She likes it Azerbaijani style (above). Her husband Murat is from Turkey and prefers Turkish baklava, with flaky, buttery layers of filo dough. Buyuran is from Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, where baklava is made with thicker layers of yeast dough.
You can buy Turkish-style baklava here, but the only way to get Baku-style baklava is to make it yourself. This means rolling out 12 sheets of dough and layering them in a pan with cardamom-scented nut filling. The recipe involves plenty of butter, syrup to moisten the nuts and a saffron glaze.
If not, the book contains plenty of easy, interesting recipes, such as the five she presented at a book signing at Melissa's Produce. They were:
For drinks there were mint sharbat and basil sharbat, named for the Arabic word for drink.
In July, Buyuran will give a series of cooking classes, starting with dishes from Azerbaijan, then Turkish favorites, then Mediterranean flavors and finally summery vegetarian dishes.
For information on the classes, go to www.azcookbook.com/cooking classes. Click on the link "My Cookbook" to order the book.
VEGETABLE KABAB SALAD
From "Pomegranates & Saffron"
8 medium dark-skinned eggplants, such as Italian
3 medium young green bell peppers or sweet banana peppers
1 green chile, such as a jalapeño, optional
4 medium tomatoes, ripe but firm
1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
1 cup mixed chopped mint and cilantro
Ground black pepper
On a grill, start a bed of charcoal or wood and burn until the embers begin to glow.
Spear the whole eggplants, peppers, the jalapeño if wanted and tomatoes through their sides onto separate 1/2-inch flat metal skewers. Place the skewers on the grill and grill, turning occasionally, until the skins have charred and softened, 10 to 20 minutes.
Gently pull the vegetables from the skewers. When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and cut out the stalks. Seed the peppers.
Finely chop the flesh of the vegetables and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the onion, mint and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir to mix. Serve warm.
Makes 4 servings.
Photos by Barbara Hansen