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Get the recipe for Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Sauce » Protein-rich red lentils and hearty butternut squash are transformed into a smooth, fragrant soup that's a perfect, simple meal served with flatbread.

Get the recipe for Red Lentil and Squash Soup (Shorabit Jarjir) » Often referred to as the Prophet Muhammad's favorite dish, this satisfying lamb and vegetable stew is served over thin, cracker-like bread called regag to soak up the rich juices.

Get the recipe for Khan Plov (Chicken Pilaf in a Lavash Crust) » Test kitchen director Farideh Sadeghin got the recipe for this refreshing melon drink from her Iranian-born father, who makes it by grating fresh cantaloupe and combining it with water, sugar, and fresh mint.

Soaking the rice before cooking for 15 minutes helps to elongate the grains, resulting in a fluffier rice, while the towel on the lid helps to pull the moisture away during the longer cook time.

Get the recipe for Persian Rice » This hearty Azeri egg dish—which can be served in small pieces as an appetizer or side, or cut into larger wedges as a main—is loaded with ground walnuts, onions, and eggplant, giving it a nutty, meaty consistency and color.

They are great right out of the oven, but even better the next day.

For the most intense, perfumy spice, use freshly ground cardamom.

Get the recipe for Fried Eggplant with Tahini and Pomegranate Seeds » At Zulya Kazimova's bakery in Baku, pakhlava—the Azeri version of baklava, which she cuts into a diamond shape—is made using 14 layers of a dense yeasted dough rolled out so thinly and painstakingly that it becomes translucent.

For home cooks, prepared phyllo dough produces a wonderfully crisp, lighter, and flakier version.

The whole pilaf is wrapped in butter-saturated lavash to create a crispy, golden-brown casing that's cracker thin.

Any shape of lavash will work—just trim the pieces as needed into strips, rectangles, or ovals to fit the pot.

Get the recipe for Beef Dolmas with Apricots and Tamarind » Made with a simple broth steeped with saffron and fresh mint, this traditional Azeri soup has delicate flavors.

Chickpeas, chestnuts, and tender lamb-and-rice meatballs filled with dried fruit give it heartiness, and garnishes of radishes, scallions, and red onion add texture and crunch.

Get the recipe for Stuffed Meatballs and Chestnuts in Saffron Broth (Küfta Bozbash) » Mayonnaise ensures a creamy, smooth texture in this Midwestern riff on the classic Mediterranean dip.