Must-try dishes when traveling to Uzbekistan
If you are planning a trip to Uzbekistan, you are in for a treat. Uzbek cuisine is a delightful blend of Central Asian, Middle Eastern, and Russian influences, and is famous for its rich flavors, hearty portions, and generous use of spices and herbs. From savory stews to succulent kebabs, Uzbekistan has something for every palate. Here are some must-try dishes that you should not miss on your visit to Uzbekistan.
Plov: national dish of Uzbekistan
Plov, also known as pilaf, is the national dish of Uzbekistan and is a must-try for every visitor. It is a hearty rice dish cooked with meat, vegetables, spices, and herbs, and is often served at weddings, festivals, and other special occasions. The meat used in plov can vary from lamb to beef to chicken, and the vegetables can include carrots, onions, and garlic. Plov is traditionally cooked in a large pot called kazan, and the rice is flavored with saffron, cumin, and other spices. Plov is often served with a side of salad, yogurt, or pickled vegetables.
Shashlik: a popular grilled meat dish
Shashlik, also known as kebab, is a popular grilled meat dish that is found throughout Central Asia, including Uzbekistan. It is made by marinating cubes of meat (usually lamb or beef) in spices and herbs, and then grilling them on skewers over open flames. Shashlik is often served with a side of salad or bread, and is a perfect dish for meat lovers. The meat is tender and juicy, and the spices give it a unique flavor that is not found in other grilled dishes.
Lagman: a hearty noodle soup
Lagman is a hearty noodle soup that is a staple in Uzbek cuisine. It is made with hand-pulled noodles, vegetables, and meat (usually beef or lamb), and is flavored with spices and herbs. The soup is often served with a side of bread or salad, and is a warm and comforting dish that is perfect for cold winter days. The noodles in lagman are long and thick, and are made by hand by skilled chefs who have been trained in the art of noodle-making.
Samsa: a savory pastry filled with meat
Samsa is a savory pastry that is filled with meat (usually lamb or beef) and is a popular snack in Uzbekistan. It is made with a flaky pastry dough that is filled with a mixture of meat, onions, and spices, and is baked until golden brown. Samsa is often served with a side of tea or yogurt, and is a perfect dish for a quick lunch or snack. The pastry is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and the meat filling is flavorful and juicy.
Uzbek sweets: halva, baklava, and more
Uzbekistan is also famous for its delicious sweets, which are often made with nuts, honey, and dried fruits. Halva is a sweet confection made with sesame seeds and honey, and is often served as a dessert or snack. Baklava is another popular sweet that is made with layers of phyllo dough and nuts, and is often eaten during festivals and special occasions. Other popular sweets in Uzbekistan include chak-chak (a sweet made with honey and flour), and khalva (a sweet made with nuts and sugar). These sweets are a perfect way to end a meal or to enjoy as a snack throughout the day.