Tajik Cuisine - Salads, appetizers, vegetable dishes
Vegetables and greens are a must in nearly each Tajik dish. It can not be otherwise since they have been growing there from times immemorial. Hospitable Tajiks take juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, fragrant greens directly from their gardens. If you visit a market you'll be surprised to see the abundance of eggplants, onions, peppers, carrots, garlic, string beans, potatoes, and fresh fruit. You name it. All these grow in vast amounts under the hot Tajik sun. This is why dastarkhan (dinner table) is so rich. Before the main course Tajiks always treat their guests with vegetable appetizers or salads from young garden radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, rhubarb, fennel, parsley, raikhon, coriander etc.
Potatoes boiled in jackets and peeled, boiled carrots, boiled meat, cucumbers, and tomatoes are all cut in cubes; onions are chopped; boiled eggs are sliced. All is mixed, salted, peppered and put in a salad bowl. When served the salad is seasoned with katyk, decorated with add slices and chopped greens.
You can be treated with a more complex dish, for example eggplants stuffed with vegetables in Tajik fashion. To prepare vegetable stuffing they fry chopped onions, carrots, fresh tomatoes, greens, and garlic in heated fat. The ready stuffing is put into eggplant halves and the dish is stewed until ready.