Azerbaijani food combines Turkish and central Asian elements. Baku has an excellent selection of Western style restaurants. In the chaikhanas (tea houses), men linger for hours drinking sweet black tea out of tiny glasses and playing nard (backgammon). A special place in the cuisine belongs to lamb kebabs of which there are many different varieties. Salads are served together with main course.
• Lyulya kebab (spiced, minced lamb pressed onto skewers).
• Dograma (a milky potato, cucumber and onion soup served cold).
• Piti is (a mutton and chickpea soup).
• Kutab (pancakes stuffed with spinach, herbs or pumpkin).
• Badimjan Dolmasi (mutton served with aubergine, tomatoes, basil and sour cream).
Although the majority of Azeris are nominally Shia Muslims, alcohol is widely available.
Wines and brandies are produced locally.
Sherbets are popular soft drinks made of sugar, lemon, saffron, seeds of mint and basilt.
Tea served accompanied by various jams such as quince, fig, apricot, white cherry and plum. Sometimes dried leaves or flowers of savory, clove, cardamom and other spices are added to tea.
Tea with darchin (cinnamon), ginger and, occasionally, rosewater.