Turkmen Soups

Turkmen Soups

Turkmen soups constitute a major part of local cuisine. The most common soups in Turkmenistan include:


Potatoes are cut into large cubes and boiled in a mutton broth. Tomatoes, fried onions, carrots, flour, bay leaves, salt and pepper are added and the soup is cooked until ready. When serving, the bowl is lined with flatbread. A piece of boiled mutton and sour cream is added to each bowl.

Chorba Mash (mung bean soup)

To prepare chorba mash, rice is added to a broth and brought to a boil. Mung beans, carrots, cubed onions and stewed tomatoes are added and cooked until soft.

Dogroma Chorba

Mutton, tomatoes and sheep’s kidneys, heart and lungs are seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked. The contents are removed from the broth and cut into small pieces. Bread chunks and chopped onion are added and the meat, offal, bread and onion are covered in broth and cooked until ready. Sometimes sour plums are also added.

Nohudli Chorba (lamb chickpea soup)

Lamb on the bone is cut and cooked in water with chickpeas and pepper. Chopped onions are stewed and  added to the soup 15-20 minutes prior to serving.

Unash (bean soup with noodles)

After lamb and beans have boiled for an hour, noodles, stewed onions and pepper are added and the soup is left to cook until ready. Unash is served with sour milk.

Umpach Zashchi (flour soup)

Wheat flour is fried in grease until brown. Water, finely chopped stewed onions, salt and paprika are added and all is left to boil for some time. Umpach-zashchi is topped with parsley or coriander when served.

Gara Chorba (tomato soup)

Lamb is cut into pieces and fried until brown. Chopped onions are added as the mixture continues to fry. The meat and onion are placed in a large pot, which is filled with water. Tomatoes are added and the soup is cooked until ready. Gara chorba is served with chopped green onion.

Mastava (rice and vegetable soup)

Beef is cut into pieces and boiled in water until cooked. The broth is filtered before large cubes of potatoes, quartered tomatoes, stewed onions and carrots, rice, salt, pepper and bay leaves are added. Mastava is served with sour cream and parsley or fennel. A piece of meat should be added to each bowl.

Kyufta Chorba (sausage soup)

Chickpeas are cooked in a broth until ready. Sausage meat is minced twice and mixed with semi-cooked rice, salt, pepper and eggs. Sausages are formed from the mixture and potatoes added to the broth. As they are brought to a boil, the sausages and stewed onions, carrots and tomatoes are added and all is cooked until ready.

Turkmen soups are almost always served with fresh bread.