Cuisine of Uzbekistan

Cuisine of Uzbekistan

Uzbek cuisine is influenced by local agriculture, as in most nations. There is a great deal of grain farming in Uzbekistan, so breads and noodles are of importance and Uzbek cuisine has been characterized as "noodle-rich". [ [http://www.villagevoice.com/nyclife/9903,sietsema,3569,19.html "The noodle-rich cuisine of Uzbekistan"] , "The Village Voice", Dining, 19 January 1999.] Mutton is a popular variety of meat due to the abundance of sheep in the country and it is a part of various Uzbek dishes.

Uzbekistan's signature dish is palov ("plov" or "osh"), a main course typically made with rice, pieces of meat, and grated carrots and onions. [ [http://www.orexca.com/cuisine_plov.shtml Uzbek national dish: Palov] ] "Oshi nahor", or "morning plov", is served in the early morning (between 6 and 9 am) to large gatherings of guests, typically as part of an ongoing wedding celebration. Other notable national dishes include [ [http://www.orexca.com/cuisine_uzbekistan.shtml Uzbek national dishes: Shurpa, norin, manti, somsa, lagman] ] shurpa ("shurva" or "shorva"), a soup made of large pieces of fatty meat (usually mutton) and fresh vegetables; norin and lagman, noodle-based dishes that may be served as a soup or a main course; manti, chuchvara, and somsa, stuffed pockets of dough served as an appetizer or a main course; dimlama (a meat and vegetable stew) and various kebabs, usually served as a main course.

Green tea is the national hot beverage enjoyed throughout the day, and teahouses ("chaikhanas") are of cultural importance. Black tea is preferred in Tashkent, and both are typically taken without milk or sugar. Tea always accompanies a meal, but it is also a drink of hospitality, automatically offered – in a choice of green or black – to every guest, much in the same way that coffee is offered in Western cultures. Ayran, a chilled yogurt drink, is popular in summer, but does not replace hot tea.Fact|date=September 2008

The use of alcohol is less widespread than in the West, but wine is comparatively popular for a Muslim nation as Uzbekistan is largely secular. Uzbekistan has 14 wineries, the oldest and most famous being the Khovrenko Winery in Samarkand (est. 1927). [ [http://www.orexca.com/rus/wine_tasting2.shtml Wine making in Uzbekistan] ru icon] The Samarkand winery produces a range of dessert wines from local grape varieties – Gulyakandoz, Shirin, Aleatiko, and Kabernet likernoe (literally Cabernet Dessert Wine in Russian). [ [http://naiti.ru/vino/desertsladkije.html Dessert wines from Uzbekistan] ru icon] [ [http://wines.tj/wine/index9.php Tokay-style wines from Uzbekistan] ru icon] Uzbek wines have received international awards and are exported to Russia and other countries. [ [http://www.orexca.com/wine_tasting.shtml Samarkand winery] ]

Bukharan Jewish cuisine

The cooking of Bukharan Jews forms a distinct cuisine within Uzbekistan, largely determined by Jewish dietary laws.Claudia Roden, "The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York", Alfred Knopf, New York (1996).] The most typical Bukharan Jewish dish is "oshi sabo" (also "osh savo" or "osovoh"), a "meal in a pot" slowly cooked overnight and eaten hot for Shabbat lunch. Oshi sabo is made with meat, rice, vegetables, and fruit added for a unique sweet and sour taste. [ [http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3040677,00.html Oshi sabo recipe] he icon; recipe in English from [http://www.jwmag.org/site/c.fhLOK0PGLsF/b.2440999/k.5B09/Apples_and_Honey_and_More.htm "Jewish Woman"] , Fall 2005.] By virtue of its culinary function (a hot Shabbat meal in Jewish homes) and ingredients (rice, meat, vegetables cooked together overnight), "oshi sabo" is a Bukharan version of cholent or hamin.

