Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bayramımız Mübarək: Balakən & Qizardilmiş Xəngəl

My Novruz break is coming to an end. Although, I am really sad to see it go (along with my visiting friends and late mornings), I am happy to have had the wonderful adventures and vacations of the past two weeks. I feel truly blessed to have such awesome site mates, friends and host family that made these past two weeks the best two weeks I have had in-country.

To conclude our break, two of my site mates, J-man, and I decided to head up to Balakən (Balakane) for a delicious dinner and a bit of site seeing. Balakən, a region located north of Zaqatala, is just a hop, skip, and jump away from the Georgian border. A picturesque town with a middle America feel, it’ s a little over 9 hours away from Baku. It also boasts a gigantic Həyar statue and park that reminds me of the National Mall.

And even if all that isn’t enough to make you visit, let me tell you about the grub. I have had some delicious food in Az, but fried xəngəl (xangal) takes the cake. Over the course of a couple of hours, my dinner party and I packed away 90 pieces of these delicious dumplings, plates of cheese and a basket or two of bread. If anything, I am headed back to Balakən for another round.

Ahh...what a way to end spring break.