oromo recipe history culture origin

Оромо - блюдо из нежного теста с ароматной начинкой.

Oromo: Kyrgyz Food with Vegetarian Options

Published: April 5, 2020

For those obsessed with all things pumpkin — pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice-cream, pumpkin-spice lattes — oromo (оромо) is sure to please. Oromo is a rolled, layered, steamed pastry that comes with various fillings (pumpkin being common and our favorite). It evokes everything we love about pumpkin season back home in the States. This main dish is warm, comforting, filling, and hits the spot with hot tea after a cold day.

Oromo is most often associated with the peoples of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhsta, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Tatarstan. Unlike many other Central Asian dishes such as plov, manti, and lagman, oromo has failed to win a following in Russia and Eastern Europe. However, that doesn’t make it any less delicious.

How Oromo Got Its Name

Почему они носят такое название?

The name “oromo” is a noun version of the Kyrgyz verb, “ороо,” which means “to roll.” Oromo starts off with a large, flat sheet of dough. It is spread with filling and rolled into a tube which is then steamed and served in severed portions. Thus, the name “the roll” seems entirely appropriate.

The dish is named “орама” in Kazakh for the same reason. As Kazakh is a more populous language, the dish is often called “orama” in English. In Russia, the dish is better known by its Tartar name, “ханум”. Traditions vary slightly across the various cultures that enjoy oromo, but the dish is always recognizably the same.

When and How to Eat Oromo

(Как правильно есть оромо?)

Oromo is a standard, everyday dish. It is usually eaten with the hands in Kyrgyzstan, which is messy but traditional for many Kyrgyz dishes. The Kyrgyz are a traditionally nomadic people for whom travelling light was a priority. Thus, food is often eaten from a common plate and silverware is generally viewed as optional.

Oromo can be served with a variety of sauces. A common sauce has fresh tomatoes with spices, finely chopped greens, and yoghurt (or sour milk). Another popular sauce is a mix of fresh tomatoes, vinegar, and horseradish.

How to Prepare Oromo

(Как правильно готовить оромо?)

Oromo is prepared in a special tiered steamer called a “мантоварка” (mantovarka). The mantovarka derives its name from manti (манты), a Central Asian meat dumpling. It has a pan for boiling water, several perforated tiers above it to hold the food in the steam the boiling water emits, and a tight lid. The most important aspect of mantovarka is that the lid closes tightly. Be sure to lightly grease the tiers so that the оромо does not stick.

Oromo is quite similar to manti, which are smaller packets of dough stuffed with the same type of filling and steamed in the same manner. However, manti requires folding many individual portions while oromo requires rolling a single tube. For this reason, oromo is sometimes also refered to as “ленивые манты” (lazy manti).

There are many varieties of oromo, depending on the seasonal ingredients available. Kyrgyz families typically make the filling from meat and fat with rice and seasonal vegetables being optional additions. Vegetarian varieties, however, do exist – which might be surprising considering how meat-and-fat-heavy the traditional Kyrgyz diet is. These vegetarian options will often include only rice and/or the typical vegetables that go into oromo. Sweet and/or starchy vegetables are typically preferred ‒ including pumpkin, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, and sweet peppers.

Oromo Recipe

(Давай приготовим!)

oromo recipe history culture origin

Киргизский оромо Kyrgyz Oromo
Ингредиенты (на 4 порции)

Для теста

  • Мука – 600 гр
  • яйцо – 1 шт.
  • соль
  • теплая вода

Для начинки

  • Фарш говяжий – 200 гр
  • Тыква – 300 гр
  • Лук – 2 шт.
  • Зелень (немного петрушки и укропа)
  • Картофель – 2 шт.
  • Сладкий перец – 1 шт.
  • масло или сливочное масло
  • соль
  • черный перец

Примечание: Состав ингредиентов может меняться в зависимости от желания и времени года.


  1. Сначала нужно замесить тесто, добавляя в муку солёную воду и яйцо. Должно получится средней мягкости тесто. Тесто накрыть полотенцем и дать постоять 15-20 минут.
  2. В это время приготовим начинку для оромо. Все овощи режем мелкими кубиками и собираем в одну миску. Туда добавляем фарш и специи (соль, черный перец) по вкусу. Фарш готов.
  3. Тесто разделить на 4 части и раскатать каждую часть. Обычно для оромо тесто должно получится круглым и предельно тонким.
  4. После того как первая часть теста готова, всю поверхность теста нужно смазать маслом. Выложить на тесто четвёртую часть начинки и равномерно распределить по всему пласту.
  5. Скатать тесто в рулет и защипать край и концы. Таким же образом готовим остальные три части.
  6. Оромо готовят на пару в специальной посуде – пароварке 40-45 минут. Листы пароварки мажут маслом, чтобы тесто не прилипало. При подаче на стол добавить приправы по желанию.
Ingredients (for 4 portions)

For the dough

  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 egg
  • salt
  • warm water

For the filling

  • 1/2 pound of ground beef
  • 1 1/3 cups of pumpkin
  • 2 onions
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 sweet pepper
  • parsley and dill
  • oil or butter
  • salt
  • black pepper

Note: Ingredients will vary depending on personal taste and time of year.


  1. First, mix the flour with salt water and one egg. Knead until the dough is medium soft. Cover the dough and let stand for about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Now, prepare the filling. Finely dice the vegetables and place into a bowl. Add the meat. Add salt and black pepper, to taste. What you have now is called farsh.
  3. Divide the dough into four parts and roll out each piece. The dough should be round and very thin.
  4. Once the first part of the dough is ready, spread oil (or butter) over the dough. Top with the farsh. Make sure the farsh is spread thoroughly and evenly over the dough’s entire surface.
  5. Now roll the dough, starting from the edge. Once rolled, crumple the ends of the dough into a loose “knot.” Repeat with the other three dough portions.
  6. Place the oromo on an oiled surface and then into a tiered steamer.
  7. Steam for 40-45 minutes. Serve with condiments as desired.

Our Favorite Oromo/Khanum Videos

In this video, Chef Vlyacheslav Baraev from The Beluga Restaurant in Dusseldorf, Germany gives a quick four-minute tutorial on how to make oromo in the shape of a rose. Chef Baraev’s clear Russian accent and happy-go-lucky attitude, set to light accordion background music, is particularly enjoyable.

This video is taken from the show, “Мы никого не едим и Вам не советуем“, (We Don’t Eat Anyone/Any Animal and Don’t Advise (You to Either). The video’s acoustics may be a distracting because of the loud techno music and ambient noise of kids in the background, but the homey setting of the kitchen, and the conversational style of this cooking class, which includes a back-and-forth dialogue between the women, lends a personal and realistic style to this recipe that makes it less daunting for first-timers.

This video is taken from the culinary channel, GermaCook. Of all the listed videos here, this one is the most professional. It takes place in a shiny, sexy kitchen, and is accompanied by energizing, bubbly music. There is no fun personality to walk you through the steps, but the instructions are all written on the bottom of the screen.

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About the author

Eireen Busa

Eirene Busa

Eirene Busa is a Master's Candidate at Georgetown University with the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies. She has a BA in History and a Minor in Middle East Studies from the College of William and Mary. She studied Russian at the NOVAMOVA Russian language school in Kiev in the summer of 2012. She is currently in Bishkek with the SRAS Home and Abroad: Report program.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar

View all posts by: Eirene Busa