Turkmen Dough Products

Turkmen Dough Products

Modern Turkmen cuisine is known for its combination of dough and meat. Although many Turkmen dough products are not unique to the country, they go by different names here than elsewhere in Central Asia and so are commonly assumed to be altogether separate foods. For example, Kazakhstan’s national dish beshbarmak closely resembles Turkmen dishes such as gulak, belke and kurtuk. Large dumplings which elsewhere in Central Asia are called manty are known as berek in Turkmenistan. Small dumplings commonly known as pelmeni are referred to as borek by the Turkmens.

Of special note are two common Turkmen dough dishes:

Etli Borek (meat dumplings)

To prepare these petite meat dumplings, red meat and onions are minced twice and mixed with salt, pepper and water. A thin unleavened dough is rolled out and cut into small squares which are filled with the minced meat mixture. The etli borek are boiled in salty water and, like local unash noodes, are served with either sour milk or sour cream. You can find this dish in many Turkmenistan restaurants.

Shilekli (deep-fried patties)

The dough for shilekli is kneaded with butter and eggs, rolled out until thin and cut into squares of approximately 15х15 centimeters . As with many Turkmen dough products, shilekli is stuffed with a mixture of red meat, onions, salt and pepper. The filling is minced twice before being placed in the middle of each square. The dough is then formed into a triangle and deep fried.