Uzbekistan is well-known with its many seasoned and dainty dishes. Kindly soil and great abundance of products all
over the year allow masters of Uzbek ethnic cuisine to astonish big gourmets with magnificent dishes.
Bread occupies a special place in Uzbek dastarkhan - tablecloth. Bread is highly respected in the country. Uzbeks hallow bread and bakery products because as they say “bread is the head to everything”. According to the process of baking bread is divided to the following sorts in the Uzbek ethnic cuisine: gijda non (splendid round bread with thick edges), zogora non (round bread from corn or millet meal), obi non (round bread leavened dough, on yeast), patir non (thin round bread with small holes on the surface, it is made from unleavened dough with a touch of suet and milk), shirmoy non (bun bread from extra flour with a touch of pea flour and anise) and others.
The East always is distinguished by a special emphasis to tea and tea ceremony. No any meal is carried out without green tea prepared on special traditions in the country. Uzbek tea is beverage which demonstrates great hospitality of the Uzbek nation. Each guest first of all is offered a tea, which is served by particular traditions.
The most traditional dish of Uzbek nation is plov (palov, osh) of course. No any festive event of Uzbeks is held without cooking plov. Plov is cooked at weddings, at big family festivities, at holidays and even in ordinary week-day you can taste this wonderful dish. According to the way of cooking and composition of ingredients plov is divided into more than 40 sorts: ivitma palov (plov, cooked from previously wetted rice), kovirma palov (fried plov), mayiz palov (plov with raisins and kishmish), postdumba palov (plov with fat-tail), kovatok, tok osh (plov with stuffed meat in grape leafs), behili palov (plov with quince), sarimisok palov (plov with garlic), kazili palov (plov from horse-flesh), kiyma palov (plov from minced meat), tugrama palov (plov with mince), as well as Khorezmian suzma palov, Samarkand sofaki palov and Surkhandarya ugra palov and etc.
The concoction of all sorts of plov usually consists of three stages: 1) oil is overheated in in a cooking pot till appearance of white smoke above the pot; 2) meat, onion and carrots are thoroughly fried – “zirvak”, a half part of water and salt, as well as fragrant seasonings are added following frying these ingredients. This mass is fried on high fire and then is remained to boil on low fire. After thorough cooking of main mass rice is added; 3) adding rice. Rice is cleaned and washed out several times before adding. Rice is distributed evenly all over the whole surface of the pot and is flooded by remains of water and a required quantity of salt is added. Following a few time golden and tasty plov can be served up.
Uzbek ethnic cuisine is also well-known by a great number of meat dishes. The most widespread among them are uzbek “kabobs” of course. Kabob (shashlik) – is a dish cooked from meat, liver, kidney, fatty tail, suet and other types of meat. Usually it is cooked in tandyrs (special oven), in cooking pots and grills. According to the methods of cooking shashliks can be divided into the following types: sikh kabob (kebab on sticks), titrama kabob, kozon kabob (kebab from minced meat), paranda kabob (kebab from poultry), pomidor kabob (kebab from tomato or other vegetables), dumbul kabob (meat- steak) etc. Tandyr kabob is considered to be a special among the great quantity of the sorts of kebabs. As a rule it is cooked practically in all regions of the country, but the most elegant and piquant cooking of this dish you can meet in Kashkadary and Surkhandarya regions.
Tandyr kabob is made from a less fat, but quite rich and fresh parts of mutton and beef. Usually the thickness of slab of meat is 2-3 sm. and weights 100-150 gr. The pickle of the meat has special traditions, the cut meat is put into a special salty seasoned brine, rolled in flour, and throuroghly greased by zira and pepper. Following the special pickle meat is placed into tandyr covered by a special lid and is cooked until meat is fried and “become red". Then live coals are gathered at the centre of tandyr and it covered by hot ash from all sides, the lid is closed again for 10-15 minutes. Ready tandyr kebab can be served up now. Tandyr kebab also can be cooked from liver. Liver is cut in bigger pieces and rolled in flour. Fresh bushes of spruce is put into tandyr together with liver, it gives unique and wonderful aroma to eth dish.
This is not a complete list of dishes which meet liking of gourmets from all over the world. We suggest you to plunge into the tour to Uzbek culinary art and to taste dainty and seasoned dishes. WE invite you to sunny Uzbekistan to appraise in full mastery of Uzbek cookers, which will not leave you indifferent. Marhamat (welcome) to Uzbek dastakhan!