Some truly believe that food is only for survival. But a true foodie knows that there is much more to food than just its sustenance value. Cuisine is linked to factors like culture, tradition, family-values, nationality and even spiritual beliefs and celebrations. That is why no two cuisines in the world are the same even if they belong to close neighbors. Tajiks are no different. Not only is their food different, the timings and the way they eat their food is also quite different. They are even known to have stringent time-bound meal routines. The Tajik follow a special tradition of having food together as a family. Each member of the family has to wash his/her hands before the meal, and no noise during mealtimes is tolerated. As per tradition, the oldest member present at the dining table will first break bread, with the rest of the members following. After the meal, the oldest member says ‘Amin’ and will also collect the table cloth or ‘dastarkhan.’ Tajik families will traditionally always praise the person/s who cooked the meal and end the whole meal ceremony with a ritualistic prayer. Tajiks are truly respectful of their culture and religiously inculcate it into every member of the family. If you are impressed by Tajik tradition and customs, you are sure to be enticed by their cuisine too. Given below are a few recipes to give you an occasional peep into the Tajik way of life and culture.
Easy Tajik Recipes
Some of these recipes from traditional Tajik Cuisine are truly very healthy. You can add or change some of the ingredients and spices as you go along, to modify the recipe as per your preferences if you so choose.
Tajik Green Lentil Soup
- 1 Onion (chopped)
- 6 medium Carrots (sliced)
- 4 medium Potatoes (chopped)
- 3 cloves of Garlic (minced)
- ½ cup Green Lentils (soaked for half an hour)
- ½ cup White Rice
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Basil
- 1 tsp whole Cumin seeds
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- Salt to taste
- 6 cups Water
- Take a large soup pot. Add oil to it.
- Add the vegetables to the oil and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Add spices into the pot and sauté them well again over a medium flame for 3 more minutes.
- Add enough water to cover the vegetables.
- Add lentils into the pot.
- Cover and bring to boil, then lower the temperature and simmer for about 40 minutes.
- Once the lentils pop up to the top of the soup, add rice.
- Simmer for another 20 minutes.
- Check if the beans and rice are well cooked.
- Add salt and serve warm.
- 1 tbsp hot Oil
- 1 cup Yoghurt
- 5 slices Bread
- 2 Onions (cut into rings)
- 2 Tomatoes (chopped)
- Cut small pieces from each slice of bread.
- Take a wooden plate (or any other ordinary plate) and lay the bread pieces on the bottom of the plate.
- Add onions and tomatoes.
- Toss it well.
- Into it add oil and yoghurt.
- Mix everything well and serve.
- 4 cups Flour
- 2 Eggs
- 1 cup Water
- 3 tsp Vegetable Oil
- 500 gm Mutton
- 3 medium Onions
- Salt, Spices to taste.
- Grind mutton into tiny pieces.
- Take a pan and add enough oil.
- Add onions into it and sauté for a while and then add the spices to it.
- Put mutton into it and fry well with onion.
- In a bowl, mix flour, eggs, salt, spices and water and prepare dough out of it. Leave for 30-40 minutes.
- Make small balls out of the dough.
- Roll each ball flat and put a spoonful of fried meat and onion in the middle and fold into a triangle.
- Bake the triangles in an oven until the outer covering changes its color.
- 2 fresh Tomatoes (chopped)
- 1 medium Cucumber (chopped)
- 2 Green Bell Peppers (chopped)
- 2 Onions (chopped)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp Butter
- Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Serve in a salad dish.