My sister-in-law picked some wild strawberries about a month ago, when she came here from Moscow for her holidays. Then she hang a bunch of strawberries on a sea-buckthorn tree growing near our house and asked me to photograph it.
These two guys are cooking shashlik (Kyrgyz barbecue), they were snapped at the Osh City bazaar in Southern Kyrgyzstan, in 2008. It is a usual sight at bazaars in Asia. This food is very tasty when properly cooked from fresh meat.
The amount of ingredients is calculated for an ordinary adult person. This is a quick-cooking dish and not many products are required to cook it. Besides, it helps increase men’s potency, if you eat this at least once a week.
Take 4 or more fresh eggs, these may be either hen’s or quail’s eggs. Mix them in a bowl with a cut onion, a small bunch of green spring onions would do the best.
Next, take about 100 grams (0.22 pounds or 3.5 ounces) of salted pork fat (it may be replaced by boiled meat, fish without bones or fresh shrimps), chop it all to little pieces (shrimps don’t need the procedure) and mix with already mixed eggs and onions. Add a little salt to taste, if you like salted dishes, but don’t salt too much.
Put the mixture into an oiled frying-pan and begin to fry. When it’s almost ready, pour a shreded small bunch of parsley onto the frying eggs. That’s all!
Many people outside the former USSR heard about a sort of Russian, Bellorussian and Ukranian soup known as borsch (borscht). And of course, some of gourmets would like to know how to cook borsch at home.
Russian borsch is cooked on the bone, meat and mushroom broth, as well as on broth cooked on geese and ducks. There are vegetarian kinds of borsch too.
The most characteristic feature of almost all kinds of borsch is using red beet and tomatos (except in «green borsch») while cooking the soup. Onions, carrot and greens are used in all kinds of borsch, but parsley is excluded from the so called «Siberian borsch».
Other vegetables, such as cabbage, potatos, pepper, sorrel, squashes, mushrooms are also used to cook borsch, depending on its kind.
Properly cooked borsch should have crimson colour and sourish taste. The colour is achieved by specially cooked red beet, which must be cut to stick-like slices, then fried 5-6 minutes with cut tomatos and put into boiling borsch.
Next time I will tell you in detail how to cook three kinds of Russian borsch.
Pilaw (pilaf, pilaff, pilau, palov, plov) – is one of the most favourite Uzbek dishes. There are many kinds of pilaw, depending on the meat of which it is cooked – goat’s meat, mutton, horse meat, poultry and game. Also, there are various cooking methods. But the one ingredient that pilaw can’t be cooked without is rice.
The most widespread pilaw in Uzbekistan is called Uzbek pilaw, made by boiling vegetables and rice in the same cauldron. There’s another way of making pilaw in Bukhara (a city in Uzbekistan), called “Kabul” cooking method. The main feature of the method is to cook seasoning and rice in different cauldrons.
In spite of large differences between various methods of cooking pilaw there are three common consecutive techniques which are characteristic of the Uzbek cuisine.
- The first technique is overheating the fat or oil in an iron or cast-iron cauldron. In order to properly overheat cotton-seed oil or any other vegetable oil it is necessary to heat up the cauldron and then pour oil into it. First, dark smoke appears, a little later turning white. An onion put down into the oil neutralizes bitter substance that oil contains.
- Then mutton fat is cut into small cubes and melted down, cracklings are taken away from the cauldron and melted fat has to be heated up for about 5-7 minutes.
- The next step is to make zirvak (seasoning) and to braise meat with onions and carrots. It is an important step of the process. The products must be prevented from sticking to the bottom and sides of the cauldron.
Unlike with other dishes, water and salt is added to pilaw twice – into zirvak (seasoning) and after laying rice. Zirvak must simmer on low heat. Spices are added to zirvak after it has been stewed.
Rice should be laid upon zirvak after the seasoning is ready, but rice should not mix with zirvak while being stewed. Rice must lay on the surface of the seasoning lest it (rice) should stick to the cauldron’s bottom.
The amount of water matters as rice is laid in the cauldron.
After that rice should be salted to taste and cooked until ready.