effect is used to great advantage in the cuisines of many cultures,
especially in the Middle East. Indians drink minty yogurt "lassis"
on sweltering days; they also serve cucumber-yogurt "raita"
as a condiment to cool off the tongue when a curry gets too spicy.
Similarly, the Greeks combine yogurt, garlic, cucumber and fresh
herbs to make a refreshing dip known as "tzatziki",
an ideal accompaniment for meat and fish.
Accordingly, in Azerbaijan, a hot summer day calls for a glass
or bowl of dovgha. This yogurt-based soup may be served chilled
or at room temperature. It consists of yogurt mixed with cucumber,
dill, green onion and a bit of rice. Depending on the region,
it may also include a variety of herbs, including coriander,
mint and chives. Eggs, chickpeas or beans may be added.
A variation of this dish, called "abdug", is very popular
in South Azerbaijan (in Iran). This version has no rice and is
served in the summertime with ice cubes. It may include raisins,
chopped walnuts and rose petals. At the table, each person may
add crushed dried, toasted lavash (paper-thin bread) in the soup.
From Azerbaijan International (8.3) Autumn 2000.
© Azerbaijan International 2000. All rights reserved.
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AI 8.3 (Autumn 2000)