Azerbaijani cuisine retains some of the old cooking methods. Copper or clay pots are traditionally used and give a distinctive fl avour to a meal. One dish which is always served in a special pan is saj. Saj takes its name from a flat pan or griddle over hot coals. Saj can be made from sturgeon, lamb, veal or chicken. 

Ingridients (for two portions): 

250 grams of lamb 
300 grams of onion 
saffron on the tip of a knife 
half a teaspoon of thyme, 
100 grams of clarified butter or ghee 
two sweet peppers 
one aubergine 
one tomato 
salt and black pepper to taste 

Cut the meat into small pieces. Heat the butter in the pan and fry the meat for five to seven minutes until it is semi-cooked. Add the onion, pepper, saffron, thyme, salt and pepper, and fry everything for 10 to 15 minutes until done. Fry the aubergine and tomato separately. Place the ingredients on the saj with the cooked meat and onion in the middle and the vegetables at the side. In a restaurant the saj is brought to the table standing on a brazier. The hot coals in the brazier keep the dish warm for a long time.