Uzbek meals differ in appearance, and flavor. Some of them are prepared everyday; others are seasonal, depending on the seasonal availability or to celebrate certain special occasions. The receipts below are supposed to give you an idea about what Uzbek traditional dishes are.
Achik-Chuchuk (Fresh salad) Tomato, cucumber, onions, salt and pepper to taste. Slice the onions in rings. Wash the ripe tomatoes, slice them or cut them in cloves. Wash and pare the cucumber, cut them in shreds or rings. Mix all the vegetables, add salt, ground pepper and chopped greens. Serve as separate cold dish.
Nohat Shurva (Pea Soup with meat) Soaked peas, meat (lamb or beef), onion, potato, carrots, greens, salt, pepper.
On the day before preparing, sort out and wash the peas, then soak in cold water. The next day, when the peas have swollen, throw them into meat broth and cook soup. Slice the mutton or beef, chop the bones for the fat to detach the better and simmer them together with the peas, diced carrots and onion rings. Pare the potato as a whole and put it into the pot short time before the end of the cooking.
Kainatma Shurva (Meat and vegetable soup) Carrots, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, turnips, 1 pod cayenne, meat(boned), bones, salt and pepper to taste.
Lagmon Is a rich spicy stew with chopped meat, vegetables and spices, poured over long hand-made noodles. The noodles can be eaten with a fork and the gravy with spoon. Lagmon is served in individual bowls.
Mampar. Is similar to Lagmon. A spicy meat and vegetables stew poured over chopped piece of dough. It is served in bowl and eaten with a spoon.
Chuchvara (meat dumplings) Consist of small “packages” of minced meat, onion and spices in dough. This is boiled in tasty broth, served hot in bowls and eaten with a spoon. Sour cream or yogurt can be served together.
Palov-Pilav prepared with soaked rice and peas. Rice, peas, meat, fat (or vegetable oil), carrots, onions, salt and spices (zira, barbarries, ground pepper) to taste.
Wash sorted rice several times and soak in warm water for 2 hours. Washed peas are soaked in cold water for 10-12 hours before preparing the Palov. When the rice and peas swell, proceed to prepare the Palov: slice the onions in rings, cut the carrots in cubes, and chop the meat into 150-200g chunks. Heat the fat in a cauldron with a spherical bottom, place the meat in and brown off. Then add the onion rings, mix them all the time, and braise on low heat. As soon as the onions begin to change color, plunge the carrots and soaked peas in. Pour water so as to be on the same level with the contents of the saucepan for about one hour till the peas become tender. Season with salt and spice. Pour off the water in which the rice is soaking. Strew the rice over the carrots in even layers. Raise the heat to heavy fire and stew fiercely. From time to time turn the layer of rice over with a skimmer, making sure not to blend the rice with the carrots. When all the moisture passes off and the rice is done, pile it in the middle of the cauldron, remove the heat and close with a basin to stew well for 20-25 minutes. When done, mix the contents, dislodge the meat. Heap on a platter and serve with chunks of meat on top.
Manti – Big steamed meat dumplings. For the dough: Flour, salt, water. For the forcemeat: lamb flesh, onions, fat tail, salt and pepper.
Work up the flour into thick dough, roll to form a ball and wait for 10-15 minutes. Cut the dough into balls about the size of a small walnut and roll thin to make round flat cakes. Another way is to roll the entire dough with a long rolling-pin to produce a thin layer and cut into squares (10x10 cm) add tablespoon of forcemeat and diced fat tail on each square. Fold diagonally and pinch corners and edges so that the manti are oblong in shape. Overspread the uncooked manti to prevent the dough from getting dry and frail. The forcemeat is prepared in the following way: chop the mutton into small pieces about the size of a small nut or mince with a big grating, add onion chopped or sliced into rings, ground black pepper and salt water. Combine thoroughly and press down with fingers. The manti are steamed. Grease the plate of kettle for steaming and arrange the manti on it so as to have no touch with each over. Splash cold water and steam for 45 minutes. Serve 2-4 manti in plate per portion, pour broth and sour milk over or remove the manti to a platter and dredge with ground black pepper.
Samsa Is a pastry with meat, onion and the fat of a sheep’s tail cooked in a special clay oven called a tandir.
Shashlik is one of the most popular foods served in Uzbekistan. It is marinated pieces of mutton (sometimes beef) and sheep’s fat threated on metal skewer and cooked over hot coals. There are many kinds of Shashlik and most famous meat and liver. Hot shaslik is served with chopped onion. Before eating, it is advisable to sprinkle some pepper and vinegar over they are still hot.