Is Uzbek cuisine actually to die for?

Is Uzbek cuisine actually to die for?

Is Uzbek cuisine actually to die for?

It is against this backdrop that Uzbekistan’s contemporary cuisine began forming. The cooking was influenced by traders and conquerors from all over the world, resulting in a unique fare. Even today, the influence of Turkic, Kazakh, Uyghur, Mongolian and many other cultures can be seen in Uzbekistan’s “national dishes”.

The biggest national dish

Plov is the most popular and famous of all of Uzbekistan’s national dishes. According to one well-known story, the dish came into its own during the time of Amir Timur, the famous Uzbek conqueror who founded the Timurid Empire in the 1300s. According to legend, Timur needed a way to feed his huge armies during his conquests, and settled on plov as the ideal food, since it was high in calories and transportable.

After these wars, the dish’s simple yet delicious recipe may have spread with the returning soldiers. Many Uzbek cooks today still swear by the ratios rumoured to be used by Timur’s armies: one part each of meat, rice and carrots. The other heavily featured ingredient is a hefty portion of high-calorie oil. Some recipes (though not all) at the Central Asian Plov Centre in Tashkent even call for four types of oil – sesame, sunflower, linseed and cotton – in addition to animal fat in their plov. Regional varieties employ additional ingredients such as eggs, garlic, onions, tomatoes, peppers and spices.

Plov is eaten at nearly every special occasion in Uzbekistan, and many Uzbeks also eat it throughout the week – sometimes daily. The dish is similar to pilaf, a common Middle Eastern rice dish cooked in meat or vegetable stock, and is made in a traditional kazan (a deep cast-iron pot) over an open fire. It’s typically cooked by families, but during special occasions, an oshpaz (chef) prepares it, often serving several hundred guests from a single pot.

However, according to health experts, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.

Source: BBC Travel

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