Kyrgyzstan, the heart of Central Asia, is known worldwide for its untouched nature, majestic mountain landscapes and unsurpassed hospitality. But also the Kyrgyz cuisine is one of the reasons why you should visit this amazing country. It is diverse, like the country itself, so everyone can find something suitable for their tastes. Despite the widespread fact that Kyrgyzstan is a one of the meat eating countries, vegetarians also have a huge selection of fruits and vegetable dishes.
Central Asia was a pivotal thoroughfare along the Great Silk Road, so Kyrgyz cuisine reflects the history, tastes and cultural influences of various peoples who have traveled along this route for centuries. Traveling in Kyrgyzstan, you will see dishes adapted from other cuisines: Russian, Dungan, Uyghur, Turkic, etc.
Considering that the Central Asian countries have been engaged in breeding livestock since ancient times and animal husbandry was also an important part of the Kyrgyz nomads, meat is still the main part of the country’s traditional and modern cuisine. Also, Kyrgyz cuisine cannot be imagined without bread and dairy products. Let’s go through the main dishes of the national cuisine of Kyrgyzstan:
There are so many dishes to try in Kyrgyzstan, but I would recommend starting with beshbarmak, because Kyrgyzstan and beshbarmak are inseparable. Beshbarmak is a true classic of Kyrgyz cuisine and no celebration is complete without it. It is made from horse meat, lamb or beef, noodles and served with broth (shorpo). Most often it is served for special occasions such as wedding, reception of important guests, funerals. The name of the dish is formed by combining two words: “besh” – five and “barmak” – a finger. The dish got this name due to the fact that the nomads did not use cutlery and ate it with their hands. During your trip, for example, while spending the night in a yurt, be sure to try beshbarmak with your hands and feel like a nomad.
Lagman is a Central Asian dish that will not leave anyone indifferent. The Uyghur and Dungan lagmans are widespread in Kyrgyzstan. It should be noted that it is considered one of the most popular dishes not only among the local population, but also among tourists. The main ingredients of lagman are meat, noodles, vegetables and broth. The advantage of lagman is that it can also be cooked without meat by making a vegetarian lagman.
Plov is one of the most delicious dishes of oriental cuisine, which can be prepared for any occasion: it is served both during large celebrations and as an everyday lunch / dinner. There are many varieties of plov, depending on the region. Classic plov is made from meat, rice, carrots and spices.
Manty is another popular dish not only of Kyrgyz cuisine, but also of other peoples of Central Asia. The classic version of manty is steamed and consists of dough and meat filling. But there are a lot of variations of this dish, so you can also take jusai, pumpkin, potatoes as a filling.
Boorsoks – pieces of dough fried in oil. Prepared on holidays in large quantities and served with tea or as an addition to any dish.
Dishes such as manti, kuurdak, samsa, ashlyanfu, oromo, kattama and others are also widespread.
Make a culinary tour in Kyrgyzstan and you can’t go wrong. Thanks to the combination of different cuisines, a large selection of meat delicacies, as well as a variety of vegetables and fruits, the taste of Kyrgyz dishes, will surpass all your expectations.