In addition to "oshi sabo", authentic Bukharian Jewish dishes include: [ [http://www.bukharianjews.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sections&file=index&req=viewarticle&artid=123&page=1&POSTNUKESID=f877022a45d0d113ba2b9e33bd74a40c Bukharian Jewish Global Portal: Cuisine] ]
*"Osh palov" – a Bukharian Jewish version of palov for weekdays, includes both beef and chicken parts;
* "Bakhsh" – "green palov", rice with spinach and greens (coriander, parsley, dill), exists in two varieties: bakhshi "khaltagi" cooked Jewish-style in a small bag immersed in a pot with boiling water or soup and bakhshi "degi" cooked like regular palov in a cauldron; [http://www.library.cjes.ru/files/pdf/ethno-atlas-uzb.pdf "Ethnographic Atlas of Uzbekistan": Central Asian Jews] , p. 93 ru icon] bakhshi "khaltagi" is precooked and therefore can be served on Shabbat;
* "Khalta savo" – food cooked in a bag (usually rice and meat, possibly with the addition of dried fruits); [ [http://www.bukharianjews.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sections&file=index&req=printpage&artid=58 Bukharian Jewish practice of cooking in a bag] ru icon]
* "Yakhni" – a dish consisting of two kinds of boiled meat (beef and chicken), brought whole to the table and sliced before serving with a little broth and a garnish of boiled vegetables; a main course for Friday night dinner;
* "Kov roghan" – fried pieces of chicken with fried potatoes piled on top; [ [http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Kov_roghan Kov roghan recipe and photo] in Wiki Cookbook]
* "Serkaniz" ("Sirkoniz") – garlic rice dish, another variation of palov;Fact|date=September 2008
* "Oshi piyozi" – stuffed onion;
* "Boyjon" – eggplant puree mixed only with salt and garlic, the traditional starter for the Friday-night meal in Bukharan Jewish homes.
* Fried fish with garlic sauce (for Friday night dinner): "Every Bukharian Sabbath ... is greeted with a dish of fried fish covered with a pounded sauce of garlic and cilantro." [ [http://travel.nytimes.com/2006/01/18/dining/18rego.html?pagewanted=1 "The Silk Road Leads to Queens"] , Brief culinary history of Central Asia from New York Times, 18 January 2006, accessed 13 September 2008.] In the Bukharan dialect the dish is called "mai birion" or in full "mai birion ovi sir", where "mai birion" is fried fish and "ovi sir" is garlic sauce (literally "garlic water").

The choice of deserts in Bukharan Jewish cuisine is limited. A typical festive meal ends with fruit or a compote of fresh or dried fruit, followed by nuts and halvah with green tea. A Bukharan Jewish specialty for guests on a Shabbat afternoon is "chai kaymoki" – green tea mixed, contrary to the standard Uzbek practice, with a generous measure of milk (in 1:1 proportions) and a tablespoon of butter in the teapot. The tea is sometimes sprinkled with chopped almonds or walnuts before serving.

Other Uzbek dishes and breads

* Palov, or "osh", is the flagship of Uzbek cookery. It consists mainly of meat, onions, carrots and rice cooked in a special cauldron ("deghi" or "qazan") over an open fire; chickpeas, raisins, barberries, or fruit may be added for variation. Although often prepared at home for family and guests by the head of household or the housewife, palov is made on special occasions by the "oshpaz", or the "osh" master chef, who cooks the national dish over an open flame, sometimes serving up to 1,000 people from a single cauldron on holidays or occasions such as weddings.Fact|date=September 2008
* Dholeh - a risotto type dish.Fact|date=September 2008
* Shakarap - a salad of thinly sliced tomatoes and onions with salt and pepperFact|date=September 2008
* Oshi Toki - stuffed grape leaves, similar to dolma, usually served as a cold appetizer

Breads

* Obi non - Among the splendid variety of pastry obi nons (round bread) play a prominent part in Uzbek cuisine. Obi nons are mentioned in one of the oldest written works, the "Eros about Gylgamesh", the legendary ruler of the Sumers, who lived almost 5000 years ago. Obi nons are baked in special clay ovens called tandir. While unearthing the Afrosiab archaeological site in Samarkand, finds included tandirs used by file - worshippers. Tandirs are hand - made goods.

