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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How to make "pishloq" or "tvorog"

I love my home made "pishloq"/"tvorog", as it is tastier and safer, as I know how I made it:) This kind of cheese exist almost in every cuisine and has different names like ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, panir and so on. In Uzbekistan it is mostly called "tvorog". Choose very fresh and natural milk for this purpose, otherwise you won't get anything, but a mess!
for 150 grams of "tvorog"
1 liter of milk
2-3 tbsp of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar
Salt to taste (optional, as I usually don't add any salt)
Heat up milk, over medium heat, until small bubbles will start to appear:

Immediately set the heat on low and add in lemon juice. Stir unceasingly. Milk will start to curdle. When milk is finely curdled and you can see that yellowish whey, take from heat and immediately pour the mixture over cheesecloth and let all the whey to drain. You can keep the whey for another purposes if you want.

Your "tvorog" is ready to eat now. If you want to make harder cheese, then hang up that cheesecloth for about 30 min and then keep you cheese in cold, clean water in a glass jar.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Olma palov (Pilaf with apples)

There are so many recipes of pilaf with different fruits, but most favorite ones are pilaf with quinces, with dried fruits or with apples. Each of these fruits give special flavor and taste to pilaf.
It's better to choose fresh, flavored apples for pilaf, because they will give really special taste to pilaf. The other secret is using clarified butter for this pilaf, as it goes good with the taste of apples and sultana raisins and gives a beautiful yellowish color. This pilaf can be cooked without any meat (for vegetarians). Recipe is for 3-4 servings.
100 grams of clarified butter
300 grams of meat (beef or lamb,I used chicken)
2 medium sized onions, peeled and sliced
200 grams of carrots, peeled and cut in long strips or flaked
Half cup of sultana raisins
Three apples
300 grams of rice
1 tsp of crushed coriander
Salt to taste
Heat up butter and put in meat. Fry over medium heat until meat is browned. Put in all of the onion and carrots. Set the heat on low and cook for about 40 min under covered lid. Don't forget to stir every 10 min. After half hour, add in salt and coriander.
Cut out the middle of apples with a special knife. If you don't have that kind of knife, then halve apples and remove seeds. Finely wash raisins.

Finely wash rice, layer it on top of the fried meat and vegetables evenly. Pour enough water to cover rice for about an inch or more/less depending on your rice. Set the heat on high and bring water to boil. Tuck apples in to the rice at this stage and let all water evaporate, don't forget to check for saltiness, add some more if needed.

When all water is gone, set the heat on low and cover the lid. After 10 min, open up the lid and carefully mix only the top of the rice, turn apples on other side. Again cover the lid and cook for 20 min more or until rice is finely cooked.
Mix all of the pilaf carefully and serve topping with meat and apples. Enjoy!
Yoqimli ishtaha!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tovuqli Su'k oshi (Pearl barley soup with chicken)

"Su'k oshi" is usually cooked with lamb or beef, but today I tried it with chicken and I really enjoyed the result! Soup is full of flavors, thick and so tasty! I will give you the original recipe and also I will give my version of this soup, you will choose yourself which one to cook:)
(Original recipe)
100 grams of lamb's tail fat
400 grams of lamb or beef, cut in medium cubes
2 onions, peeled and sliced
1 big carrot, peeled and cubed
2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
4/3 cup of pearl barley
Salt to taste
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of ground or crushed coriander
Fresh chopped greens
First of all put pearl barley in preheated pan and cook without any oil for about 6-8 min. It will enhance the flavor and gives amazing taste to the soup. Set aside and let it cool completely. Before putting in to the soup, finely wash barley in cold water.

Cut lamb's tail fat in small cubes. Heat up heavy crock pot and put in all of the fat cubes and set the heat on medium. Melt fat cubes, until they will shrink in size (just like here:, take out all of shrunk pieces and put in meat. Fry on a high heat, until nicely browned. Put in onions and fry until onions are transparent. Put in carrot and continue frying until carrots are half done. Pour in 2 liters of water and simultaneously put in barley. Bring to boil, scoop out a little foam that will float to the surface and simmer the soup for about 40 min-1 hour or until barley is soft and nicely cooked. Add in potatoes and cook until potatoes are soft, for about 15 min. At the end, add in all spices and salt and cook for another 5 min. Take from heat and serve.
(My version)
I used 50 ml of vegetable (corn) oil instead of lamb's tail fat and took chicken instead of lamb or beef. The rest of the recipe is same.
Serve in individual bowls, sprinkling chopped greens on top. Enjoy!
Yoiqmli ishtaha!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ju'hori palov (Pilaf with corn)

I love to cook "Ju'hori palov", as I am a big fan of corn:) I love it steamed, I love it baked, I love it in pilaf, I love corn fried in salt-I love corn in anyways:)besides it is very useful and healthy, low in calorie and provides with fiber.
Vegetarians can cook without any meat. Just mention that for pilaf, it is better to use baby corns or soft types of corn.
150 grams of vegetable oil
400 grams of meat (lamb, beef or chicken)cut in big chunks
2 big onions, peeled
3-4 medium sized carrots (300 grams of peeled and striped carrot)
1 big capsicum or 2 small
4-5 soft corns
Salt to taste
1 tbsp of crushed coriander seeds
1 tsp of cumin seeds
350 grams of rice
Prepare your vegetables, thickly slice onions, cut carrots in strips or flake them. Clean capsicum from seeds and just cut in half. Clean corns and wash well, to get rid of that "hair".
Heat up oil and brown meat(I used 2 chicken legs)on a high heat. Set the heat on low and put in all the vegetables on top of the fried meat.

Cover the lid and cook for about 1.5-2 hours. Stir every 20 min. Vegetables must give enough juice, that you won't need any water, but if vegetables are not so juicy and tend to stick to the bottom of the pan, you can add in a little water.
At the end, add in spices and salt.
Wash rice carefully and layer evenly on top of vegetables and meat. Pour enough water to cover rice, for about an inch and set the heat on high. Bring to boil and check for saltiness. Let all the water evaporate and then mix only the top of the pilaf (just rice) and set the heat on low. Cover the lid and cook for about 10-15 min. Open up the lid, again mix only the top of the pilaf. Cover the lid and cook for another 10-15 min or until rice is finely cooked. Take from heat and finely mix the entire pilaf. Serve on a big flat plate placing meat and corn on top. Enjoy!
Yoqimli ishtaha!!!

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!!!