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Monday, December 3, 2012

About measuring...

Hi everyone!!! Happy December to you all! I believe everything is fine with your side. Today, I want to talk about one disadvantage with my recipes, I hope you don't mind:)
Many people ask me, why I don't give exact measurements for the flour to my dough-related dishes. I agree that it is my biggest flaw. I never measured the amount of the flour, as I always concentrate on the softness or hardness of the dough. I add flour gradually, more at the beginning, less at the end, mixing and kneading it each time with my hands. In the beginning, the dough is very runny but gets thicker each time as I add flour. Usually, I make a medium-hard dough, which means it is not sticky, not too soft, and not too hard. You can easily press your finger in it, but it's not sticky. I understand it is hard for beginners, but by the time you will see it, you will also stop measuring the flour:)

In the meantime, I will try to do the measuring for my upcoming recipes. 

Thank you for your support and patience! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Behi palov (Pilaf with quinces)

Hi there everyone!!! Hope everything is just fine and positive on your side:)  Life is full of joy, happiness and fun, just  we have to SEE it, wish to everyone find the way:)  Open your hearts and accept everything-be grateful! I understood that, being grateful is one of the most important secrets to happiness...
So, I am grateful that, today I finally find some time to post a recipe for you guys:)
So today's special is pilaf with quinces:) As soon as they are available in the markets, I get them to cook this dish for my loved ones! Pilaf with quinces has special and unique taste, besides it is very useful for health, especially if you have some problem with your lungs as cough and colds. If you wish to make it vegetarian dish, you can always cook it without meat, just skip the meat part and continue the rest. So the recipe:
150 ml of clarified butter
400 grams of meat, cut in medium chunks (ribs will go fine)
2 big onions, cleaned and sliced
3-4 big carrots, peeled and cut in thin long strips or flaked (as I like)
3-4 fresh and ripe, but not soft quinces
2,5 cups of rice, (I used basmati, if you're using another type of rice, you can put a little more, as basmati tends to double/triple in size)
Tablespoon of ground coriander
Teaspoon of black cumin seeds
Salt to taste
Heat up butter, then put in meat, fry on a medium heat until beautiful light brown color. Put in all of the flaked/cut in thin strips carrot and onion. Set the fire on low. Put quinces at top of vegetables and cover the lid. (it helps to soften the quinces, so you won't hurt your hand while cutting them)
Let it cook for 20 min. Then open up the lid, take out quinces and cut them in half or quarter, if they are big.
Again put them back on top of the vegetables and cover the lid. Let them cook for about an hour.(Check up every 20 min,  slightly moving the bottom, sometimes, if the carrot is not juicy and fresh enough, it tends to stick to the bottom of the pan, in that case,add in some water-about half cup and continue cooking)

After an hour, carefully take out quinces out of the pot. Add in some salt, spices and finely mix everything. Put quinces back. Layer the rice (finely washed for at least three times) on top of meat and vegetables evenly, helping yourself with a spoon. Carefully add in water to cover the rice for about an inch, set the fire on high and let all the water completely evaporate. Check for saltiness. At the end, carefully mix only the top of the rice with a spoon. Set the fire on low (lowest you have), cover the lid and cook for about 15 min.

Open up the lid, again mix only the rice and put the lid back. Cook for another 15 min or more until rice is finely cooked.
When your pilaf is done, take out quinces and all the meat chunks, finely mix everything. Serve your pilaf and enjoy:)
As always it goes good with "Achchiq chuchuk" -salad with tomatoes and onions, yey!
Yoqimli ishtaha!!! 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Kulchatoylar (Baby bread)

When I was a child, my mum used to bake me these kind of "kulcha" breads:) I loved them! I missed those baby breads and decided to make some for my sweety too.  These "kulcha"s are so fun to make with your child! And they are great for school snacks! Just cut them in half horizontally and put some filling inside. They are surely better than any shop buns:)
300 ml of milk
50 grams of butter (or melted lamb's tail fat as in original recipe)
1.5 tbsp of yeast
1 tbsp of sugar
1 tsp of salt
Plain flour as needed
1 egg for greasing
Poppy seeds or sesame seeds for sprinkling
Warm up milk and add in butter or fat, mix until it is dissolved completely, take from stove, add in salt and sugar. Let it cool down a bit and add in yeast. Mix and gradually start adding flour. Make soft and a little bit sticky dough (but not too sticky). Grease with oil, cover and let it rest for 1.5 hours.
When the dough is ready, divide it in about 15 or more (depending on how small you want to make your mini breads) pieces. Shape out your "kulcha"s in small circular breads with thin center and thicker edges. Put them directly on your baking tray, cover and let them rest for 10 min.
Grease all of "kulcha"s with whisked egg and sprinkle with your favorite seeds. Bake in medium heat until nice golden in color.
Mmmmm, that heavenly smell!!!!
Enjoy your baby breads!!!

