With roots in the food culture of Central Asia, the national cuisine of the Uzbeks shows a great variety of dishes.
In addition to their own roots, this wealth in variety and numbers of dishes can be explained by the interaction with neighboring cultures and the rich possibilities afforded by nature.
Uzbek people have well-developed cooking techniques as well. Main dishes and baked goods cooked in the tand?r, or pit oven, are especially flavorful.
In addition, the large aluminum or stainless steel pots used for steaming foods also contribute both to the food’s flavor as well as its nutritional value. It is believed that cooking dishes in glazed clay vessels adds to the dish’s flavor.
Below you can find some receipts of the most popular uzbek dishes:
Samsa (meat pies) is a pastry pie stuffed with meat and onion or pumpkin, potato, cabbage, mushrooms or nuts backed in tandyr . Tandyr is a traditional cylindrical clay oven, heated with coal. Skill is needed when placing the raw samsas or non on the inside wall of the oven.
- 800 gr lamb
- 250 gr lamb or beef caul fat
- 4-5 onions
- 4 eggs
- 400 gr butter or margarine
- 700 gr flour
- 1 t black pepper
- 1 t cumin
- Salt to taste
1. Break the eggs into a bowl, reserving two yolks for later. Add a bit of water and salt and knead into a soft dough. Let rest for 15-20 minutes.
2. Roll the dough out into a large yufka (very thin). Spread generously with melted butter or margarine, then roll into a narrow roll. Cut every 1.5 or 2 cm. Take these pieces, flatten in the palms, and roll these out again into rounds.
3. Prepare the filling: Cut the meat and fat into small cubes, add finely chopped onion, the cumin, pepper and salt, and mix well.
4. Place some of the filling in each of the rounds, bring the edges to the center and crimp to close.
5. Place upside down in a greased baking pan, brush with egg yolk, and cook in the oven.
In place of meat, you may use spinach.
Narin is popular among the Uighur, Uzbek, Kirghiz and Kazak people. First the lamb will be boiled with carrots.When its ready, lamb and carrot will be chopped into small pieces and mixed with the boiled noodles. The lamb soup is also served to mix with the noodles, thus it brings a superb taste to the dish. It's one of the delicatessens of the region.
- 1 kg flour
- Water to make a stiff pasta dough
- 2 kg horse meat
- 4 medium onions
- 2 large carrots
- 3-4 medium tomatoes
- Salt to taste
- 500 gr sunflower oil
- 1 t black pepper
1. Divide the meat into large pieces. Place in a pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil and skim off the foam.
2. Mince the onion and add to the meat.
3. Peel the carrots, cut into circular slices, and add.
4. Cook at a low simmer for 3-4 hours. When the meat is done, remove from the broth, place on a plate, add salt and allow to cool. The meat should be tender enough to cut easily.
5. Combine the flour, water and salt to make a stiff dough. Roll out with an oklava, or thin rolling pin, and cut into sqares 20 x 20 cm.
6. In a separate pot, bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta.
7. Strain the past and rinse with cold water. Spread out on a table and allow to dry a bit, turning occasionally.
8. After the pasta has dried, spread one side with heated sunflower oil. Place another on top and continue with the rest of the dough in the same way.
9. Cut the oiled and stacked pieces of dough first into 2 cm strips, then stack these strips and cut crosswise into thin noodles.
10. Chop the meat finely.
11. Mix the chopped meat and noodles. Add finely chopped onion and black pepper and serve. It may also be served with the broth.
Laghman (Hand-made Noodle )
It's one of the common dishes in Xinjiang and can be found in the small and big restaurants all over the region. First they make dough, oil it and cover it. Then make it in slices, again oil it. Then make it thinner and thinner by rolling it. After some minutes, it will be stretched repeatedly by hands, and it becomes very thin. It will be boiled until it's well-cooked. Then it will be mixed with stir-fried meat vegetables (chili pepper, cabbage, garlic, tomato) and sauce. According to your taste you can add some vinegar or chili sauce.
- 1 kg or 7 1/2 cups flour
- 400 g (14 oz.) mutton or beef
- 1 egg
- 3 potatoes
- 1 green radish
- 1 carrot
- 100 g (3-4 oz. ) cabbage
- 4 onions
- 4 tomatoes
- 1 head garlic
- salt and cumin.
Make stiff dough out of flour, eggs, salt , and water, let stand for 10 min. Roll out dough into flat layer about 1-2 mm (1/20 in.), cut into noodles and boil in salted water. Drain, saving the water for the sauce, and rinse with cold water.
- In very hot oil, fry sliced onions, strips of carrots and cabbage, add sliced peppers.
- Then add diced potatoes, meat, fat, and radish.
- Pour in water from noodles and cook on low heat for 30-40 min.
- Put a portion of noodles in a soup bowl, add hot soup, and garnish with chopped greens.
It's stuffed with lamb, onion and mixture spices of salt and pepper. Then it will be steamed in the oven for some time. Some of them will be eaten together with Pilaf Rice, that's Aash Manta. People sprinkle some peppers on it, makes it more delicious.
- 500 g or 3 3/4 cups flour
- 1 kg mutton or beef
- 100 g (3-4 oz.) mutton fat
- 500 g (18 oz. ) onions
- 1 egg
- salt, black pepper.
- Finely chop meat and onions, mix well, and add salt and spices.
- Make stiff dough out of flour, eggs, salt , and water, let stand for 10 min. Roll out dough into flat layer about 1-2 mm (1/20 in.) and cut into 10x10 cm (4x4 in.) squares.
- Place a tablespoon of filling and a piece of chopped fat in the center of each square, pinch edges up around the filling forming rectangular or triangular dumplings.
- Place manti on greased layer of steamer, and steam 45 min.
- Serve in bowls, top sour cream and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
Lamb and Vegetable Soup, also known as Shurpa (Sho’rpo) is a well-known Central Asian soup. There are a lot of ingredients that are used while cooking this dish. Most often there are chickpeas (garbanzo beans) added to give it an authentic taste.
- 500 g (18 oz.)mutton
- 100 g or 3/5 cup vegetable oil
- 500 g (18 oz.) potatoes
- 1 bunch (1 oz.) each dill and fresh coriander
- 4 onions
- 4 tomatoes
- 1 chili pepper
- 2 tablaspoons tomato paste
- 1 apple
- ground black pepper
- bay leaf
- salt and spices to taste
- Cut meat into small pieces and sear in oil until brown.
- Add Sliced onions and tomatoes, and Saute another 7-10 min. Then put in potatoes and stir well.
- Pour in 2.5-3 liters or quarts of water, add salt and bring to a boil.
- Then add whole chili pepper, chopped dill, and fresh coriander.
- Finally add an apple to bring the soup to full flavor. Simmer dish for about an hour. Serve in kosas topped with chopped greens.