Continuing with my series of kickass LA women with kickass careers, I bring you Feride Buyuran, an expert on Azerbaijan culture and cooking! She’s sharing with us one of her favorite cookie recipes—Mutekke, which is pronounced “mootakka.” (The ‘a’ is like the ‘a’ in apple.)
They are cardamom walnut cookies and they are delightful and scrumptious. It’s a traditional cookie made on holidays and special celebrations. Feride, a native of Azerbaijan who now lives in Long Beach, California says cardamom is one of the most widely used spices in Azerbaijani pastry baking.
“Having arrived in Azerbaijan centuries ago, cardamom is a legacy of the Silk Road that passed through Azerbaijan,” she said. “My favorite spice too!”
Feride writes about the food of the Caucasus and Turkey on her blog and she also leads tours to the region. Next June she is offering two such trips: 1) Tasting Azerbaijan, and 2) Colors of the Caucasus, including Georgia.
You must visit her site, FerideBuyuran.com, and read the itineraries. Not only is Feride gifted in the culinary arts, she is a talented writer. She paints a picture in your mind’s eye of each day. Makes you feel like you’re already there.
Day 6 of “Tasting Azerbaijan” Tour:
I had the pleasure of meeting Feride through the Culinary Historians of Southern California, a group I joined about a year ago. Highly recommend this group, by the way, if you live in LA. Great people. Fun events. And great food at fun events!
I asked Feride if participants on her travel/culture/food tours will experience treats like mutekke on the trip and she said, “Yes, they will try this and other pastries—there are tons of them!” She said when it comes to baklava, for example, everyone will get to try four completely different types.
Feride is the author of an Azerbaijani cookbook, “Pomegranates & Saffron,” which has won multiple awards, chief among them the Gourmand World Cookbook Award.
You can find the recipe for Feride’s Cardamom Walnut Cookies on her site, AZCookbook.com. I’ve documented my baking of them in photos. Enjoy!