Uzbekistan food culture
Food in Uzbekistan is a way of life. The way Uzbek people treat cooking is the subject of careful study. Even the most scrupulous researches will not help to identify trends, rules and even more laws. These are recipes on emotions with a lot of nuances and requirements for the dish.
The Uzbeks are very hospitable and cheerful people. They are happy to serve the guests with dishes prepared by their distant ancestors. The food of Uzbek cuisine is open to the influences of other cultures, but each borrowed dish is prepared in its own Uzbek way.
Currently, modern gas and electric ovens, kitchen utensils and appliances are broadly used for cooking Uzbek food. However, traditional methods of cooking are still popular. An obligatory element of kitchen ware is a cauldron (usually of several types and sizes). Tandyr (clay oven) is almost an obligatory element, especially of rural places.
The traditional type of dishes, which serves Uzbek food plov and many other dishes is lyagan (large flat plate or dish). While eating Uzbek meal forks are used on rare occasions. If pilaf is not eaten by hand, then it is accepted to eat with a spoon. Other utensils used in the Uzbek cuisine are a kosa (deep bowl) and a piala (a cup for tea).
The national Uzbek food is characterized by exuberant use of meat. The main source of proteins and fats in the northern livestock areas is lamb and sheep's fat. Beef, horse meat, camel meat, goats and poultry are used in many dishes. Also, the fish and fat poultry are well respected among the Uzbeks. Eggs are used mainly for festive baking.
Uzbek cuisine is famous not only for a unique set of ingredients, but also for processing of products that have been perfected for thousands of years. Traditional Uzbek food combines several dozen components and requires a lot of experience and attention during cooking. Their recipes are passed down from generation to generation.
Uzbek food list
An important place in the Uzbek meals is occupied by hot soups (shurpa) on strong broth. As a rule, they are dense, spicy, with lots of vegetables and greens.
In the Uzbek tradition, it is customary to cook soups on low heat and salt at the very end. Unique soups of Uzbek food are mastava (from meat, rice and vegetables, which is served with sour milk, pepper and spices); mashkhurda (bean soup with rice, potatoes, onions, herbs and sour milk); mash-atala (thick soup of roasted fat, onion, carrots, beans and flour); moshubirinch (mutton, tomatoes, beans and rice); cholop (cold soup from sour milk, radishes, cucumbers and greens). Uzbek noodles are almost always cooked with meat.
Meat dishes seasoned with Uzbek spices are the most common among the second dishes of Uzbek meals. They are: pilaf, cutlets, shashlik, manti, kebab, lagman, samsa and all sorts of pies with meat, rice, pumpkin and other fillings. Meat is served with vegetable salads or meat is stewed with vegetables. Meat for cooking many dishes is not separated from the bones. Meat is usually fried on the heated oil or a mixture of vegetable and animal oils. Many meat and vegetable dishes are prepared at the steam.
Also, Uzbek national meals are characterized by the use of cereals and legumes (such as rice, jugara, wheat, peas). Vegetables are also popular. Primarily, these are pumpkin, turnips and carrots.
Milk fermented products are the pride and essential food of Uzbek cuisine. Katyk (yoghurt) and suzma (strained curdled milk, similar to cottage cheese) are made from sour sheep milk. These Uzbekistan special foods with high nutritional value and unusual taste can be eaten as separate dishes, and salads and soups can be filled with them. Ayran is a cold, invigorating drink made from suzma or sour milk, diluted in cold water.
The Uzbeks are very respectful of bread. The main Uzbek bread is the flat cake “obi-non”. For the holidays patyr (flat cake with the addition of mutton fat) is baked. Bukhara bread is sprinkled with sesame seeds. In spring, the dough for obi-non is cooked on the infusion of fresh shoots of mint, dandelion, spinach, quinoa and many other herbs. On the lookouts cakes with butter and sour cream are prepared. Different additives are used in different regions of Uzbekistan, but the technology of cooking obi-non has not changed for centuries.
Uzbek sweets are a common thing in Uzbekistan. Here are almost 50 kinds of khalva. The Uzbeks prepare delicacies from nuts, fruits and cirups. The abundance of fruits and berries is used in Uzbek meals for the preparation of sweet compotes, medicinal infusions, refreshing sorbets. Melons and watermelons are independent desserts.
Eating traditional Uzbek food would be incomplete without Uzbek tea. For centuries in the teahouses serious questions and sincere conversations were conducted with a cup of aromatic tea. Gathering in the tea house is the traditional privilege of men.
Make a trip to Uzbekistan. Here you will not only be treated with delicacies, but also shown how all this is cooked. Believe, cooking national Uzbek food is no less exciting than eating it. All the secrets and subtleties of local cooking will be uncovered for you. Uzbek people will share recipes, so that you at home always have at hand a piece of the eastern fairy tale!