Friday, March 26, 2010
Finely today I am posting you the recipe of "Sumalak":)
This dish is always cooked for "Navruz" - our national holiday, when we celebrate the beginning of the new year and new life. It is belived that "Navruz" will bring happiness, luck and joy to our lives. Different dishes are made for this holiday as "Kuk somsa" "Kok chuchvara" and of course "Sumalak". "Sumalak" is our ancient and truly national dish. It is cooked for centuries and the recipes can vary region by region, but the ingredients are always the same: flour, wheat sprouts washed in water and oil. Nothing else. It is very strong remedy, it helps to strengthen immune system, it helps to clear the body of chemical waste, rejuvenates it and strengthen the body. It is believed that when you trying it for the first time, you should make a wish and it will surely come true! "Sumalak" must be cooked by nice and kind people, it is sacred and holy meal for Uzbeks. Usually it is cooked by old women and it is cooked all night long, and closed near to morning. We have believe that angels are also participate while cooking this holy meal. People mostly women sing songs, dance and have fun while cooking "Sumalak". We have different stories about the history of this meal, one of them tells that it is cooked by a woman named Fatima. Fatima had 2 sons and was very poor. Because she was a widow and very poor, they had very little to eat, and her sons always cried from hunger. One day, their mother became very tired of their crying, and sorrowful that she had no food to give them. That evening she was so desperate that she decided to cook a meal from some flour, wheat and water. She also put some stone in it and stir it long. After a while she fell asleep. When she awoke in the early hours of the morning, she saw 30 angels standing around the pot. She rubbed her eyes, and when she opened them again, she saw them licking their fingers. She woke up her sons. In their excitement they ran to the pot and found it filled with a most succulent porridge. From that time forth the boys were never hungry. The name of the meal was called "Sumalak" which, the Uzbek people say, means 30 angels.
1300 gr wheat
4 kg of plain flour
1 liter of vegetable oil
A lot of drinking water about 18 liters
7 clean small stones:)
You have to prepare one week advance to cook this meal. First you have to clean wheat from foreign seeds and wash well. Put wheat in clean water and soak for 3 days. You have to change water every day. Just wash it and put another clean water.
On the third day drain all the water. Take small pieces of plywood, wash well.
Layer wheat on a plywood evenly. It must be thick, about 3 cm.
Put the plywoods in dark, warm room. Sprinkle water over it 3 times a day. Don't forget sprinkling water or it will dry up and won't rise. From third day sprinkle water for 2 times a day. Approximately on by the end of the third day your wheat will be ready. But it really depends on your wheat. Just depend on your eyes. it must be like this:
You can see that the color of the sprouts is light green. If your wheat's sprouts are like this than they're ready.
On back side you can see the roots, they must be white and thin.
Now, cut the all of the sprouts and grind them in food processor or in a meat chopper.
Pour 10 liters of water in a bucket or just any deep dish. Now place all of the ground wheat sprouts in this water. Wash them well in water, your water will be white as milk. Now pour this milky liquid through the sieve and two layers of the cheesecloth. Squeeze out all of the liquid from sprouts and again wash them in 4 liters of water (separately), again pour through sieve. Repeat this operation one more time. (3 times)You can see that second and the third time water will be not so milky, but slightly white.
Now take your biggest crock pot or pot with thick bottom and pour all of the oil, and pour the first 10 liter of milky liquid on it. Add in all the flour also.
Now mix all together until no crumbs will appear. I used hand mixer to mix it.
Now put your pot on a high heat. Put in stones now. Bring to boil, unceasingly stirring as crumbs will appear easily. After boiling stir 15 min more. You will see that now it is not thick and can boil without stirring. But check and stir every 10 min. I must say that when you first put it on fire, it will crumble a lot, so keep stirring until this crumbles will melt. Don't be afraid, as this was the first time I cooked "Sumalak" just all by myself I was afraid that crumbles kept appear:) They will surely melt don't worry!
Now it will boil and boil, and you will keep stirring and stirring it:) Approximately after 4-5 hours it will thicken and color will begin to get brown like this:
So it's time to pour the 4 liters of milky water (second water where you washed the ground sprouts). Add in and mix well, again stir while bring to boil. Again boil it until it will begin to thicken. After approximately 3-4 hours add in the third 4 liters of water. Again bring to boil and stir unceasingly. Now you will boil it a little longer until it will finely get thick and dark brown. At the end you have to stir vigorously as it can easily stick to the bottom, be careful! Be careful as it is very thick and it can throw out some hot drops, you should better wear some kitchen gloves to prevent burning. It will look like this:
Now, reduce the the heat on very very low, to almost no fire, close the lid and cover it with some towel and leave it for 3-4 hours. Don't open the lid and don't stir! After 3-4 hours (I made it in 3.5 hours)you can open the lead, switch off the fire. Once more mix well and ENJOY this delicious and healthy, tasty and heavenly sweet Uzbek chocolate:)
When you open the lid you can see that oil will come out to the surface.
We believe that before opening the lid you should pray and wish something and then open it and your dream will surely come true!
In Uzbekistan we first of all serve it to our eldest ones. It is served with fresh hot bread and some hot pot of tea. I also like enjoying it with strawberries:) But it is delicious just itself! Hope you will not be afraid to try to cook it. Me myself tried it for the first time and you can see the result! It turned out to be so sweet, that I couldn't stop eating it all day long!