Yoqimli ishtaha!!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Qovurilgan yosh kartoshka (Fried baby potatoes)

Hi there everyone! I am so sorry for my long break, as always, I have so much to do! This time it's even more work, as somehow, most of my food photos are lost (don't know how????!!!!) and I have to cook all those dishes again! I need that photos for my book (I have to work on it a little bit more...). I suspect that maybe my daughter accidentally had deleted them... For the other side, maybe it's for my sake, as now I have better camera and my photos are much more beautiful!!!
Let me share with you one of my mother in law's favorite snack (photo is taken with my old camera, I have some more photos and recipes, I have to post them soon:))
 As soon as young baby potatoes are available at the market, my mother in law gets them, for cooking her favorite snack:) Though it is a little bit time taking, but still the taste worth the work:) Besides, nothing like eating those fresh, crunchy and delicious baby potatoes!
500 grams of baby potatoes
half a liter of clarified butter
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Cook/boil  baby potatoes with their skin. When they are ready, drain the hot water and wash with cold water. Start peeling out their skin, and yeah it will take some time:)
Heat butter well and then deep fry potatoes in it. Fry half of all potatoes at a time, that will make them  crunchier. At the end, sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Goes well with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers:)
Enjoy that crunchy babies!
Yoqimli ishtaha!!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Gu'ja (Cold soup with wheat and corn)

"Gu'ja" is very popular and great cold soup for summer. This soup is so easy to cook, yet so yummy and nourishing! In Uzbekistan there are some special places, where you can enjoy this dish and have chat with your friends. There are different recipes for this soup and they all taste just yummy! This recipe is the simplest one!
 Half cup of wheat
 Half cup of white corn
 Salt to taste
 Plain yogurt
 Pepper and red chili to taste (optional)
 You can also add in yellow corn kennels and mungbeans to this recipe if you wish

 "Gu'ja" needs special kind of corn, which is white in color and has small kennels.
Mix corn and wheat in a bowl, add in enough water to cover them for about 4 inches. Bring to boil on a high heat. When it comes to boil, lower the heat and let it simmer until wheat is soft and completely cooked. At the end, add in salt. Serve with plenty of fresh plain yogurt. I also like to sprinkle some basil on top:)
 Enjoy your hearty summer dish!
 Yoqimli ishtaha!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tandir non (Bread baked in a special clay oven)

Hi my dears! How are you? Hope everything is fine and your life is full of happiness and joy! Sorry for such a long break, as always I was busy with many other things. But, I always remember you and my blog and feel so guilty the day I didn't post anything. I had a great experience with baking bread in a clay oven - "Tandir" or "Tandur":)A lot of thanks to my friend Malika opa, who showed me the process. She shared with me some secrets of "tandir". She also showed me how they love to eat fresh and hot baked bread, greasing garlic and tomato on top of it. I must tell it's really yummy! Bread is soaked with tomato juice and garlic gives specific flavor to it! Here is the photo:
So, the next day, I wanted to try it on my own, well actually not on my own-with my husband:) I prepared the dough and he prepared the oven. It was fun, but a little bit stressy, as I was afraid if I could make it right:) I had to try it, or it will not be me:) I decided to make my bread without adding any yeast.
 So, here is the recipe of my bread:
 1.5 liters of full fat milk
 5 tbsp of olive oil (or any vegetable oil)
 1.5 tbsp of salt
 1 tbsp of sugar
 1 cup of toasted sesame seeds
 You can also add 1 full tsp of baking soda if you want, but that is optional
 4 cups of all purpose white flour
 Whole wheat flour as needed
 Heat up milk and add in oil, sugar, salt. Stir well, until sugar and salt dissolved completely. Take milk from heat and add in toasted sesame seeds. Add in 4 cups of white flour and soda, finally mix everything. Now slowly add in whole wheat flour, until you will form soft, but not sticky dough. At the end, oil your hands and work you dough for about 5 min. Cover and let it rest for 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare clay oven. Fire the wood and let it fire a while. At the beginning, oven will be dark inside. You have to wait until it will be light. Divide the dough for about 10 pieces or more, depending to the size of the bread you want to bake. I made them small, so I divided in 14 pieces. Divide and work them into smooth balls, prepare your tools:
When oven is ready to bake, start shaping out your breads:
You will need a special tool called "rapida" to put your bread on it and stick it into the walls of the oven. Before sticking the bread, you have to grease the back of it with a little bit of water, just to make it sticky enough.
Now, stick it to the oven's wall:
When bread is golden-brown in color, it is ready. You will have to take it carefully. Always keep your face out or you can burn out your eyelashes:) Also take care of your hands, wear something with long sleeves and wear also cotton gloves. Believe me it is fun and great experience, one must have in his/her life:)! Oh, I forgot to tell you about potatoes! After we were done with our breads, we buried some potatoes in that remaining coal, waited a while and then enjoyed delicious and flavorful potatoes!!!
Enjoy your the most tasty breads ever!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kartoshka burma

