T h e U i g h u r s русский
U I G H U R C U I S I N E
Uighur cuisine is an
original memorial to the culture of the people. It synthesizes influences of the
West and East, antiquity and the present, great skill, imagination, beauty and
harmony of taste. Here we’d like to introduce some of the meals that are the
most popular among the Uighurs.
vegetables (radish, tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper, string bean, bean sprouts,
radish, cabbage, carrots, etc.) are ingredients of cold salads dressed with
vinegar, hot oil, pepper and various spices. Ingredients of salads from boiled
and fried vegetables are the same vegetables after heat-treating, and also meat,
rice starch, and eggs.
"Gül’ Tavaq” - a flower dish - occupies a special place among cold dishes. This dish is a mix prepared from various vegetables, meat, and spices. Even though ingredients readily available determine variety of kinds of this dish, it is always a good-looking dish of chopped vegetables, fried and boiled and chopped meat. As a whole, the dish looks as a flower that consists of multi-colored petals.
First course dishes popular among the Uighurs are:
Uighurs call these dishes “meal of the tired”, “meal – rest”. Such
soups are seasoned with fresh herbs or roots. Among them:
Dough for soups can be prepared from different kinds of flour - barley, rice, wheat, and corn. The latter dish is described in “Divanu Lughat-It Türk” by Mahmut Qashqari, a prominent Uighur scholar of the 11th century, and almost has no analogues in other peoples’ cuisine. "Omach" has varieties, one of which is "Sumulyak" that is served as a funeral and memorial repast.
is the most favorite and popular dish of the Uighur cuisine. It includes long
noodles prepared from thin strings of dough stretched from thick wisps served
with a sauce. Every Uighur meal has its symbolism. This meal is referred to as a
dish of love. Love should last long as the noodles are. The Uighurs prepare “längmän”
of four kinds depending on seasons. In spring the sauce is prepared from spring
onions, jusäy sprouts, celery and radish. In summer, cucumbers, garlic
sprouts, usun, short and long kidney bean, tomatoes, green and red pepper,
eggplants, garlic, onions and spring onions are added to the sauce. In autumn,
the sauce includes carrots, kohlrabi, radish and turnip. In winter the sauce is
prepared from dried and pickled vegetables. Also there are different kinds of
" längmän", which vary by way of cooking, thickness
of noodles, kind of a flour, etc.
in dish symbolism relate to a dish of the dzhigits (brave men). "Manty"
are cooked on steam in a special cookware, which consists of sieves inserted one
into another and called "qasqan”, or a flat vessel, weaved from cane -
"jimbil". “Manty”, as well as ravioli - "chöşürä", are prepared from rolled out dough with
a stuffing. The dish could be prepared in a variety of ways, with different kind
of dough and ingredients of a stuffing. Douhg used for manty could be both
leavened and unleavened. The stuffing also could vary including gourd, meat,
onions, jüsäy, fig, clover, spring onions, quince, vegetables, and
"Çöşürä" – (ravioli) are cooked for the just married the next day after the marriage and symbolizes a wish to have many kids and prosper. " Çöşürä " could be served as first course as well as second course dish.
Uighurs frequently cook “polo” - pilaf. In general, this dish is the
meal of guests. For a plenty of people, “polo” is cooked by “aşpäz”,
specially invited cook who takes care of preparing “polo” on weddings or
commemoration services. Cooking “polo” requires hefty skills.
Ingredients are rice, meat, carrots and onions. Pretty often “polo”
is dressed with garlic or raisin.
is one of the most honored ancient Uighur dishes. It is a patty filled with
ground meat and onions, gourd, vegetables and fruits. “Samsa” is
cooked in “tono” – cone-shaped oven for baking bread or in a cauldron.
Dough for “samsa” is kneaded depending on where it would be cooked. For
example, for “tono samsa” dough is kneaded salty and stiff, for “samsa”
cooked in a cauldron, dough could be flabby and not stiff, or salty and yeasty.
- some kind of a fried meat pie, filled with herbs, jüsäy, clover,
wheat sprouts, dill, cabbage, and coriander. The filling could be the chopped
meat and onions.
nan” - meat bread – patties filled with meat and onions and baked in a
nan” - steam bread – a roll prepared with carrots, gourd, jüsäy,
spring onions, etc.
"öpkä-esip" - stuffed lights is the art itself. While
slaughtering a sheep, lamb or calf, a butcher tries not to damage the lungs.
Integrity of the lungs is checked by inflating them. The stuffing is prepared
from the liquid dough, milk, eggs and oil, and poured through a sieve into the
lungs. Then they are tied up and submersed into boiling water.
Uighurs make bread from wheat flour, sometimes, from corn flour.
Bread is usually baked in “tono” – big ovens, from leavened or yeasty
dough in form of pita: large and thin – “çong nan”, small and thick - "toğaç".
In a cauldron the Uighurs bake short puff pitas -“qatlima” from dough
made on oil and cream as well as thin pancakes - "poşqal".
On holidays people make various short pastries in a cauldron, in particular,
"sangza". Bread baked in “tono” is considered the most
nutritious, because it absorbs heat of fire. There are more than 40 (forty) ways
of making bread in Uighur cuisine.
Tea occupies an important place in a diet of the Uighurs. Since the Silk Road passed through Uighur territories, tea has been known to them for considerable period of time. The Uighurs make tea in different ways and have their own tea rituals.
The Uighurs of the Semirechye (Seven River region) make tea
with salt and milk – “atkän çay”.
Cream, sour cream, and butter are added to it. It is served in a big bowls –
“apqur çinä”. This kind of tea is very nourishing
and usually the Uighurs drink it for breakfast. After rich and plentiful meal,
usually black tea - “syn çay” - and sweets are served. The Uighurs from Ferghana (Uzbekistan)
prefer green tea – “kök çay”.
Uighur cuisine is
popular across Central Asia, and one can find Uighur restaurant in many towns
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