Traditional Azerbaijani stuffed eggplants, peppers and tomatoes
May 11, 2018

Traditional Azerbaijani stuffed eggplants, peppers and tomatoes

This is probably one the most popular dishes prepared in Azerbaijan. It is also called the “the Dolma Sisters” (Uch Badji). We love to stuff eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and even apples! The general name for all Azerbaijani stuffed dishes is “dolma”, which means “stuffed” in Azerbaijani. Eggplants, peppers and tomato dolmasi are everybody’s favorite dish and it is very hard to find someone who will not like it!

Usually the three vegetables are cooked at the same time in the same pan. Eggplant shells are prepared in various ways before they are stuffed. Some people blanch them in boiling water, some fry them, some make a slit alongside the vegetable, and some simply cut off the hat, scoop out the flesh and fill up the cavity with the stuffing.

Without much ado, here’s the recipe, step by step.. enjoy!


  • 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or clarified butter
  • 5 small black skinned eggplants (about 12 cm long and 4 cm in diameter)
  • 5 medium green bell peppers
  • 4 large firm tomatoes
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil or clarified butter
  • 700 g of ground beef or lamb
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper (pointed or bell), finely chopped
  • chopped tomato pulp
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste


Prepare the shells.

For eggplants: Cut off the stalk end of the eggplants. Then make a lengthways slit in each, taking care not to cut right through. Later on, fill a pan with water and bring it to a boil. Gently drop the eggplants into the boiling water and simmer for about 2 minutes, using a slotted spoon to keep them submerged. Then remove and set aside. When cool enough to handle, remove the seeds from the eggplants with a spoon or by rubbing the eggplants gently between the palms of your hands to let the seeds fall out. Set aside.

For peppers: Start cutting off thetops of the green peppers about 4 cm from the stems and stop when having a lid attached to the peppers. Remove the seeds and ribs and set aside.

For tomatoes:Start cutting off the top of the tomatoes about 4 cm from the stems and stop when obtaining lids attached to the tomatoes. Scoop out the pulp, finely chop it and reserve for the stuffing.

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Prepare the stuffing.

In a frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Then add the ground meat and cook until the released liquid has evaporated and the meat is nicely browned. Add the onions and cook for 5-10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped pepper and tomato pulp and cook for another 5 minutes. Later on, remove the pan from heat and add the fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and mix well.

Stuff your shells.

Finally, we are stuffing! Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the empty shells, then fill them with the stuffing. Cover the top of the peppers and tomatoes with their lids. Place the vegetables side by site in a deep frying pan. Pour two tablespoons of vegetable oil or clarified butter over the top. Cover and simmer over low to medium heat for about 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender (but not mushy!) and the liquid has reduced to obtain a syrupy consistency.

Enjoy or how we say in Azeri – Nush Olsun!

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This recipe was created by Sara Rajabli.

Hi! My name is Sara. I am an alumna of Azerbaijan Tourism and Management University, where I majored in Tourism and Hospitality Management, gaining experience in guiding, travel planning and hotel management. I am interested in and passionate about volunteering, event management, marketing communications, international relations, SDGs, travelling and travel blogging. I have obtained multiple Erasmus+, DAAD and local governmental scholarships to participate and represent Azerbaijan in international projects. I was selected as one of two students from my university to complete an exchange semester in Germany. In addition, I am a founder of the ‘BUTA Art & Sweets’ platform, aiming to reduce unemployment of underprivileged people through the preparation and sale of homemade national sweets. I am also a founder of ‘Free to Travel’, a platform I developed to show through storytelling that free trips are not only possible, but also able to change a person completely.

  • Sara Rajabli

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