

Chicken (100g):

  • Calories: 165
  • Total Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 85mg
  • Sodium: 75mg
  • Protein: 20g

Olive Oil (1 tablespoon - 14g):

  • Calories: 120
  • Total Fat: 14g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Protein: 0g

Plain Yogurt (1 cup - 245g):

  • Calories: 150
  • Total Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 35mg
  • Sodium: 175mg
  • Protein: 12g

Pomegranate Molasses (1 tablespoon - 20g):

  • Calories: 60
  • Total Fat: 0g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 5mg
  • Protein: 0g

Please note that these nutrition facts are approximate values and may vary depending on the specific brand or variety of the ingredient used. It's always a good idea to check the nutrition label on the packaging for more accurate information.

To find out the required calories, you can visit the website calculator calories


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