Hi everyone! I am so glad that I finally found some time for posting a recipe:) I tried out new dish and wanted to share it with you. Do you guys remember the recipe "Qovoq burma" , this is almost the same thing, just the filling is different. Instead of pumpkin, I used boiled and mashed potatoes and I loved the result! It is perfect with light soups! Surely try it:)
Same dough as for "Qovoq burma"
For the filling:
2-3 medium sized potatoes
4-5 tbsp of hot milk (or more, just to make it easier for mashing)
50 grams of butter
1 medium sized onion, peeled ans sliced
Salt to taste
Pinch of fresh grounded pepper
Guys, how do you cook potatoes for your mashed potatoes:) ? I prefer cooking them with skin, putting them in already boiling water,I think that will help to keep most of important minerals and vitamins, again who knows:)So, I take out them when they are fully cooked and peel of their skin. All potatoes go in to the deep bowl. Then go salt, pepper and milk in there:) Mash, mash, mash until smooth.
In separate pan, melt the butter and fry onions until transparent.
Add onions in to the mashed potatoes and finely mix them up:)
Now roll out the dough and divide in four, grease a little bit with oil or clarified butter and spread out the filling evenly all over the piece,

roll each piece around itself forming a log, then roll in to "snail":) Now your snail shaped "burma"s are ready for frying!
Fry each side as described in "Qovoq burma".
Now enjoy your "Kartoshka burma" and surely share with your loved ones! And not loved ones also:) I recommend loving everyone:) Be positive in everything!

Yoqimli ishtaha!!!
I love you all!!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

"Olma" pechenyesi ("Apple biscuits")

Hi there my dears! God bless us all in our wonderful and amazing lives!!! I feel so positive and joyful right now, that I wanted to share my LOVE and energy with you all! I just want to say that, keep on dreaming and believe in everything good! I love you all!!!
As for recipe:) I don't really remember the origin of these biscuits, but I know them from my childhood, so I can relate them to our cuisine:) Try to choose sweet, medium sized apples, which are flavorful and not so juicy. I made 6 "Apple"s out of this recipe:)
130 grams of butter or margarine
100 ml of full fat cream
Half a tsp of baking powder
Half a cup of powdered sugar
Plain flour as needed (better start to measure flour, as sometimes it's complicated for beginner cooks, sorry, xoxo)
6 apples
6 tsp of cinnamon powder
Handful of black raisins
Handful of any nuts (I used almonds)
6 cloves
Grate butter using the big eye of the grater. Add in 1 cup of flour and start to mix, rubbing it between the palms of your hands. When it gets crumbly, add in sour cream, sugar, baking powder and mix again with spatula. Now start adding more flour, mix with hands, until you will form medium hard dough. Cover and put in fridge for 1 hour.
Divide the dough in 6 equal parts. Clean your apples using special knife.

Now, roll out one of the pieces of dough and sprinkle some cinnamon on top, put apple in the middle and fill with nuts and raisins. Sprinkle more cinnamon on top.

Pinch out the edges, to finely cover the apple. Put one clove at the top.

