Lagman: The Noodles of the Silk Road

Lagman is a dish that is very common in Central Asia, China, and many Middle Eastern countries. It can also be found in Russia and the Caucasus and is a popular dish among the Crimean Tatars. The basic recipe, which combines noodles with meat, has hundreds of variations. In Uzbekistan, the dish tends be a […]

Echpochmak: Tatar Triangular Meat Pie

A symbol of Tatar culture and a pride of that nation, echpochmak is easily one of most recognizable foods from Tatar cuisine. This savory meat pie has its origins in the nomadic days of the Tatars but the crisp outside and juicy meat filling of the pie have guaranteed echpochmak’s timeless popularity. Today, echpochmak is […]

Kattama, Qatlama: Central Asia’s Swirled Buttery Pastry

Kattama is a traditional Turkic pastry. It is buttery, flaky, layered and fried or baked to perfection! The dough is rolled thin, slathered in butter and other filling, and then layered and folded, creating beautiful flaky layers that are both crisp and soft. It can be found throughout Mongol and Turkic cultures in various forms. […]

Chuchvara, Chuchpara, Tushpara: The Daintier Dumping of Central Asia

Chuchvara is a dumping staple dish in Central Asia, the South Caucasus, and the Middle East. Originally introduced there under the Persian Empire, they are today most associated in Central Asia with Uzbek tradition. However, they are also considered a local national dish throughout the countries of the region. Chuchvara contrast with manti, the other […]

Manti, Pozi, Bauzi: More Than Just Another Dumpling

Manti (манты) are steamed dumplings consisting of ground meat and spices in an unleavened pastry shell. Manti are a popular dish across Central Asia, Pakistan, Northern China, Turkey, and Russia. They are considered native to Central Asia and are now thought to perhaps be the world’s first dumpling. How Manti Got Their Name (Почему они […]

Kuurdak: How The Kyrgyz Do Meat and Potatoes

Kuurdak (куурдак) is a traditional Kyrgyz dish and one of the oldest recipes found in Central Asia. It is eaten throughout Central Asia and particularly beloved as a national dish in Kyrgyzstan. This stewed meat dish is one of the easiest and simplest recipes to make. Traditionally, the meat used is mutton (lamb), horse, and/or […]

Baklava: A Sweet Cultural Controversy of Eurasia

Baklava (Баклава), is a delicate pastry served in numerous countries such as Russia, Turkey, and throughout the Balkans, the Middle East, the Caucuses, and Central Asia. The recipe for the luxurious dessert typically maintains the same components: honey and nuts placed between layers of pastry. Specific countries over the centuries have added their own specific […]

Samsa: A Tasty Pastry of the Silk Road

The samsa (самса) is a meat- or vegetable-filled savory pastry. They are both flaky (слоеная) and crispy (хрустящая). They are enjoyed across the former USSR, where they are most associated with Central Asian cuisine. The samsa originated in the Middle East and spread across the Silk Road (Шелковый путь), reaching Central Asia, India, and Africa. […]

Baursak: The Donut of Hospitality

Throughout much of Central Asia, one type of bread stands out from all the rest – baursak (баурсак). These small pieces of fried dough are known throughout Central Asia among many of the Turkic and Mongolian-speaking peoples there. In Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan especially, they are served as everyday fare accompanied by tea and are staple […]

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