Uzbekistan shares much of its culinary tradition with Turkey as well as serving up a wide number of noodle and dumpling dishes that bear a close resemblance to their counterparts in China, Nepal, and other Eastern Asian countries. When traveling to Uzbekistan, visitors will be impressed with its cuisine. Here is a list of the top tasty foods in Uzbekistan you should eat. Now, let’s learn with us!
Tasty Foods in Uzbekistan
Plov is widely considered to be the national dish of Uzbekistan. It’s a hearty rice pilaf and you’ll probably notice that the word “plov” and “pilaf” are essentially the same. You can expect a heaping portion of rice that has been cooked together with lamb or beef, onions. garlic, raisins, carrots, and apricots. Plov is not only the most famous dish in Uzbekistan, it is also one of the most delicious.
You’ll find that most restaurants serving Uzbek food offer plov as an option, but if you want to truly experience it you’ll want to head to a “Plov Center” in one of the cities you’re visiting.
These restaurants specialize in plov and cook the dish in gigantic iron cauldrons over an open fire. Plov centers generally serve plov and nothing else except for bread, tea, and a selection of side salads to accompany your huge plate of rice pilaf.
Shurpa is one of the tasty foods in Uzbekistan. This food is a hearty, lamb soup that consists of thick slices of vegetables and large chunks of lamb topped with fresh parsley. It’s a very popular delicacy and you can find it in every eatery around the country. Shurpa is a great winter food, an amazing appetizer, and a surprisingly good breakfast (with some bread). It’s similar to chorba, a stew that’s very popular in Turkey, and several different Balkan countries.
3. Obi non
Obi non or lepyoshka is a traditional Uzbekistani flatbread that is somewhat thicker than naan and is typically shaped into a disc with a decorated top. The dough is made from flour, water, salt, and yeast, and it is traditionally baked in a clay oven known as a tandyr.
Today, there are numerous varieties of flatbread such as bukhara lepyoshka (sprinkled with sesame and nigella seeds), flaky lepyoshka with cream and butter, and tashkent lepyoshka that is baked as a pastry with milk, butter, and sugar.
Chuchvara is a traditional dumpling originating from Uzbekistan. There are many types of these dumplings, but the stuffing usually consists of finely chopped meat, and pork is never used. Some people compare these dumplings with Russian ravioli and dumplings, but there are a few basic differences – chuchvara is smaller, it’s boiled in broth with vegetables and fried meat, and the dough is never rolled out separately for each dumpling – a large piece of dough is rolled instead, and it’s then cut into smaller squares that are subsequently stuffed with different ingredients.
For the classic version, the dough is made from flour, eggs, salt, and water, the stuffing is made with lamb or beef, onions, and seasonings, and the broth contains onions, carrots, tomatoes, and a piece of meat on the bone. There is also kovurma chuchvara (fried chuchvara) and osh kuktli chuchvara (made with finely chopped greens, hard-boiled eggs, onions, and tail fat).
Dimlama is a traditional Uzbekistani stew that’s prepared during harvest time. Although every household makes it differently, dimlama is usually prepared with a combination of lamb or beef, onions, potatoes, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, turnips, pumpkin, green onions, cumin, and cabbage.
What’s most important about dimlama is the layering – the lamb is first browned with onions, and the rest of the vegetables are then layered on top without stirring the pot, while the final layer should be cabbage, which helps to seal the flavorful juices inside the pot.
The dish is slowly cooked, for about 2 hours, and when served, it can be garnished with fresh cilantro or dill, if desired.
Lagman (sometimes also spelled “lahg’mon”) is another extremely popular food in Uzbekistan. The most common way that lagman is served is as a hearty noodle stew that includes lamb, onions, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and garlic. The rich broth is also seasoned with cumin seed, parsley, and basil.
The term “lagman” is derived from the Dungan word, “lyumyan” which means to “stretch the dough”, and lagman noodles are typically hand-pulled, giving them a deliciously chewy texture that you would pay top dollar for in Italy or Korea.
When in doubt about what to order in Uzbekistan, lagman is generally a great choice especially if it’s cold outside!