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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Horazmcha ishlama gu'mma (Khorezmian baked or fried meat pies)

Yesterday I tried this kind of "Gu'mma" at my friend's house and I just loved it! My friend is also from Khorezm region and knows so many dishes which are really new to me. I am always surprised, that there are so many recipes in Uzbek cuisine and some are prepared only in one particular region and unknown to the rest of the country. So, I am really excited to cook that new dishes, which my friend-Malika (we have same names:)) is telling me. I am so thankful to her for giving me such a wonderful recipes! As always I changed recipe a little, adding richer taste and enhancing the flavor by adding celery to the filling. I also add in 4 tbsp of chicken broth to the filling, just to make it juicier. I rolled out dough a little thicker, to put more filling inside, otherwise it is rolled out thinly and baked with a fewer filling.
"Ishlama gu'mma" is prepared with different meat, but fresh and fatty parts of lamb is preferred. I cooked it with chicken and believe me it turned out to taste fantastic! I think vegetarians can cook this dish using tofu or tofu meat instead of beef/lamb/chicken.
My friend Malika told me that, this dish is served as an appetizer or a snack and she always cook "Ishlama gu'mma" for a long ride to the mountains or for picnics.
For dough:
450 ml of warm water
Half tbsp of salt
30 grams of butter
Plain flour as needed
4 tbsp of melted butter for greasing
2 chicken legs
2 medium sized onions, peeled
1 medium or 2 small capsicum, cleaned from seeds
2 medium tomatoes
Fresh chopped celery
Salt to taste
Half tbsp of crushed coriander
Pinch of pepper
Half a tsp of cumin seeds
A little oil for frying
Prepare the dough: Dissolve butter and salt in warm water. Start adding flour until you will form medium hard dough. Cover and let it stand for 15 min.
Prepare the filling: trim off all the meat from chicken legs, grind well. Cut all of the vegetables in small cubes. Mix all together adding spices and salt.

4 tbsp of chopped celery has to be added before forming "Gu'mma"s.
Put the filling in fridge and start rolling the dough in big flat circle. It doesn't have to be thin.

Now grease the surface evenly with melted butter and start rolling it around itself, forming a log.

"Ishlama gu'mma" can be made in different sizes. Usually it is made in big half circle shape or just as one big circle, I made 6 medium sized half circles and one big circle.
So, cut out the log in desired pieces and put them on their flat sides.

Sprinkle with flour and roll them out. Put 2 tbsp of filling (for medium sized half circles) and pinch out the edges.

"Ishlama gu'mma" can be cooked in two different ways: you can bake them in preheated oven or you can fry them on medium heat with 1 tsp of oil. Just heat up the pan, put 1 tsp of oil, place 2 "gu'mma"s (or one depending on size),cover the lid and fry until the bottom is nice golden in color, then turn them to other side and again fry until nice golden color. I myself enjoyed fried one than the baked one:) Try both ways and choose what you like.
In this picture you can see that, two at the bottom are baked and two in front are fried "Ishlama gu'mma"s:

This one is big circle, baked "Ishlama gu'mma":

Enjoy these yummy pies with your family and friends and let me know how it turned out, if you will try to cook them.
Yoqimli ishtaha!!!

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