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Forum LockedCuisines of the steppe peoples

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    Posted: 01-Sep-2008 at 16:53

Could anyone give a brief summary of the typical cuisines and eating habits of the following steppe peoples:

- Kazakhs
- Uighurs
- Mongols (from Mongolia)
- Uzbeks
- Turkmens
- Kirgiz
- Kazan Tatars
- Crimean Tatars
- Bashkirs
 
I have the impression that their diet is very meat-based with an abundancy in lamb and beef. But how are the dishes made?
 
Does Anatolian Turkish cuisines have anything to do with their heritage from the steppes, or is is mostly from the subject peoples of the eastern Mediterranean?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bulldog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Sep-2008 at 17:27
Quote Calvo

Could anyone give a brief summary of the typical cuisines and eating habits of the following steppe peoples:

- Kazakhs
- Uighurs
- Mongols (from Mongolia)
- Uzbeks
- Turkmens
- Kirgiz
- Kazan Tatars
- Crimean Tatars
- Bashkirs
 
I have the impression that their diet is very meat-based with an abundancy in lamb and beef. But how are the dishes made?
 
Common dishes for the Turkic peoples listed (I'm not including Mongols, I don't have knowledge of their cuisine)
 
- Dolmas, literally means 'to be stuffed', common dolmas are vineleaf stuffed with rice and other ingrediants, stuffed peppers and other vegetables there are many variations and styles.
 
- Boreks, a type of pastry or pie made from yufka which is thin flaky dough, there are hundreds of variations and styles, Tatars/Nogays have many famous boreks aswell.
 
- Chorek, similar to boreks, a flat bread/pastry type dish popular among many Turkic peoples. Break in general is very important in Turkic cuisines, every meal is accompanied with bread.
 
- Kebab/Shashlik, I think everybody knows what these are.
 
- Pilafs/Plov, these are rice dishes, everybody claims to have the best pilaf dish but most accept Ozbek Pilaf to be among the best.
 
- Chorba/Shurva, these are soups, popular as starters and during breakfast.
 
- Manti, dumpling type dish with many styles and variaties.
 
- Baklava, the well known dessert type foods
 
- Typical beverages, Chay (Tea), Ayran a yoghurt drink, Keffir and Gatyk another dairy type drink, Kimiz and so on.
 
The list could go on and on, however, an important point is to correct the misconception that these Turkic cuisines are predominantly meat based. Fruit and vegetables are an important part of the diet aswell, melons, watermelons, grapes, apricots, auborgines, pommegrantes etc etc are used alot. 
 
Quote Calvo
Does Anatolian Turkish cuisines have anything to do with their heritage from the steppes, or is is mostly from the subject peoples of the eastern Mediterranean?
 
Anatolian Turkish cuisine is closely connected to other Turkic cuisines, the backbone of this cuisine is based upon the foods I listed above. Dolmas, Boreks, Kebabs, Corbas, Yoghurt dishes, Breads etc etc are essential parts of the cuisine, however, what made Anatolian Turkish cusine so rich is incorporating other ingrediants, foods and cooking styles into their already extensive kitchen. For example, due to geographical regions Central Asia does not have a rich sea food cusine, however, Anatolian Turkish has and this is mainly due to borrowing from the Greeks. The Turkic cuisine was kept and built upon by the Turks of Anatolia.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xi_tujue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Sep-2008 at 19:02
Tutmaç is my favourite dish of Central Asia

It's Yoghurt Noodle soup with lots of herbs mostly black pepper.

Eventhough in Turkey the Noodles are shorter than the orginal

eventhough it's a 'soup' after 2 plates you'll be full

Traditional dishes from Ahiska are my favourite it's basicly 90% pastry

Xinkal aka Manti (The caucasus has probably the most types of Dumplings)
Xaçapur: thick yufka like dough filled with minced meat, cheese, spinace, pattaoes, etc.. folded in half and baked on a sac
Kete: Like çörek only thicker and more greasy
Tutmaç is mabey strictly eaten in North Western Turkey in Turkey I mean


why is the Turkish cuisine one of the three best cuisines in the world and the greek not basicly due to the Central Asian heritage wich was allready 'experimented' with when they moved further west to Persia and the ME.

Most dishes claimed by the Balkan countries and I hate to say it esspecialy greece where developed in teh Ottoman Empire and hence are not from the Balkan. The fact is there names only make sense in Turkish

Dolma : something that is filled
Sarma: something that is rolled (eventhough grapeleaves are used teh orginal sarmas where made of cabbadge)



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Sep-2008 at 07:32
Thanks for the info.
 
I'm surprised that Turkic peoples of Central Asia actually ate a large amount of pastry and even rice dishes. They had to import to wheat as many of the peoples were exclusively cattle herders. And rice? I thought that rice needs a large quantity of water to be cultivated. Where in Central Asia could there be paddy fields?
 
Another question: there are 2 Turkic peoples who are living relatively close to each other geographically: the Kazan Tatars and the Kazakhs. One has been sedentary for many centuries, and the other remained nomadic herdsmen and plunderers well into the 20th century. Are their national dishes similar?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Sep-2008 at 13:40
The most popular food of the steppe people is meat, meat and meat again.
 
Uzbek cuisine in many instances is not really nomadic. Rice has been cultivated in the sedentary Central Asia for milleniums as well as tea, silk and cotton during the later times.
 
So, Koreans didn't have a lot of problem of applying their skills of rice cultivation when they were moved there by Stalin.


Edited by Sarmat12 - 02-Sep-2008 at 13:41
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xi_tujue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Sep-2008 at 13:45
well meat dishes are a given aren't they

my dad allways says it's not a dish untill there is meat in it if not it's a side dish
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2008 at 13:14

How do people eat on the steppes?

