Gutab recipe (Stuffed Azerbaijani flatbreads)

Gutab recipe (Stuffed Azerbaijani flatbreads)

Dear pastry lovers! This blog post is for you! We offer you Gutab, one of the most popular dish of Azerbaijani cuisine. It is made on the stove. Meat, greens, even pumpkin, can be preferred for gutab. The choice is yours. Here we say 3 different recipes for you! 

Meat-Stuffed Flatbreads (Et Gutabi)


Makes 12 (serves about 6)

For the Dough:

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water, at room temperature

For the Filling:

1 pound ground beef or lamb, or a combination
2 medium onions, peeled and passed through a meat grinder (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon sour fruit paste (you can obtain it from sour fruit leather – soften it with water) or ½ cup fresh pomegranate arils (you can adjust these amounts to taste)
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste

Filling Variation:

In the northwest, particularly in the region of Balaken, a pinch of dill seeds (they add a FANTASTIC new dimension to the filling), some crushed garlic and sometimes chopped fresh cilantro is added to the filling too. Sometimes, sour paste slightly diluted with water is spread in a thin layer on a cooked buttered gutab for a piquant tart taste.(Would you like to make this dish together? Join our Cooking Masterclasses to learn and taste the national cuisine of Azerbaijan!)

Also needed:

  • Unsalted butter stick, to brush (if using method 1 to cook)
  • Vegetable oil, to fry (only using method 2 to cook!)
  • Powdered sumac, to garnish

Prepare the dough: Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the salt and stir to mix. Make a well in the center. Gradually adding the water, stir with your hand, until a rough ball forms. Sprinkle a large working surface (you can use large round wooden board) with some flour. Scrape the dough the floured surface. Knead the dough until smooth and not tight, adding more flour if it sticks to your hands, about 10 minutes. Do not be tempted to add too much flour, or the dough will be tight and difficult to roll out. You will add more flour to the dough while rolling it. Divide into 12 equal parts and shape each part into a ball. Work with one ball at a time, keeping the rest covered with a kitchen cloth.

Prepare the filling: In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the filling and mix well. If using pomegranate arils instead of sour paste, mix the mixture gently so as not to smash the arils. (You can also sprinkle the pomegranate arils over the meat filling before sealing the bread in a half-moon.)

Roll out the dough: Transfer one ball onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle the dough with some flour. Slightly pat on top with your hand to flatten then begin rolling with a thin rolling pin, rotating the dough with each rolling, until it is about 5 inches in diameter. Now, sprinkle the circle with some flour and spread it evenly with to cover the entire surface of the circle (this will prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and tearing and will also make it easier to roll). Begin wrapping the circle around the rolling pin at a slight angle from you. Wrap till the very end, then turn the dough so that the rolling pin is parallel to you, and unwrap the dough swiftly. Continue in this manner, sprinkling the dough before each wrapping and thinning process. Continue rolling until you obtain a thin 10-inch circle.

Fill the dough: Spreading half of the dough circle with a thin but dense layer of the meat stuffing. Then cook, following either of the methods below:

Method 1: Cook on a preheated saj or a griddle, or a non-stick frying pan, first on one side, until slightly brown blisters appear, then turn to cook the other side. Remove from the pan and transfer onto a plate. Brush the top with butter while still hot. Continue cooking the flatbreads in the same manner, stacking the cooked gutabs on top of each other and brushing their tops only. Sprinkle with sumac and serve immediately.

Method 2: Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan, large enough to hold one or two gutabs. Cook the gutab until light golden, turning once to cook on both sides. Add more oil to the pan if needed for each new batch. Transfer the cooked gutabs onto paper towels to drain (do not brush with butter in this method). Sprinkle with powdered sumac and serve immediately.

Herbs-Stuffed Flatbreads (Goy Gutabi)


For the dough

  • Whole wheat flour - 1 cup
  • All Purpose flour - 1 cup
  • Salt - ½ tsp
  • Oil - 2 TBSP
  • Boiling water - as needed (about 3 to 4 cups)

For the filling:

  • Paneer - 1 cup (or any crumbled cheese)
  • Onion - ½ cup (finely chopped)
  • Spring onion - 3 (finely chopped with the greens)
  • Mint leaves - ¼ cup (chopped)
  • Cilantro - ¼ cup (chopped)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes - 2 tsp (or as needed)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - 1 TBSP


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 saute 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 gutab:

  • 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.
Pumpkin Gutab

Gutabs, a version of pancakes, are an Azerbaijani national dish and can be made with meat, herbs or pumpkin. Today you can learn, how we in my family prepare Kutabs of pumpkin.

For the dough:

  • 350 g wheat flour
  • 200 ml watter
  • salt

For the filling:

  • 1 middle pumpkin (appr. 2 kg)
  • 2 piece onion
  • 1 piece pomegranate
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil or butter

Cut the pumpkin into small pieces, remove the skin and put it into the pot. Let the pumpkin simmer. Do not add the water, since the pumpkin includes the juice, which will be given out. Cook the pumpkin until the juice is evaporated. Taste the pumpkin. If it is not sweet enough, add 1 tbsp of suggar.

Chop the onion and fry in the butter until slightly golden brown. Add to the pumpkin and mix them well. At last add pomegranate seeds.

Mix the flour, water and salt to make dough. Separate the dough into 150 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 2 mm thick. Traditionally a thin, light rolling pin – ohlov is used. Use a small plate to shape the rolled-out dough into rounds approximately 20 cm in diameter. Spread the filling thinly (appr. 50 gr per kutab) on one half of the dough round. Fold in half into a semi-circle, pressing the edges together.

Kutabs 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. But it is working only with gas stove. If you have electrical stove, use usual pan. Place two kutabs at a time on the hot pan. Traditionally kutabs are cooked without oil or butter. In our family we like to cook kutabs in a little bit oil or butter (not much!). Turn over after 2-3 minutes or when the kutab begins to brown and cook on the other side.

If you didn’t use oil or butter, when cooking, so spread the cooked kutabs with melted butter or melted clarified butter while still hot and place one on top of the other to serve.

Nush olsun! Bon appetite!