Dare to Dream, Make a Meal: Qutab!

It was Jacques Houdek who once said, ‘Dare to dream, make a meal’ – ok yes, that wasn’t quite the lyric, but with this year’s slogan ‘Dare to Dream’ why not make a few adaptations! With this year’s contest quickly approaching, it’s time to start planning your Eurovision parties. With the help of Eurovision Union, you can plan out the ultimate Eurovision party for you and your friends!

Over the last month, we’ve gathered some of the tastiest and most intriguing dishes from across the participating nations and we have put our aprons on to test out these recipes! We selected a diverse range of food, as well as both savoury and sweet dishes, so if you are hosting a Eurovision party this year, you can take inspiration from our cooking adventures across Europe and recreate these dishes for you and your friends!

Qutab (Azerbaijan)

I will openly admit that I don’t know too much about the food of Azerbaijan, but after a quick google search, I was introduced to Qutab. Similar to the neighbouring version, Gözleme, Qutab is a form of flatbread that is filled inside. The flatbread is grilled, but has many different variations depending on where in Azerbaijan it is being served. Fillings such as pumpkin and greens are common, and for our attempt at Qutab, we used a mixture of greens and herbs as well as cheese.

This is another dough related recipe, and if you aren’t the type to work with dough, I can assure you that it is easy to make and the reward is worth the work. The recipe we used made around 8 round flatbreads, and to make it more of a party food, you can cut the flatbreads into slices that your guests can pick up and eat easily. You can also serve the Qutab with a dip of yoghurt mixed with herbs and spices of your liking, for example coriander and sumac.

Here is the recipe we used (credit: My Cooking Journey)

Prep time: 15 mins + 30 mins resting time

Cook time: 45 mins

Makes: 8 flatbreads

Ingredients:

For the Dough –

  • Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
  • All Purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Oil – 2 Tbsp
  • Boiling water – as needed (about 3 to 4 cups)

For the filling –

  • Paneer – 1 cup (or any crumbled cheese)
  • Onion – 1/2 cup (finely chopped)
  • Spring onion – 3 (finely chopped with the greens)
  • Mint leaves – 1/4 cup (chopped)
  • Cilantro (coriander) – 1/4 cup (chopped)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes – 2 tsp (or as needed)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 1 Tbsp

Instructions:

To make the Dough –

  • Boil about 4 to 5 of water in a pan.
  • In another pan combine the flours and the salt.
  • Slowly add the boiling water and stir with a wooden spoon. Keep adding water until a solid mass forms. At this stage cover the dough for few minutes to cool down enough to handle.
  • Now add the oil and knead the mixture into a soft dough. Sprinkle more warm water if needed.
  • Cover the dough and let it rest for about 30 minutes.

To make the Filling –

  • Heat oil in a pan and sauté the onions and spring onions until just soft and translucent.
  • Add the salt and crushed red pepper to this mixture and mix well.
  • Let this mixture cool down and then add the grated / crumbled paneer, chopped mint and cilantro and mix well to combine.

To shape and cook the Qutab –

  • Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.
  • Dust each ball with enough flour and roll it into very thin circle. Place about 2 TBSP of filling on one half of the rolled dough and cover it with the other half.
  • Seal the edges well and cook it on a hot cast iron or a heavy pan. Apply oil on both sides and cook until golden brown.
  • Let it cool a bit and then serve.

Here’s what we started with:

And here is our finished product!

Beer List

Our resident beer expert has done research (and a whole lot of tasting) to come up with some of the must-try beers of the nation. For each nation there are three suggestions:

  • The National Treasure – this is a beer that is recognisable and accessible to buy
  • The Party Starter – this is a nicer alternative, but still fairly accessible to buy
  • The Show Stopper – this is for the beer enthusiasts or those with a sense of adventure, but may not be as easy to purchase outside of that nation

Azerbaijan

The National Treasure – Xirdalan Lager Beer (Pale Lager – 4.8%)

The Party Starter – Starapraga Pilsener Premium Dark Beer (Dark Lager – 5.2%)

The Show Stopper – Beerbaşa Dark (Dark Lager – 5.6%)

Listen to our Dare to Dream, Make a Meal playlist below:

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