Tajik Cuisine - Bread and Dishes Cooked with Dough

Tajiks are very good at them. Women skillfully cook flat cakes, lagman, ugro, sambusa, twiglets etc. The dough is usually rolled very thinly so things they cook simply melt in your mouth. Tajiks use a unleavened and yeast dough. Flat cakes are traditional Tajik bread. They are made from yeast, simple and rich, unleavened as well as fancy pastry. Flat cakes are baked in tandyrs - clay ovens stoked with fire wood.
The ingredients of farinaceous dishes can be meat, vegetables, greens, spices, dairy products, eggs. Meat farinaceous dishes are Oriental dumplings (manty), every possible kind of noodles with meat (shima, lagman), pies with forcemeat (sambusa). There is a special dish in Tajik cuisine - khushan (Tajik manty with noot). Dough and meat are combined in shima and manapar. Here are more details about these dishes …

Sambusa Baraki (Tajik puff flat cakes)

The stiff dough is made from flour, eggs, salt, and water. Then big flat cakes are rolled out, greased, made in a roll; then cut again and rolled out again. Forcemeat (mutton with finely cut tail fat + spices) is put on the unrolled dough and then triangular pies are made. Authentic sambusu is baked in tandyr. It turns out multilayered, fragrant, juicy and very tasty delicious!

Katlama (Puff flat cakes)

Stiff unleavened dough is repeatedly rolled out thin, greased and shaped as envelops. The last layer is made into a roll which is cut into slices. They are rolled out again and deep fried.

Tajik Pel'menis With Greens

Unleavened dough is rolled out thin, cut in squares. On each square the stuffing is put (chopped greens of coriander, parsley, raikhon, sorrel, green onions, all salted and peppered). After the edges are pinched together, pel'menis are steam cooked. Served with sour milk or sour cream.

Pilita (twiglets)

Sour dough is cut into equal pieces and rolled out in 60 - 70 cm strips. Each strip is folded in half, braided and then fried in a plenty of fat. The ready twiglets are strewn with powdered sugar.

Tukhum Barak (made with eggs)

Unleavened dough made with milk is rolled out thin and made into 8 cm-wide and 20 cm-long strips. The strips are folded double longwise, the edges are pinched together; the resulted pouches are filled with stuffing and pinched tightly from the open side and boiled in salted water. Stuffing - straw-cut onion browned in melted butter + finely chopped boiled eggs. Very tasty when served with sour cream.


Unleavened dough is divided into parts, greased with vegetable oil and left for 5-10 minutes, then each loaf is extended and twisted with fast movements repeatedly to obtain thin strings. Noodles are cut, boiled and washed. Meat is finely cut, fried with onions; after adding tomato paste it is fried for another 10 minutes. Then water and vinegar are added to cook until ready. When served the noodles is warmed up to be seasoned with meat and sauce and strewn with chopped eggs and garlic.