Tajik Dough Products
One of the oldest and most popular Tajik dough products is kurutob. Its main ingredient is a fresh, flaky bread called fatir, which is broken into small pieces and placed in a large, shallow wooden dish called a tabaki chubi. Fresh or fried onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and hot linseed, cottonseed oil or butter are then added before everything is mixed with sour milk (kurut dissolved in water). Hot chili peppers may also be added at the table if you prefer your kurutob spicy. It is customary to eat kurutob with your hands.
Mantu (manty) are steamed dumplings which are made from an unleavened dough and stuffed with meat or, on occasion, pumpkin and potatoes. It is customary to fold the edges of the dough for Tajik mantu backwards so as to seal them before cooking. Khushan are a variation of mantu in which chickpeas are added to the filling.
Sambusas are savory triangular or square pastries which are baked in a clay tandoor oven. The dough is made from flour, water, eggs and salt and can be made either with or without yeast. The dough is rolled into a large, thin layer before being cut into individual pieces. Chopped minced lamb, chunks of tail fat, onions and spices are placed in the center of each portion to form a mini pie. Modern variations include sambusas stuffed with chicken, pumpkin, potatoes, herbs or even peas.
Barak-shurpo are another Tajik food made from dough. Essentially dumplings with herbs, it can also be classified as a soup if served with a special broth. To prepare barak-shurpo, an unleavened dough without eggs and a stuffing of minced meat and onions should be prepared. The meat should be cut into small pieces and fried with onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and carrots. Roll and cut the dough into individual portions, place the filling inside each piece and seal each one on the ends to form a square. Boil the barak dumplings in salted water and prepare a separate broth if you wish to serve it as a soup. Chickpeas may then be cooked in the broth in which the dumplings were cooked. When serving, the dumplings should first be placed on a plate before pouring the rich broth over them.
Oshi tupa (oshi burida, oshi-tupa) is one of the most classic Tajik dough products. To cook oshi tupa, unleavened dough is cut into squares or wide noodles and boiled. After the meat has been cooked separately, pre-soaked chickpeas, peas and mung beans are boiled in the meat broth. The legumes will give the broth a rich, thick consistency. All of the ingredients are then mixed together, and turnips and greens are also sometimes added before serving. Oshi tupa is essentially a combination of Kazakh besbarmak, Uzbek laghman and shima, another Tajik dish of fried meat, vegetables and noodles.