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Bozbash (Azerbaijani: bozbaş; Persian: آبگوشت بزباش; Tat: guşto buzbaş) is an Iranian dish consisting of meat stew (also described as a soup) popular in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran.[1][2]

History and etymology[edit]

Bozbash is a word of Azeri Turkish origin.[1] It may be derived from Azeri Turkish boz ("light gray") and bash ("head"), which in turn may point to the light color of the dish when its cooked.[1] However, Mohammad R. Ghanoonparvar notes that "no scientific etymology" has been offered to this effect by Gerhard Doerfer.[1]

Bozbash is the Azeri Turkish name of the Iranian dish abgoosht-e sabzi.[1] Ghanoonparvar notes that bozbash was introduced "relatively late" into Iranian cuisine; Mirza Ali-Akbar Khan, the chef of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar (r.1848–1896), was reportedly the first to mention it.[1] He classified it as part of a group of meat stews and soups, often eaten cold.[1]

Ingredients and preparation[edit]

Ghanoonparvar notes in relation to bozbash:[1]

It is made with meat (usually lamb), red or white beans, green vegetables, herbs (e.g., parsley, fenugreek, mint), onions and leeks, dried limes (līmū-ye ʿomānī), and spices (mainly salt, pepper, and turmeric). These ingredients are simmered together in water over low heat for several hours. As with most ābgūšts, when the ingredients are thoroughly cooked, the solids are usually removed and mashed to a pulp, known as gūšt-e kūbīde. The broth and the pulp are then served separately with flat bread and a pickled green-vegetable relish.

In Armenian cuisine, there is a special kind of bozbash not commonly seen, Shoushin bozbash, made from lamb, quince, apple, and mint.[3] This variation of bozbash is "practically unknown outside the Caucasus".[3]

In Azerbaijan, there are varieties of bozbash, such as qiupta-bozbashi and parcha-bozbashi, which is made from lamb meat. Also in Azerbaijani cuisine, there is bozbash, which is made from fish instead of lamb.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Ghanoonparvar 1989, p. 425.
  2. ^ Bender 2014.
  3. ^ a b Davidson 2014, p. 37.
  4. ^ Buell, Paul David; Anderson, Eugene N.; Moya, Montserrat de Pablo; Oskenbay, Moldir (2020-11-04). Crossroads of Cuisine: The Eurasian Heartland, the Silk Roads and Food. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-43210-9.