Have You Ever Tried Uzbek Cuisine?

Have you ever tried Uzbek cuisine? If not, today is the perfect opportunity! Arab, Chinese, Russian, and Persian travelers and traders (among many others), have greatly influenced Uzbek cuisine, resulting in one of the most diverse yet mouth-watering dishes that one can find in Asia. Today’s recipe is for manti, which is a meat filled pastry found in  Uzbekistan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan and many others, and is the perfect snack as you walk to today’s screening of Parizod at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Earth Theater.

The recipe varies depending on the county and region, but the one offered below is a farily common version of manti. This recipe yields many manti, so you may want to consider freezing them for later or sharing with several friends.

          2.5 cups of flour

          2 cups sour cream

          1 cup water

          1 egg

          1 tsp salt

          2 lbs of beef or lamb (or vegetables)

          2 large onions

          2 ½ oz lamb tail fat (can be replaced with 3 tbsp. olive oil)

          1 tsp salt

          1/2 tsp black pepper

          1 tsp cumin

1.      Combine salt, water, flour, beaten egg and 1 tsp. salt into a large mixing bowl. Knead the mixture until it has the consistency of dough, and leave to sit for 15-30 minutes

2.      Combine meat, spices, and onions in a large mixing bowl.

3.      Once the dough is thin and circular, put it into 2×2 squares (but larger sizes are acceptable). Put about 1 tbsp of meat and 3 cubes of the fat (or olive oil) into the dough squares, and wrap up the corners once the mant is filled.

4.      Let the mantis steam over a medium heat for 30-40 minutes

5.      Serve with vinegar or sour cream.

If you would like to check out more recipes, you may want to look at the following sites:

UzbekCooking Blog: http://uzbekcooking.blogspot.com/2009/12/manti.html

The School of Russian and Asian Studies ( for Kyrgz and Russian manti): http://www.sras.org/manti

Arbuz.com: http://arbuz.com/recipes/manti-meat-dumpling-recipe

iExplore.com: http://www.iexplore.com/travel-guides/middle-east/uzbekistan/food-and-restaurants