Being located at the intersection of the Silk Road cities on the territory of Kyrgyzstan not only hosted the trade caravans but also broadcast cultural traditions, language, customs and cuisine of many nations: the Turks, Persians, Arabs, Indians, Chinese, Russian, and Europeans. And so far in modern Kyrgyzstan harmoniously coexist many cultures with different food preferences.
Kyrgyz national cuisine recipes replenished many other peoples of Central Asia, while at the same time managing to keep the main Kyrgyz dishes. Below we list the most popular dishes that you should try at all means while visiting our wonderful country.
Bread takes a special place in the Kyrgyz national cuisine. As a sign of respect and honor to him, the nomads do not cut with a knife and break with their hands. You can not put it on the table upside down, as people say, it may bring trouble. "Lepeshka" is the most common type of bread that is baked in a tandoor, and has mainly round and flat shape. Besides lepeshka, none of the important events is held without boorsok, which is represented by small pieces of dough, deep-fried in oil. Boorsok is a symbol of Kyrgyz hospitality and prosperity. They bring the dish full of boorsoks with melted cow butte at the threshold when meeting guests as a sign of respect and friendliness.
Beshbarmak is the most respected meal in Kyrgyzstan
and is considered to be the earliest dish of human being. This dish was widely applied by nomads and was developed by other nations to the current level. Before beshbarmak nomads necessarily wash their hands and gave blessing for the one who pours water from a jug, and they eat with their hands. Beshbarmak is never served separately, it is served in a big common dish so that people could sit closely next to each other, sharing the meal, and discussing general topics. Beshbarmak unites and brings people together!
Beshbarmak made of boiled mutton, dough, and onions. Optionally, you can add vegetables and fresh greens. Real Kyrgyz families serve beshbarmak with the head and limbs of the sheep.
Chuchuk - is one of the most expensive delicacies in the Kyrgyz kitchen and consists of different types of meat products. It is made usually on the big holidays, festivals, during the autumn
slaughter. To prepare Chuchuk we need kazy kabyrga (ribs), ulcers, salt, paprika, black pepper, onion, garlic, cumin and bay leaf. The most revered kind of Chuchuk is kazi, which is made from dried meat and fat of horse. Meat marinated with different spices is stuffed into the intestine and cook on a low heat. Served with hot sauce or salad.
Kuurdak is considered one of the oldest dishes of nomads. It is told that they cooked this meal before the invention of metal, especially on top of the rocks heated from underneath. And the advantage of stones is that it allows the heat to evenly pass through and keeps the temperature very well, thus providing the perfect doneness of meat in their own juice! Of course, not every stone is suitable for cooking Kuurdak, as it takes a special breed of stones. Kuurdak consists of roasted beef or lamb, adding some potatoes and onions.
This soup is the most popular liquid dish in the East. It is very hearty and nutritious. Very tasty due to the addition of a large number of finely chopped herbs: parsley, dill, for an amateur - cilantro. But for thrill-seekers is recommended to increase the amount of red pepper. This soup consists of mutton or beef, onions, carrots, potatoes and other useful ingredients.
Pilaf is the most popular everyday dish and at the same time the most honorable. Non of the significant events as weddings, funerals, birth of a child, is never complete without pilaf. In daily life, women are responsible for cooking, but on special occasions men cook it or they invite the special masters named ashpazy. Pilaf consists of meat, rice, onions and carrots.
Samsa is the most popular fast food in Kyrgyzstan. It is cooked in a form of a pie that is stuffed with minced meat, onions and spices. There are many variations of cooking this dish. It is cooked in a tandoor, in a special oven set on the ground. Depending on the preferences can be prepared with lamb or chicken.
Manta it is a famous traditional meat dish in Central Asia. Usually is served in the middle of the table in a common dish, and is eaten with hands. You can choose to consume with diluted vinegar or tomato relish. Consists of finely chopped meat in a thin dough, steamed in mantovarka (a special device for cooking food on steam).
Lagman is a popular dish in Central Asian. Lagman is prepared from meat (mostly lamb), vegetables and drawn-long noodles. Noodles are pulled in a special way, pulling a piece of dough into a roll of noodles. With a large number of broth Lagman becomes like soup, with other methods of cooking - like noodles with gravy and complicated stuffing. They mainly used a lot of peppers, eggplant, beans, radishes, onions, carrots, pickled bell pepper, spun Zhusan (branched onion), also adding some lazzhan (a special souse for prepared of red, bitter, pepper, garlic and oil ).
Ashlyam - Fu
Ashlyam fu is not only one of the favorite dishes of the Kyrgyz people, but it's also a great solution to relieve hangover. This dish is served cold, is easy to digest and very suitable for the sultry summer weather. This is a real Asian appetizer, due to its sourness and spiciness it helps to restore the acid balance and improves metabolism, enables good digestion, stimulates the appetite. Its main ingredients are homemade noodles, starch, and sauce made of fresh vegetables. This dish is adapted from Dungan, Chinese Muslims. Among the varieties of ashlyam - fu, the Karakol ashlaym - fu is considered to be the best.
The famous kebab, which came to us from the Turkic peoples truly is one of the most popular and the most delicious dishes in Kyrgyzstan. It is prepared in gourmet restaurants, and at home and on the road. The name "shashlyk" comes from the Turkic language group - the Crimean Tatar word «şışlıq», which means the meat skewered on a bayonet. Thus, the "kebab" in the literal sense - is the dish, roasted on a spit. It is usually served with a variety of sauces and vegetables.
