Uzbek cuisine - has a long history, which is closely linked to the Uzbek culture, language and traditions. Significant impact on the diversity and originality of the recipes was that in contrast to the geographical neighbors Uzbeks have historically been characteristic of both sedentary and nomadic. At the same time borrowing culinary traditions, cultural assimilation (especially Parsi) had a profound impact on the diversity and richness of dishes. The origin of many of them has common roots with traditional Asian dishes such as pilaf, Lagman, manti rays and other. However, Uzbekistan has its own peculiarities of preparation of these dishes, as well as its completely original dishes.
The developed wonderful traditions Uzbek cuisine has to prepare all kinds of dishes: meat main dishes, soups, bakery and confectionery products, salads and meat dishes, drinks. For main characteristic of cooking fried, high-calorie food, the widespread use of cottonseed oil, sheep's tail fat, oil, and spices of verdure. Men-professional chefs called "Oshpaz". In a broad sense Oshpaz general cook, but usually in the Uzbek language, this term is understood by the expert cook pilaf.
Uzbek cuisine emerged as a result of co-existence and blending of several cultures, the long-term development in the Ferghana region, Tashkent and Samarkand oasis - an important trade crossroads for all of Asia. Especially affected are so typical for Uzbekistan mixture of Persian and Turkic culture has occurred in X-XII centuries. It traces the characteristic community of Uzbek and Tajik cuisine. At the same time there is a serious difference from the kitchen nearby geographical neighbors of the nomadic peoples of the Kazakhs, Karakalpak and Turkmens. Some experts believe modern Uzbek cuisine in all its diversity was formed relatively recently - 120-150 years ago. That's when the region began to widely penetrate foods and cooking techniques of European cuisine. After the annexation of Central Asia to Russia in the XIX century was the rise observed in the development of cooking. Began to cultivate vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, radish and so on. This has contributed to the enrichment of food with new dishes. Yet, many recipes have a long history, mentioned in the writings of Avicenna, and other well-known scholars of the middle Ages and figures.
The Uzbek national cuisine, there are marked differences between the regions. In the north of the main dishes is rice, dough dishes. In the southern part of the country, preference is given multicomponent dishes of vegetables and rice. In the Ferghana Valley are preparing darker and fried rice, Tashkent lighter.
Uzbek cuisine is largely grown in Asian traditions and recipes, but also has its own specifics.
The most popular ingredient meat - lamb, but is widely used beef and horse meat. Main meat dishes are usually a great vacation product. For example, the classic recipe is pilaf proportion of 1 part of meat - 1 part rice.Abundantly used oil, with very popular cottonseed oil, which is taken before use overheat. Classic dishes are not made to cook very sharp and spicy, but it is widely used herbs and spices, such as cumin (cumin), cumin, barberry, coriander, sesame, fennel and basil (Rayhon). Often, as a salad ingredient used special dairy products - and katyk suzma.
Specific is the use in soups (shurpa) cereals - mung bean (bean variety), white durra (sorghum), rice, corn. Meat dishes are almost always prepared with onion, with its tab in the proportion of the meat is much higher than in European cuisine. In preparing the stuffing for dumplings recipe normal two or three pieces of onion to one part meat. One of the most popular and well-known dishes - pilaf. For the Uzbek and Tajik cuisine is characterized by joint preparation of meat and grain (usually rice). In contrast, for example, Azerbaijan’s cuisine where meat and grains cooked separately. In general, vegetables and cereals in practically used as a separate dish or side dish, they enter as ingredients in main dishes. Fish and poultry fat unpopular in Uzbek cuisine. Restricted use eggs. Rarely used eggplant and mushrooms.
Confectionery and bakery products are also very diverse. Main and one of the most popular baked goods - cakes, Uzbek (non) - fall into two main categories:
obi-non (obi-non (UZB).) - on the yeast dough and water.
patir-non (patir-non (UZB).) - on fancy or puff pastry with oil or fat.
Many dishes have a complex recipe, prepared manually, which requires years of skill and culinary arts. Special professional skills required in the preparation of large pilaf for tens and hundreds of kilograms of rice. Manti, dumplings (chuchvara) molded hands sumalyak cooked on a slow fire for more than 10 hours. In this preparatory stage for wheat germination can take several days.
At the present time for cooking in the Uzbek cuisine is widely used by modern gas and electric stoves, kitchen utensils and appliances. However, still popular and traditional ways of cooking methods. Required element cookware - a cauldron (usually of several types and sizes). Tandir - clay oven can be found everywhere in Uzbekistan, and it is almost a mandatory element, in particular, rural cuisine.
The traditional view of dishes, which are served risotto and many other dishes - Lagan, a large flat plate or platter. In today's meal at the Uzbek cuisine rarely use a fork - if not eat pilaf hand; it is customary to eat with a spoon. Other utensils used in the Uzbek cuisine: Spit (deep bowl), bowl (usually a cup for tea).
Traditions and Etiquette
According to Islamic traditions, in Uzbek cuisine adds here to certain restrictions, distinguishing food, "Haram" (ҳarom (Uzb.)) And "Halol" (ҳalol (Uzb.)). Prohibited considered pork in any form. Significant restrictions on how and when eating there during the holy month of Ramadan and the related post.
Many dishes have their associated traditions rooted in antiquity. They relate to a large extent with the sacred relation to food and products as animate beings, which must be treated with due deference respect. Especially Uzbeks to bread, many traditions are closely linked to the bread and leaven. The board is required to put the cake "face" up. The feasts in Uzbekistan usually appears only an even number of cakes (odd number for mourning). Turning the cake (it does usually senior or junior member of the family, but with permission) is considered to be the sign of the beginning of the meal. Generally begin the meal before the eldest in the family or older at the table first to try the dish is considered ignorance.
Traditional Uzbek wedding (also funeral for the deceased and other events) accompanies cooking pilaf. It is prepared, as a rule, with more overnight and served on the table early in the morning. Usually in such cases, a recipe for "festive pilaf" (to’y oshi) - with chickpeas, raisins and various spices. This is one of the most famous traditions, which in modern Uzbekistan plays an important part in the relations between people. And to this day there pilaf made hands, although it requires some cognizance. Ancient traditions are connected with the preparation of ritual meals sumalyak of sprouted wheat. It’s supposed to cook early in the spring before planting. Often it is cooked in large cauldrons on the streets during the celebration of Nowruz. This dish, which is difficult to find an analogue in the kitchens of other nations, in appearance resembles a jam and it is considered very useful for the gastrointestinal tract and strengthens the immune system. There is a kind of tradition associated with the initial preparation of food ingredients. So when cleaning the bow supposed to cut the end of sprouting bulbs properly (about a quarter of the bulbs) - began to white flesh. When cooking pilaf in Uzbekistan is only used yellow carrots, with the most high-quality varieties of carrots is considered that in Uzbekistan called "Mushak".
In Uzbek families characterized by the fact that the cooking at the household level is considered a male occupation and men often take on the responsibilities of the family in cooking. Preparation of a large pilaf in a cauldron on a hundred or more kilograms of rice - the prerogative of men only.