Citizens, the ancient lands of the Silk Road have always fascinated me – the historical and scholarly TFD! – with their stories, cuisine and antiquity. I have already given you one recipe from the proud country of Tajikstan, now allow me to present their national dish to you, ! 🙂
A traditional dish that is still eaten with hands from a communal plate is qurutob (Tajik: қурутоб), whose name describes the preparation method: qurut (Tajik: қурут, dried balls of salty cheese) is dissolved in water (Tajik: об, ob) and the liquid is poured over strips of а thin flaky flatbread (patyr or fatir, Tajik: фатир, or more accurately фатир равғанӣ, fatir ravghani, i.e., fatir made with butter or tallow for flakiness). Before serving the dish is topped with onions fried in oil until golden and other fried vegetables. Qurotob is considered the national dish.
As noted on foodperestroika.com:
Tajikistan claims mainly two national dishes: plov (aka osh), and qurutob. While plov is more famous and is also the national dish of neighboring Uzbekistan, qurutob, a mix of bread and onions in a yogurt sauce (with the occasional extra meat and vegetables), is specifically Tajik.
Tajik culinary literature is pretty scarce. Pan-Soviet cookbooks typically included a short section about Tajikistan, a handful of booklets must have been published with very small circulations in Dushanbe in the early 1990’s, and a few bloggers have posted recipes here and there. But overall, with Tajikistan being one of the poorest countries in the world — and with its independence immediately followed by many years of civil war — circumstances haven’t encouraged such recreational endeavors as cookbooks.
Many versions of qurotob are vegetarian, but mine contains lamb to make it more of a main dish. I hope you gird your culinary loins and try a dish that I guarantee you have never experienced before, Citizens! It is both unique and delicious!
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