Azerbaijani cuisine is very rich in homemade dishes with dough, and minced meat and Gurza holds an extraordinary place as a traditional Azerbaijani dish. With the addition of the Californian citrus kumquat reduction, this dish has transformed to something more, a pure fusion of two worlds, Azerbaijan and the golden state of California.
Chef Leyla’s inspiration for our Cafe 21 Gurza dish was the merging of these two worlds. This is the Azerbaijani version of stuffed beef dumplings draped by a Californian citrus kumquat reduction. The explosion of flavor from this dish will leave your taste buds asking for more and truly is the perfect harmony of Azerbaijan and California. With such a tasty recipe, you wouldn’t think that it was named after a poisonous snake, but alas it is as the Gurza dumpling reflects the same pattern found on the snake called Gurza in Azerbaijan!
California, rich in its citrus, holds a special place in Chef Leyla’s heart and plays a significant role in our Cafe 21 farm-to-table experience. Our menu is seasonal and with citrus virtually available year-round in California, we are lucky to provide the freshest fruit that California has to offer.
If you have ever visited us at Cafe 21, you will be surrounded by fruit, where our orange juice is fresh squeezed and our sangrias are being infused with an array of California fruit. All that California citrus led to the concoction of our tangy citrus kumquat reduction, which is made of seasonal oranges, shallots, turmeric, and cloves. The Californian citrus kumquat reduction doesn’t only add a Californian twist to traditional Azeri dish of Gurza, but elevates it to the higher level.
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