Top 10 foods of Kazakhstan
1 month ago
If you are visiting Kazakhstan and are interested in tasting local dishes of Kazakhstan then you are at the right place. Kazakhstan- a country of more than 17 million people has its own culture and traditional dishes. In past, the people of Kazakhstan were nomads, so their main item in almost every food is meat. With time they have also borrowed some dishes from neighboring countries.
Kazakhstan dishes are inspired by other Turkish countries like Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and countries like Russia and Iran. Their own meals are centered on meat like lamb, horse, beef, and camel. The majority of the population of the country is Muslim, so it is not possible to find pork meat here. Kazakhstan is one of the largest countries in consuming tea, and black tea is the most preferred drink here.
If you are a vegetarian and are going to visit Kazakhstan, then you should be careful all the time with the dishes you are having. Even if the Kazakhstan dishes are not made with meat, they can be prepared with meat broth. Kazakh people’s diet is based on everything provided by mother Earth fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, and milk. When a person hears first time about eating horse meat it may sound unbelievable but according to the beliefs of Kazakhis, a horse is a man’s best friend, a good mode of transportation, and a source of food.
Let’s explore some of the top food of Kazakhstan
It is a traditional dish of Kazakhstan made with flour, sugar, milk, yeast, baking powder, and salt. Once the dough is prepared, it is shaped in the form of small balls then baked in hot oil. Shelpek is basically a flatbread common throughout central Asia. Its demand significantly increases especially on Fridays, as the day is considered holiest in the Muslim’s beliefs. The flatbread is made in a frying pan or in a tandoor and is made to honor the deceased who have passed away. Once these flatbreads are ready, they are folded and then served with jam, cheese, or cream. Generally eaten in the afternoons with a cup of tea.
Kuyru is also the other name for the dish Kuurdak which is one of the oldest dishes in Kazakhstan. Its name was first mentioned in the text of the 15th century. Kuyru names mean’ to roast.’ This dish can be prepared with mutton or beef. Kazakh variation of Kuurdak is made from the sheep’s liver, kidney, heart, or lungs. Kuurdak is prepared immediately after slaughtering sheep because the shelf life of sheep’s meat is very less. In modern times, Kuyru is cooked with potatoes and onions.
Shurpa is a thick soup and can be defined as the mix between soup and stew. Generally made with lamb meat but in Kazakhstan, many other types of meat can also be used like mutton, beef, or chicken. To prepare this dish of Kazakhstan, meat is first roasted and then combined with vegetables, herbs, and spices to flavor the dish. This soup dish is a little spicy but people in Kazakhstan believe that Shurpa is a favorite of almost everyone because it is easy to make
Lagman is a noodle dish of Kazakhstan that is made by twisting, stretching, and folding the dough into thin strands. Lagman is not related to Kazakhstan but is very popular in the country among locals and tourists. Lagman can be served with hot broth and can be eaten as the raven noodle soup or these noodles can be served with meat also. Another form of Lagman in Kazakhstan can be made with the vegetables such as carrots, eggplant, peppers, and garlic.
Koktal is a treat for the ones who are in love with seafood. To make this dish of Kazakhstan, generally, freshwater Carp is used available along the coastline. It is prepared by baking the fish with vegetables like onions, tomatoes, and sweet peppers. This dish requires much patience because roasting a fish is not easy but the taste it offers after preparing is worth waiting.
It is a flatbread with a puffy appearance and is a part of the daily life of Kazaks. The main content of this bread dish of Kazakhstan is wheat flour molded in a round or diamond shape. The dough is fried in the traditional manner with lamb or beef fat. In some recipes, derived from vegetarian’s cottage cheese is also used with dough.
In different regions of Kazakhstan, the sizes of Baursak are different. Other than flour, the main contents of Baursak are milk, sugar, salt, eggs, yeast, and butter. The dish in Kazakhstan holds a special place in the culture and only served on special occasions like parties, birthdays, or memorials. Many in the country believed that the smell of fried bread floats to the sky and gives the taste of this great dish to the dear ones who have departed to another world early. In common, this bread can be consumed on its own without any fillers but can be accompanied by butter, jam, or honey. As a historical fact, the biggest Baursak was made in Russia weighing 179 kgs and was made in 2014.
One of the best dishes of Kazakhstan which tastes is beyond your imagination is Manti. They are basically boiled dumplings stuffed with meat. Manti is also available in Turkish cuisine but they are very different from the Kazakhs Manti in size. Turkish Manti is much larger than the Kazaks.
Kazy is a meat sausage made primarily with horse meat and spices. This dish is very common in central Asian countries like Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan. Traditional Kazy in Kazakhstan is made with the meat and fat taken from the ribs of the horse. As we had discussed in the starting that according to historical texts, the ancient Kazaks were nomads and their main source of food was meat. So When they slaughter a horse for meat, then it was not possible to consume the whole horse in one go, thus to conserve that meat they invented Kazy which slowly becomes part of the culture. To preserve the meat, it is seasoned with garlic, pepper, and salt. It can be eaten raw or smoked based on the taste you preferred. Kazy can be used to prepare many other dishes.
Large pieces of meat cooked with onions and carrots in a pan till the meat gets a crust on it. Then the rice is added to this chicken along with water and boiled for some time till the rice gets cooked. That is basically the way to cook the world-famous Kazak dish. This food of Kazakhstan holds a special place in the society of Kazakhstan as it is the symbol of prosperity and wealth. Pilaf in Kazakhstan is made by cooking rice and meat together. If you are cooking both separately, it means you are following the cooking steps of Iran or maybe Azerbaijan. A must dish to have on festivals this dish is decorated with dry fruits, and are considered lucky to be consumed on special occasions like marriages.
We can safely assume Beshbarmak as the national dish of Kazakhstan because this dish is delicious and is related to Kazak’s history and culture. The translation of the dish name means ‘five fingers. ‘given this name because in the past nomadic tribes used to eat this with their hands. Cooked, horse, mutton, beef, or a combination of all three types of meat is used to make this food of Kazakhstan and then served with local pasta.
To serve, a special sauce is made of meat broth, onion, salt, and pepper. Both are served side by side. With time there are now many varieties of Beshbarmak that originated and are available also.
Kazakhstan is a big country and is rich in both traditions and taste. The country is developing and moving towards the future but many things are still the same and their food and its taste are one of them. The food and their culture might be the same but the way the young generation treats it may have changed with time. The main dishes of Kazakhstan are centuries old and had mouth-watering sweet dishes. Their meals are worth trying and one should definitely go for local food while visiting Kazakhstan. We hope that our article on the top 10 foods of Kazakhstan may have given you an insight into the popular dishes available in this historical country. We wish you good luck on your wonderful journey and will wait to hear your tales of the food wonders you enjoyed.