They look like a cylinder with a narrow spout and two-centimeter thick walls made from mountainous loess and camel's or sheep's hair. A finished tandir has to dry under the sunshine during a week. Sometimes big clay pitchers for wine, oil or grain are also used as tandirs. Tandirs are made in the yard under the awning and near the wall; the base of a tandir needs to touch the wall. A tandir's opening is 1,5 m from the floor, just opposite of the baker's workplace.

One more detail - the inner wall of a finished tandir is oiled to smoothen the walls and prevent clay adhesion to the bread.

Before each baking cycle, dried brushwood, fine chopped firewood from nonconifers or cotton stems are burned in the tandir. Firewood is gradually added until the walls of the tandir become red-hot, The carbon and ashes are scraped towards the centre and the walls are splashed with salt water to facilitate the separation of the bread from the clay wall, To put obi nons into the fiery tandir, bakers use a rapida, a round obi non-sized cotton pillow. The raw shaped dough is put on the rapida and careful but swiftly pasted against the walls so as not to distort the perfect circle shape. Water is splashed against the wall until steam appears; Obi nons are baked by means of steam, infrared radiation from wood carbons and the heat inside the hot-red walls of tandir. The appearance of a crunchy crust means that obi nons are baked through and through. Each loaf is removed with the special scoop.

Obi nons baked in the tandir have a full aroma, delicious taste, a high calorie content, and are said to hold healing powers. "One having eaten in the morning a slice of obi non with raisins, fried peas or Circassian walnut will not be thinking about food for a long time", a quote from Ibn Sina (Avicenna). To express their great respect to bread as a symbol of family happiness Uzbek door to door bread vendors from ancient times have been carrying breadbasket on the head.

* Samarkand nons- In different areas of Uzbekistan obi nons are baked in different ways, In Samarkand small thick obi nons, the shirma non are the most popular. According to ancient legends one Emir from Bukhara had through hear say come to know of the fabulous taste of Samarkand obi nons. He ordered to bring to the palace the best obi non-baker. A Samarkand master bought flour, firewood and even water from one of the nearby villages and prepared the desired loafs. The obi nons found everyone's approval but when a connoisseur of Eastern cuisine tasted them he announced "they are different" and the bread master knew, his final hour had come. The Emir, much intrigued, asked him what he had to say to his defense. The old baker smiled and answered: "There is no Samarkand air around here." The Emir appreciated the clever answer and set the master free. There may be a kernel of truth in what the old bread master said because scientific research has shown that the harder the dough is kneaded, to enrich it with oxygen, the lighter the bread ultimately becomes.

* Bukhara obi nons - sprinkled with sesame or Nigella, exhale a delicate aroma. This bread amazes you with its unique taste and healing power. Sesame causes the satiety and Nigella on the contrary whets the appetite.

* Wedding patir (flaky obi non) - from Andijon and Qashqadaryo, According to ancient traditions this aromatic bread prepared with cream and butter was served during matchmaker meetings.

* Tashkent lochira - plate-formed obi non, is baked from short pastry (milk, butter and sugar). Jirish non is specially prepared bread from flour mixed with bran; It is to this day used as medicine against diabetes mellitus, Nomad tribes didn't make tandirs because at their way of living. They cooked bread on butter in kazans (cauldrons), preparing the dough on a milk base. Especially in the mountainous area of Jizzak kazan-patir is eaten with pleasure.

References

External links

* [http://www.toshkent-tour.com/cookies.html National Cuisine of Uzbekistan]
* [http://www.orexca.com/cuisine.shtml Cuisine of Uzbekistan]
* [http://en.restoran.ru/msk/detailed/restaurants/bsp/menu/?half=242509 Uzbek restaurant menu in Moscow]
* [http://www.iexplore.com/dmap/Uzbekistan/Dining Uzbekistan Food and Dining]
* [http://www.waitrose.com/food/celebritiesandarticles/homecooks/9909064.aspx Secrets of the Silk Road: Bukharan Jewish cooking in diaspora]
* [http://www.jewishtimes.com/scripts/edition.pl?SubSectionID=19&now=8/22/2004&stay=1 Memories of Bukhara]


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