Monday Meal Review: Tajikistan

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httpv://youtu.be/0tNsfjQ-zes It is often said that family who live in close proximity take each other for granted. But in many ways, I think it's just as easy to take each other for granted when family is scattered around the country. We get used to a certain state of ... loneliness... of missing each other. We resign ourselves to the distance, and take for granted that it can be no other way than to be apart. It got so bad, for me, that I hid behind my work and responsibilities. I … [Read more...]

Recipe: Yogurt Naan/Non

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Any woman worth her salt is an incredible, complex specimen which takes time and love to fully understand. But even when you think you know a woman, she remains - at her core - mysterious. And so it is with today's Tajik naan recipe. She's made with a blend of wheat and all purpose flour, a healthy glop of yogurt, and not much else. She gets her shine for a quick milk and egg wash. The flavor is rustic, thanks to the wheat flour, and there's a slight, yet definite tang, thanks to … [Read more...]

Recipe: Lamb Plov with Dried Apricots & Raisins

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I'm an awkward girl; I'm not up on fashion trends, my slang is two decades passe, and I'd rather drink wine at home than be surrounded by 100 people I don't know. Dinner parties can really put me to the test, especially when I'm the hostess. I want everyone to have a good time, but I'm never entirely sure how to bring everyone together. That's where Tajikistan can help. You know that moment, right as everyone sits down to eat? I refer to it as the calm before the storm. It's a little … [Read more...]

Menu: Tajikistan

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This week's theme is community and reunion. We spent the last ten days visiting my family, some of whom I haven't seen in nearly three years. Tajik food is often enjoyed from one giant platter, so the timing was perfect. I made three giant platters of plov, and all 18 of us came together around them (The bonus? Only three dishes to wash!) Lamb Plov [Recipe] Plov is popular throughout Western Asia, and for good reason. This is rice cooked with carrots, turnips, a half ton of onion, and bits of … [Read more...]

About the food of Tajikistan

Women in Tajikistan. Photo by Steve Evans.

In Tajikistan, if you don't have bread, you don't have food. It doesn't matter if the table is piled to the ceiling with meat, vegetables, and sweets. Bread is the purest sustenance to the Tajik people, especially nan (a thick flatbread Tajiks love to decorate with ornate markings). And why not. Bread makes all kinds of sense in this rugged, mountainous land bordered by China, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan (the country actually sits in Asia). Nan stores well because, if it dries out, the … [Read more...]