Monday, January 18, 2010

January 2010 - Uzbekistan

After a short December holiday break, we are back up and running for the new year. This month brings us to Uzbekistan which was formerly part of the Soviet Union. The main food of Uzbekistan is the rice based dish or palov. This is a rich meaty stew prepared on a bed of rice. Unfortunately living in the southern hemisphere and being slap bang in the middle of summer, we decided against preparing the palov and decided to try and create a more heat friendly, but authentic menu. With this in mind, here is our menu for Uzbekistan:
  • Kovoqli Varaki Somsa - Pumpkin Samsa

  • Karam Dolma - Cabbage rolls with meat

  • Fresh Fruit skewers and Ice cream with Halva

Uzbekistan is now firmly on my places to visit list. The food was very tasty. The starter was a roast pumpkin and caramelised onion filled pastry. We all enjoyed them so much that I am surprised we even had room for the main course. I even had the last one for breakfast this morning, shh, that's a secret. Our main course was mincemeat and rice filled cabbage rolls. The rolls were made in a tomato, lemon and sultana based gravy and they were sweet and tangy. The recipe suggested that they be served with mash potato which is what we did, along with a basic side salad. We all stuffed ourselves on the cabbage rolls too so a light dessert was a welcome relief. Apparently Uzbekistan is known for its fine fruit and vegetable produce and so in honour of that we had tropical fruit skewers with plums, mango and melon along with ice cream and halva which is widely eaten in the region.