Dymlyama is the most useful and readily forthcoming dish! Dymlyama is cooked in a lazy way. One doesn't have constantly do something opening a large kettle, caring to pour something, or stir and mix. All the ingredients for the meal are layered in the bottom of a cauldron at the same time leaving it without any disturbance fully shutting the lit down. To prepare the dymlyama one needs rump, lamb meat, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, spices, eggplant and cabbage leaves.
Ganfan is a very interesting Eastern dish, flavorful and nutritious. People say that it comes from Laghman. The sauce is made of vegetables and meat with different spices, but instead of noodles they use boiled white rice. If the next they ran out of noodles, they would just boil the rice and eat with the remained sauce. It was so delicious that over time it became a separate dish. And now it is not only decorates the restaurant menu, but also allows the hosts to vary their culinary skills with an easy recipe of preparation of this dish.
Borsch, borrowed from the Slavic peoples, today has become almost a national dish in Kyrgyzstan because of its growing popularity. It can be found on the menu of any restaurant and is prepared by families every day. The main component of any borscht is beet; first of all, it creates the particular taste, gives a splendid aroma and deep red color to the soup. Because of its content this soup refers to vegetable soups. At the request lamb or chicken can be added.
Due to the fact that in Kyrgyzstan there live representatives of more than 80 nationalities, ethnic cuisine borrows the best from different national cuisines. Cutlets are usually made from beef product in the form of cakes. Word côtelette came from French meaning meat on the carcass (côte - rib), so the connection of cutlets with meat is not accidental. There are different type of cutlets like chicken cutlets, chops, turkey, beef patties. Cutlets go with various side dishes like french fries, mashed potatoes, rice, buckwheat, etc.
What do the kids love to snack instead of potato chips, or mom with tea and my dad with beer? Answer is kurut. This is a great domestic product, invented thousands of years ago by nomadic peoples of Central Asia. Kurut is dried natural milk concentrate with natural preservative, salt, so that the product can be described as one of methods of preserving milk. Usually kurut represent white balls in the size of apricots or less. The taste of kurut is dry, salty, creamy, sometimes sweet and sour, spicy or deflating, and spicy.
This Central Asian dish, a soup with the addition of small pieces of boiled dough with a lovely broth base seasoned with onions, potatoes (sometimes carrots), fresh herbs, black pepper. It is easy to prepare, decorate your table and guests are always pleased.
Dumplings are very popular in Kyrgyzstan and is one of the favorite dishes of the Kyrgyz people. Being borrowed from the Slavic cuisine it has acquired a new eastern taste. It is a boiled product of unleavened dough stuffed with minced meat. It serves as a soup or second meals without broth. It goes well with sour cream or ketchup.
Kyrgyz traditional drinks
Every ethnic group has its own distinctive cuisine. Developed and proven over the centuries assortment of dishes and ways of cooking are deeply distinctive and original. Nomadic way of life was a constant movement from place to place across the steppes and in the mountains, in cold and warm weather, and so their food was high-calorie and nutritious. One of the features of the Kyrgyz cuisine is that the products are for the most part retain their natural look and taste. Kyrgyz cuisine is rich in drinks as well which have survived for centuries and are an integral part of the national cuisine and the present day.
Kymyz is the most popular drink of the Kyrgyz people, it is prepared of mare's milk. Mares are milked every 1.5 hours. Even nowadays people have preserved the way of making kymyz in sumer pastures named jailoo as centuries ago. Once milked mares milk is poured into a leather bag, saba, which is always kept leaven. The milk is then carefully stirred in Saba, about half an hour with the help of poles. Kymyz has healing properties: in mare's milk has almost all the necessary vitamins for humans. It is particularly rich in vitamins A and C. Although many believe that kymyz is a strong alcoholic drink, indeed it is not more than 10 degrees.
Maksym and Jarma
Maksym is a carbonated drink made from cereals. It is made of talkan. Talkan is milled at the mill wheat and barley. It is made from flour, which is fried on mutton fat. We have to add some water and salt, boil and add talkan. After it cools down we add leaven and leave for 10 hours. Jarma is another kind of maksym that can be drunk warm too and prepared from ground corn. This drink is very nutritious and good for health. Good thirst quencher. It is prepared at home and in the large-scale production plants of soft drinks.
Ayran is traditionally made from cow's milk. This milk product is obtained by lactic acid bacteria. The milk is heated and cooled, then poured into it and allowed to ferment for 8 hours. Out of airan we also prepare Chalap (or tan) which is a liquid soft drink with sour taste. Airan, and other sour-milk products actively help to relieve a hangover and perfectly quench your thirst.
Ak-Serke is drink served after cooking meat, as it's prepared from beef broth. For 1 liter of meat boulion (mutton or beef broth) we add 200 grams of buttermilk and salt. Ak-Serke served warm after beshbarmak. It quenches thirst, promotes the digestion of fat easily.
Bozo is the most complicated to prepare among other national products. Bozo is made of crushed or coarsely ground millet, maize, wheat or rice. The most delicious, strong boson is obtained from wheat and corn. Basis of Bozo is Ugut (malt). Basically, it's made of wheat, sometimes of a mixture of wheat with barley or millet.
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