Kyrgyz Meat and Dough Dishes

Kyrgyz Meat and Dough Dishes

Kyrgyz meat and dough dishes are a cornerstone of Kyrgyzstan cuisine. The most famous such dish is beshbarmak, a filling meal of boiled meat, homemade dough and broth, yet there are many other varieties of this meat-and-dough combo which are well worth trying.

Oromo is a steamed roll of dough with a minced meat filling. In modern Kyrgyz cuisine, potatoes are also added to the meat.

Samsas, puff pastries with a meat and onion filling, are a common Kyrgyzstan street food. Samsas are usually baked in a clay tandoor oven and are prepared by men, since it can be difficult for women to roll out the elastic dough. The most delicious samsas are said to be found in the city of Osh. When ordering samsas in Osh you will be asked if you want a "bitter samsa” (with a hot pepper pod inside) or a “sweet samsa” (with no hot pepper inside). The “bitter” samsas are decorated with black cumin so as not to confuse them with the "sweet". In Osh the samsas are formed into perfect circles, while in other regions they can be triangular or square.

Manty are steamed dumplings which are usually stuffed with minced meat and onion. A special variety of manty found only in Kyrgyzstan is made with dzhusai, a fragrant herb that resembles green onions. Dzhusai manty is a popular vegetarian food in Kyrgyzstan. 

Khoshan, fried manty made from yeast dough, were absorbed into Kyrgyz cuisine from the culture of the neighboring Uyghurs.

Naryn is a Kyrgyz dough dish made from thin noodles and finely chopped meat. It was customary to serve the meat broth on the side; the broth would be drunk first and then the naryn eaten. Today, however, it is customary to mix all of the ingredients together to form a thick soup.

Laghman is one of the Kyrgyz meat and dough dishes which are served at special gatherings. Laghman consists of long homemade noodles and meat fried with vegetables. After the meat is golden brown, vegetables such as bell peppers, radishes, tomatoes and garlic are added to form a sauce. The noodles are boiled separately and covered with the sauce before serving.

Goshnan (gosh-nan) is a meat pie stuffed with lamb, onions and spices. Goshnan is cut into several pieces before serving and is eaten with a broth that is offered separately in a bowl.