Horse Meat Plovs and Hast Imam Mosque

Tashkent is also known as the ancient city on the great Silk road from China to Europe. The Telyashayakh Mosque (Hast Imam Mosque) is one of the most beautiful mosques I have been till now. It is the religious center of Tashkent and located in the old town.

The national dish of Uzbekistan is Plov and it is served at weddings and any other celebrations. Each family and province has their own way. Every one of them proudly claim that he’s is the best! People still make it with mutton fat! The rice is cooked with yellow and orange carrot, pea, quince, mutton, beef, horse meat, dried apricots, spices, raisins, pumpkin and many other vegetables. It is a tradition for men to make the plov, and it is usually cooked in a deep cast-iron pot (kazan). There will be at least one litre of animal fat at the bottom of the pot and it is believed that drinking that oil can stimulate a man’s libido!
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In the Uzbekistan Airways Catering Kitchen

I conducted three master classes and developed a few recipes for the State Enterprise “Catering” of National Air Company of Uzbekistan. It was an unforgettable experience. The Kitchen staff of the airlines were so warm and full of hospitality. I helped out in the preparation of flight meals in the best traditions of Asian cuisine and gave tips to improve the quality of the dishes and their garnishing.Read more

Fruits and Food Galore

The open air markets in Tashkent are a great place to stock up on dried fruits, fresh fruits and fresh breads. Bread is respected and relished like if it is holy. My guide and interpreter told me that in traditional homes, a piece of the Uzbek non is placed under the head of a newborn baby. This is to wish him or her a healthy long life. The most popular bread is non, a round bread, and it is available everywhere. In the market, I saw the bread sellers selling the breads on old fashioned baby prams! The breads are baked in clay ovens called tandir (it is like the Indian clay oven tandoor). The non is soft, light and and addictive. It’s got a shiny crust and an open, airy crumb, and when it’s piping hot, and you don’t need butter or anything to eat it. See photos of bread in the next article!Read more

Chorsu Bazaar in Tashkent

Eski Juva bazaar is the biggest and oldest, not only in Uzbekistan but in the whole of Central Asia. Located in the heart of the Old Town of the capital and next to Chorsu square, Eski Juva has been operating on the same spot for over two thousand years. It is built near the majestic Friday Jami Mosque and the Kukeldash Madrassah, dating back to the 15th – 16th centuries.
The stalls in this ancient bazaar stand under seven huge domes covered with colored glazed tiles. I was so overwhelmed and impressed with the abundance and diversity of the produce and products sold.Read more

Master Classes in Tashkent

My trip to Uzbekistan was sponsored by the World Association of Chefs and the Association of Cooks of Uzbekistan and International Centre of Uzbek Culinary Art. I was here to teach the best of Asian dishes and to deliver talks to couple of culinary schools. The chefs here have not been exposed to many of the Asian cuisine like Thai, Indonesian, Indian, Chinese or even Malaysian and Singaporean style cuisine. Ingredients were not easy to get and I had to modify each and every of the traditional recipes to suit the Uzbek taste buds too.Read more