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Turkmenistan – Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of Turkmen Cuisine HistoryEdit

Turkmenistan is located in Central Asia and it borders Caspian Sea to west, Iran to south and southwest, Afghanistan to southeast, Uzbekistan to north and northeast and Kazakhstan to northwest. Turkmenistan was a part of Soviet Republic until 1991 when it has achieved its independency. Turkmenistan national cuisine is considerably dissimilar from the culinary traditions of other Central Asia countries. Meat is the most important ingredient in every Turkmenistan’s meal, while vegetarian dishes are mostly inexistent. The most common meat in Turkmenistan is sheep, camel, mountain goat, quail and pheasant. In Turkmenistan cuisine there are numerous dishes consisting of different herbs and spices, some with Lamb, the other with Beef, or with cheeses instead of meat. Spices such as cayenne and cumin are used to get a spicier dish. There are numerous Central Asian recipes in Turkmenistan cuisine cooked after local traditions and with changed or replaced main ingredients.

Cuisines of Turkmenistan Edit

Map of Turkmenistan

Map of Turkmenistan- Click to enlarge

Although numerous culinary stiles were introduced in Turkmenistan cuisine, traditional dishes remained the most popular. Pilav one of the most popular dish in Central Asian, has its own particularities in Turkmenistan, where is named Turkmenistan ash. Turkmenistan ash is made of Game Birds or pheasant meats unlike other countries in Central Asia were it is made of mutton or lamb. Turkmenistan pilav is served with sauce made of sour plum called tkemali, and pomegranate juice. Turkmenistan cuisine is recognized for the variety of dishes made from milk. The most popular milk is camel milk which is characterized as being sweet, rich in vitamin C and it is used for making yoghurt, butter and melted butter, while sheep’s milk is for making Teleme, a cheese low on salt. The traditional Turkmenistan cuisine is renowned for its dishes based on fish. The most popular types of fish used are catfish, grey mullet, zander and sturgeon. Fish is generally combined with rice, raisins, apricot and sesame.

Preparation Methods for Turkmen Cooking Edit

Turkmenistan cuisine uses elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbors and developed from their own traditional dishes. While there are no specific or unique preparation methods for Turkmenistan cooking, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Turkmenistan cuisine. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in Turkmenistan is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colors and proportion differentiates. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of Turkmenistan ’s regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Turkmenistan dishes and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.

Special Equipment for Turkmen Cooking Edit

Ranging from cake pans, can openers, colanders, egg rings, poachers and holders, food dishers and portioners, food pans and food containers to other kitchen utensils, such as food scales, food scoops and fryer baskets and accessories, the Turkmenistan cuisine needs a diverse cooking equipment set in order to produce the most sophisticated Turkmenistan dishes. You should consider insulated food carriers if you are transporting the food and a full set of kitchen linens and uniforms if you wish to look like a pro. Here are a few other items that will come handy while cooking Turkmenistan food: juicers, kitchen knives, kitchen slicers, kitchen thermometers, measuring cups and measuring spoons, miscellaneous utensils, mixing bowls and skimmers and strainers. Essential utensils like serving spoons, spatulas, forks, turners, scrapers and tongs should also be part of your cooking "arsenal".

Turkmen Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

In Turkmenistan there are held many festivals and national holidays such as National Day (October 27), Commemoration Day(January 12), Flag Day (February 19), Constitution Day (May 18), Christmas Day, Assumption Day, Ascension Day, All Saints’ Day, All Souls Day, Epiphany, Elevation of the Life-Giving Cross (September 27) and Paskha (April 27). The main dishes served on national holidays include gaynatma, dograma soup, Turkmenistan ash, chapad, ekmek which is flat bread fried in a very hot vegetable oil.

People in Turkmen Food Edit

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There are many chefs who creatively use the basic ingredients and cooking method for traditional Turkmenistan dishes and create original and delicious food variations. Turkmenistan chefs are passionate about their traditional dishes and they enjoy presenting them to foreigners who have never tasted them before. Whether they are cooking dishes that go back in time for centuries or brand new, modern dishes, Turkmenistan chefs take pride in what they do, and this is readily noticeable in the unforgettable taste of their cooking.

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