Do you they fork and knife or just with their hands?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xi_tujue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2008 at 13:17
with a SPOON i think they used to eat everything with a spoon except meat ofc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2008 at 13:23
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

How do people eat on the steppes?

Do you they fork and knife or just with their hands?
 
Traditionally yes, with hands and knife only. Actually even in Uzbekistan the traditional way to eat pilaf is with your own hands. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xi_tujue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2008 at 13:50
^strange I thought they used wooden spoons
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2008 at 14:05
Genghiz khan family meal from a Russian commercial. Smile
 
Pay attention to how they eat.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xi_tujue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2008 at 14:17
they where eating meat i said besides meat
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2008 at 14:30

Yes, I got it. But traditionally steppe people didn't use spoons. But the purpose of the video wasn't to prove that it just was a side illustration. Smile

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bulldog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2008 at 14:43

Steppe peoples used spoons, it was necessary for soups and dishes cooked in big couldrons called Qazans.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2008 at 15:13
They probably used some some tools to cook the food in big kazans, but they didn't use spoons while eating. The soup was eaten from the small bow without the use of spoon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bulldog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2008 at 15:32

By steppe people do you mean just nomadic?

Kashik/Gashik/Kashok are and have been used among Turkic peoples. However, the traditional way of eating is on a low table, sitting on the floor, a washing bowl is passed around and water is poured on those who will eat hands also cologne can be used. Then the eating can begin, traditionally hands and knife were used, spoons on some occasions, most meals are accompanied with bread.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2008 at 19:35
Originally posted by Bulldog Bulldog wrote:

By steppe people do you mean just nomadic?

Kashik/Gashik/Kashok are and have been used among Turkic peoples. However, the traditional way of eating is on a low table, sitting on the floor, a washing bowl is passed around and water is poured on those who will eat hands also cologne can be used. Then the eating can begin, traditionally hands and knife were used, spoons on some occasions, most meals are accompanied with bread.

 
This is what they do in Afghanistan as well.  Rice dishes are eaten by hand, and there is plenty of finger foods.  Aash (soups) is eaten with Kashuk (wooden spoons) except there is no low table,  but  people normally eat on a destarkhan (a long rectangular mat/sheet placed on the ground).
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gok_toruk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2008 at 17:14
For sure, "meat" is the core part of Central Asian cuisine, and not pastry. Just some points about the names (regarding cusines):

Kebab is "Shara". Also, "Shishlyk" (and not "Shashlyq) is different from "Shara". While "Shara" is "barbecue" (in fact, it means "to barbecue"), "Shish" is a kind of meat (I don't remember the Engilsh word now, sorry). 

"Pilav" is a Persian word - not Turkic; but almost everyone in Turkey uses this word. Regarding rice dishes, we have 2 differnet ways to make the dish:

1- Süzme (which is what Bulldog explained, about the word "Pilov")

2- Chektyrme (which is most famous among Turkmens).

And, "Chorba" is not soup exactly. You may find, anyhow, soup's ingredients, but "Chorba" is "Chorba", "Soup" is "Soup".

And of beverages, you forgot to mention "Küremez" (of goat milk) and "Tüye Chal" (Camel's milk).

I will write more soon.




Edited by gok_toruk - 05-Sep-2008 at 12:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gok_toruk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2008 at 12:31
I don't agree about the idea "Central Asia does not have a rich sea food cuisine". You can find different dishes (of fish) among Turkmens and Kazaks.
 
And, Turkish culture has preserved Central Asian cuisine, TO SOME EXTENT. Although you might observe Kebab or Dolma in Turkey, but still, there's a lot more, such as Qatlama, Ekmek (which is differrent from Turkish word, for "bread", "Ekmek"), Pyshme, Qawurtmach, Talqan, etc that are made only in Central Asia.
 
We had/have "Qashyq" which is nowadays used to refer to a "spoon", but the old "Qashyq"s were not like the present days samples (in fact, "Qashyq" doesn't mean "spoon"). Old (nomadic) Turks didn't use "Qashyq".
 
Anyhow, even today, lots of people, use their hands only - not spoons - to eat. Foreigners always marvel to see people here eating with their hands.
 
I haven't seen anyone, here, eating on a low table - that seems Chinese. We sit on the ground, around "Sachaq" (table cloth - or ground cloth, should I say!).
 


Edited by gok_toruk - 05-Sep-2008 at 12:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bulldog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Sep-2008 at 00:41
Quote Gok_Toruk
I don't agree about the idea "Central Asia does not have a rich sea food cuisine". You can find different dishes (of fish) among Turkmens and Kazaks.
 
There are fish dishes, mainly fresh water, infact some Central Asian access to the best caviar so your correct there is a rich water-food cuisine. However, as there is no seas with ocean access there was not as much focus on sea foods.
 
Quote Gok_Toruk
And, Turkish culture has preserved Central Asian cuisine, TO SOME EXTENT. Although you might observe Kebab or Dolma in Turkey, but still, there's a lot more, such as Qatlama, Ekmek (which is differrent from Turkish word, for "bread", "Ekmek"), Pyshme, Qawurtmach, Talqan, etc that are made only in Central Asia.
 
Qatlama is found in Azerbaycan, Turkey, Tatarstan etc although Turkmen wedding Katlama is special
 
Pyshme (fried dough) I've had this in many people from Turkey's homes they call it Pishi.
 
Its possible to find so many Central Asian dishes in Turkey depending on where you visit, different regions kept different dishes, even from village to village different dishes can be found.
 
 
 
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