Yarpag Khengeli is the first dish I have ever made (or eaten) from Azerbaijan! Pasta dough is hand rolled and cut into square or diamond shapes. It is boiled, then served with lamb or beef and yogurt seasoned with garlic. Chad says the garlic yogurt is an acquired taste, but Evan and I loved it. When serving, place the garlic yogurt in a dish on the side to allow others to add as much as they want to taste. Just don’t skip it! The yogurt sauce definitely makes the dish come together.
Make sure you have a large work surface to roll out the pasta. I nearly ran out of room on my small counter. Next time, I will use the dining table.
Yarpag Khengeli (Azerbaijani Pasta with Meat and Yogurt Topping) Recipe
Adapted from AZ Cookbook
Yarpag Khengeli (Azerbaijani Pasta with Meat and Yogurt Topping)
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 pound ground lamb or beef
- 1 medium onion about 1 cup, finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 1 garlic clove
- 1- 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
- To make the garlic yogurt sauce: use a mortar and pestle (or knife and palm of your hand if mortar not available) to crush garlic clove. Mix with 1- 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt. Refrigerate until needed.
- In the bowl of a large food processor fitted with a dough blade or a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Mix in egg, then water until dough comes together. Knead the dough in food processor or on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Add only enough flour to be able to handle the dough. Place in bowl, cover, and let rest for 20 minutes.
- On lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 10 inch wide circle, flouring the top as needed. Wrap the circle around the rolling pin, starting near the edge at a slight angle. Once wrapped, turn the rolling pin to make it parallel with you and unwrap quickly. Continue wrapping and unwrapping around the circle to make a thin dough. Flour as needed. The circle should be 1/16 inch thick and about 26 inches long.
- Cut the circle into strips, 2 inches wide. Cut across the strips or at an angle to create 2 inch squares or diamonds. Separate the pieces and arrange in a single layer on parchment lined baking sheet. Allow to dry as you prepare remaining ingredients.
- In a medium skillet or pan, melt butter over medium heat. Crumble in ground meat and cook, breaking into small pieces, until meat is browned and juices have evaporated. Stir in the chopped onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and translucent. Season with salt and pepper and keep over low heat as pasta cooks.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta in batches, stirring to separate the pieces. Remove with a slotted spoon as they rise to the surface and are al dente, just tender. Place drained pasta on serving platter or divide among bowls.
- Drizzle melted butter over the pasta. Top with cooked meat and serve with garlic yogurt sauce.