Repeat with other dough pieces and apples. Bake in preheated oven, using the middle rack, until nice, light golden in color. Take out and generously sprinkle with powdered sugar. Mmmm, yummy! Enjoy!
Yoqimli ishtaha!!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Pishloqli chuchvara (Cottage cheese Dumplings )

I learned this dish from my mother-in-law (she also cooked it very rarely). I liked this dish at that times, but I almost forgot about it:) Recently I was thinking about to cook some vegetarian dish and I remembered about this meal. Although my mother-in-law made them same as regular "chuchvara"s (I mean the shape), I decided to make them bigger, in rectangle shape, to make my work easier (as I am a big Lazy girl). "Pishloqli chuchvara" is very good source of protein and calcium. Cheese that I used, in Uzbekistan is usually called "tvorog" which is similar to cottage cheese, ricotta cheese or even paneer. Try to use fresh, thick and non sour cheese.
Same dough as for "chuchvara"
200 grams of cottage cheese
1 big egg
1 tbsp of clarified butter
Salt to taste
Half a tsp of fresh ground pepper
Fresh sour cream for serving
Make the dough, cover and let it rest. Prepare filling: finely mash cottage cheese with eggs, salt, pepper and butter. Set aside.
Roll out the dough and cut 2X2 inch squares. Put in 1 tsp of filling and finely pinch the edges.

Continue pinching, until you will use up filling or dough:)
In separate bowl, boil about1.5 liters of water and bring to boil. Add in 1.5 tsp of salt and 1 tbsp of any vegetable oil. Put "pishloqli chuchvara"s in boiling water, about 10-15 at once. Ready dumplings will float to the surface, but still you need to cook them 1 min more, to be sure, that filling is cooked well.
Cook as many dumplings as you need and keep the rest in your freezer.
Serve dumplings with sour cream and enjoy!!!

Yoqimli ishtaha!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ismaloqli kesma lag'mon (Noodles with spinach)

As I already wrote, I love experimenting in kitchen:) So I decided to make green noodles for lunch:) I used spinach for color and it gave great taste too! For topping, I just fried minced meat and vegetables and serve it with colorful corn, just to give that dramatic and appetizing look for my "Kesma lag'mon" :) Prepare noodles and save some for later use. I usually dry my noodles or just put them in freezer.
200 ml of spinach juice
2 eggs
1,5 tsp of salt
Plain flour as needed
150 ml of vegetable oil (I used corn oil)
350 gram of minced meat
2 onions, peeled and sliced
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 capsicum, chopped
2 tbsp of tomato puree or paste
Salt to taste
1 tsp of ground coriander
1 tsp of black cumin seeds
Sweet corn and fresh chopped greens for serving
Slightly beat up eggs with spinach juice. Add in salt. Gradually add flour, until you form slightly hard dough, but not too hard. Cover and let it rest for 20 min.
Generously sprinkle the surface with flour, roll out the dough (about 0.5 mm thick) and again sprinkle generously with flour, just to prevent sticking. Let it dry for 5-8 min, then roll around itself forming long log. Start cutting the log in 1/4 inch thick slices.

Open up every slice, hang them over and let them dry for at least 20 min. I use my rolling stick and 2 chairs for drying my noodles:)

While your noodles are drying, prepare the topping: Heat up oil and brown minced meat over medium heat, add in onions and fry until onions are slightly golden in color. Add in capsicum, fry until capsicum is half done. Finally add in tomatoes and tomato paste. Fry until oil will start to separate out. At the end, add in spices and fry for 2 min more. Add in salt and then take from the stove.
Boil 2 liters of water in deep bowl and add in 1 tbsp of salt in it. Add in less then a half of your noodles and cook for about 3-4 min or less, just until noodles are soft and cooked. Drain all water and then serve topping with fried meat and vegetables. Also sprinkle corn and greens for additional color and enjoy your creative and beautiful lunch!!!
Yoqimli ishtaha!!!

Shirgrechka:) (Milk porridge with buckwheat)

Usually I call this meal "Grechkali kasha" which means buckwheat porridge, almost in Russian:) so I decided to call it "Shirgrechka" :) This meal is great for breakfast, as it contains useful elements and calcium, so needed for our bones: I love porridges!!!
Ingredients (for three people):
600 ml of milk (full fat or reduced, but I used full fat, as it is tastier:))
1 cup of buckwheat
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste
Butter for serving (1, 5 tsp for each bowl)
Finely wash buckwheat and pour in milk. Put on stove and bring to boil. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally as at the end it can stick to the bottom. Cook until porridge is thick and buckwheat is finely cooked. At the very end, sprinkle salt and sugar, mix well and serve topping with butter. Your delicious and healthy breakfast is ready to enjoy!
Yoqimli ishtaha!!!