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Tajikistan – Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of Tajikistani Cuisine HistoryEdit

Tajikistan features mostly a mountainous relief and the cooking style was developed in such manner so it fits the climate and the resources. Most of the dishes lack meat, but contain high quantities of vegetables.

As its neighbors, Tajikistan uses mostly mutton in the meat dishes. One of the popular dishes that are based on this certain type of meat is called tushbera. Another meat that may be included in some foods is goat’s meat. Other dishes contain ravioli loaded with eggs and baked in sesame seed oil. These are called tuhum barak. Chakka is a dish that contains thick casein-rich parts of coagulated milk and herbs. This food is consumed along with bread. The bread in Tajikistan is usually flat and unleavened.

The traditional dishes, however, contain rice and beans, prepared in many ways. The most popular foods in this country are pilav and manty. The soups have a great consistency and are made from vegetables and meat. Regarding the beverages, Tajik people prefer to drink tea, no matter if it is green or black. Sher chay, for example, is drunk with milk of goat, salt and butter. This usually represents the last course of a typical meal in Tajikistan.

Cuisines of Tajikistan Edit

Map of Tajikistan

Map of Tajikistan- Click to enlarge

The cooking style varies slightly from one region to another, inside the country. The influences of the neighbor countries were not so strong to determine different and furthermore, the relief of the country is predominantly represented by mountains. A varied environment could have determined a variation of the cooking styles and would have generated the existence of regional cuisines, across Tajikistan. Although Tajikistan was incorporated in the Soviet Union, in the past, the influences that resemble of the Russian cuisine are spread all over the country.

Preparation Methods for Tajikistani Cooking Edit

The preparation methods that are practiced in Tajikistan are similar to those that are common to the rest of the world. However, using these techniques on the local ingredients provides unique dishes. Each ingredient that is added to a dish may undergo one of the following methods: boiling, stewing, frying, drying, seasoning, salting and roasting. Some of these techniques are applied on entire dishes. For example, the salads are seasoned, after the ingredients are mixed, and toppings may be added, too, in order to enhance the flavor.

Special Equipment for Tajikistani Cooking Edit

Most Tajikistani dishes don’t require you to purchase any special tools. However, having a coffee grinder helps with roasting and grinding spices and maximizes their volatile oils, which, in turn, provides your food with more flavor. The cooking equipment that can be usually found in a typical Tajik kitchen is very diverse, although there aren’t any special utensils, as most of the tools are used by many other countries. The equipment that is used for preparing, serving and storing foods ranges from kitchen knives, forks, teaspoons and tablespoons to pans, trays, pots, bowls, kitchen scoops, graters, food portioning devices, skimmers, spatulas, turners and juicers. For precise cooking, it is better to use on one side kitchen thermometers, in order to prepare the food at a certain temperature, to avoid overcooking, and food scales, to determine the exact amount of each ingredient that is added to a dish.

Tajikistani Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

People from Tajikistan enjoy bringing honor to their traditional dishes, whether this happens in their homes, at an ordinary meal, or at bigger events, such as festivals. On one hand, these events are not necessarily organized in Tajikistan, as communities of Tajik people from the entire world are proud of the national foods and drink. On the other hand, there are festivals that may not focus on the traditional dishes of Tajikistan and that are organized with the intention of promoting other cultural aspects.However, these events, too, represent good occasions for the local people to display their foods and for the tourists to try them.

One of the most important events that is related to the Tajik cuisine is the Tajikistan Food, Drinks, Packaging and Food Exhibition, which was organized in London.

Other holidays which are important to people of Tajikistan are: Victory Day (May 9), Tajik Language Day (July 22), Independence Day (September 9), Idi Mehrgon, when the first day of the astronomical fall is celebrated and Constitution Day (November 6). Each of these days is a good opportunity for planning feasts and even for supporting the national cuisine of Tajikistan.

People in Tajikistani Food Edit

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