Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Central Asian Feast (Uzbek Cuisine)

As an adventurous type of eater, I am always eager to try out new stuff. Chances are that some food do not really suit my taste buds, and I'll just simply call it a lesson when it turns out. It happened that day when an Uzbek friend of mine from Kyrgyzstan brought me and the other friends to an eatery, which served Central Asian cuisine with an emphasis on Uzbek and Uyghur cuisine, and there was one particular dish that immediately put me off it.

This was the culprit: LAGHMAN

This Chinese Lamian-inspired (拉面)noodle is handmade through a series of meticulous processes, starting from preparing the dough to twisting, stretching and folding it into strands. As a result, the noodle has a very tangible texture and it is best served in piping hot soup. Ingredients such as beef, tomato, long bean, bell pepper, onion can usually be found in this elaborate dish. I must say that this was indeed a great food to pamper a hungry tummy, IF they did not add Cosmos caudatus, a.k.a Raja Ulam into the broth. I am not a fans of that herb, while in fact, I hate it. Well, do note that I am not saying that this dish is miserable, but it is just my personal issue of not liking the added herb. Period.

Here comes my favorite dish of that day: MANTOO

This is something similar to the Chinese Duplings/ Jiaozi (饺子) or the Korean Mandu. What impressed me the most was the minced beef filling which was absolutely nice. The filling was comparably "wetter" than any other similar things that I had before, and it was very tangy.

 And then...

This is Kazan Kebab. Kazan is kind of like a big cast-iron boiling pot used by the Central Asian to prepare some of their prominent dishes such as Polov, and it is used, though quite rarely, in the cooking of this kebab dish as well. The meat was very tender and it tasted rather mild.

This is Kaurma Lagman or you can just simply call it as stir-fried Lagman. I would very much prefer this over the soup-based Lagman as it does not have that pungent taste of Raja Ulam.

Characterized by having a depression in the middle, the Nan or Uzbek flatbread is a staple and significant food amongst the Uzbeks. They usually serve it with the soup-based Laghman, and will tear it into irregular chunks before eating. I have no idea on why they do so... As a bread-lover, you most probably can guess that I like this very much though it is quite tasteless.

All in all, I really enjoyed what I had that day. It's a good change from what I am eating everyday after all, and I would not mind to have something like this again, but PLEASE, NO RAJA ULAM! HAHA


  1. the dishes all look well-prepared ... and i'll happily eat the recipe with raja ulam! :D

    1. YAP indeed! The cooking of all the dishes are very elaborate!
      They say raja Ulam is very good for one's health so that's definitely a bonus if you like to eat recipe with raja Ulam! HAHA

  2. I don't like ulam raja either - my missus enjoys it. I would love to try these exotic cuisines - so boring, always Japanese, Italian, Chinese.... Have not even managed to go for any of the mid-eastern ones, none here in Sibu. :( I know some people don't like but I still would want to try. We'll never know unless we do so, right?

    1. Yap! You are right Arthur. That's why I like to go for all those exotic cuisines!
      My fren from Kyrgyzstan told me that she and the people in her country enjoy eating Ulam raja(opsss) Haha