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Central Asian Cuisine and Two Messages from My High School Classmates

Updated on March 14, 2011
THE AFGHAN CUISINE (Photo courtesy of Tracy Hunter, Kabul Afghanistan)
THE AFGHAN CUISINE (Photo courtesy of Tracy Hunter, Kabul Afghanistan)
DINNER WITH US MILITARY MEN (Photo courtesy of US military officials in Southern Afghanistan)
DINNER WITH US MILITARY MEN (Photo courtesy of US military officials in Southern Afghanistan)

June 22 (Monday) World Cuisine -Central Asian or South Asian

Dateline: June 29th, 2010... I've been contemplating on whether or not to write a Hubbalicious hub on Central Asian Cuisine; when in fact, it's already ended last June 28th. Only the announcement of Best Hubbalicious Writer is still anticipated (as of this writing) which is to be done on July 2nd (Friday), two days before the July 4th celebration of Independence in the US mainland.

I received the messages of two chatters in my Facebook account; who happened to be my former classmates in high school. The first message came from Kazakhztan. He's a Filipino engineer completing an important project in the city. The second message came from the US embassy in Afghanistan. It was from my classmate who works as an IT (Information technology) specialist.

Kazakhztan is a former state of Soviet Union, now an independent country from the former communist USSR. My classmate said that it's more peaceful now in the area. While in Afghanistan, my other classmate informed me that he cannot go out (he didn't even tried) due to security reasons.

Well, even if I didn't win any hubs on Hubbalicious; at least, I was able to compose myself and decided to dedicate this hub to them..especially those Filipinos and Americans who are assigned in the two countries in Central Asia.

Even though, my two classmates remain nameless in this hub, they knew that HubPages will share my good intention and sentiments for them.

My advise for them is to enjoy the food delicacies of the two countries. I'm sure, most of my fellow hubbers, will agree, that filling our stomachs with nutritious foods will help us work and think properly.

 Just watch out for your health, brothers. We're not getting any younger. Smile. Peace!!!

Afghan Cuisine c/o afghanistanculture09

The Afghan Cuisine

With some information from my former classmate, he told me that there's already an outlet of KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) fast food in the city of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Although, some Afghans are opposed to this kind of development since the occupation of US military servicemen to control the operation of the supporters of notorious terrorist Osama Bin Laden.

Basically, typical Afghan people rely on the basic produce like grains, wheat barley, maize or corn and rice. Added to these are dairy products like whey and yogurt plus the various nuts and native vegetables being grown in the fertile land areas of this mountainous country.

Afghanistan is also well-known for its grapes. Spices and herbs plus rootcrops like potatoes, onion, garlic, coriander, and fruits are abundant in the country (if only they don't engage in war).

Dried nuts and seeds, like walnuts, pistachios, almonds and pine nuts are popular and plentiful in Afghanistan. Lamb and chicken meats are prefered due to religious reasons (most of them are Muslims).

Palao is the national dish, lamb meat in soup stock topped with fried raisins, slivered carrots and pistaschios. Naan is a homemade flatbread that is always available to guests or vistors of the family. You can join them in a floor spread called dastarkhan or sofrah and eat without a chair, by just sitting on the floor.

Note: Please check my attached video for more information on popular dishes around Afghanistan.

Kazakh cuisine

 It is also known as the nomad's cuisine wherein the concentration of cooked dishes is on the preservation of food.

Since most of the residents of Kazakhztan are nomads before, they brought along with them the unusual way of cooking their horses as incorporated in their dishes.

Yes, fellow hubbers, they are basically horse eaters, but not in a bad light (I know, they still have respects on these animals, especially the domesticated ones).

My high school classmate, who's an engineer now, told me that he likes besbarmak, a boiled horse or mutton meat, spiced up and the most popular Kazakh dish. Other horse-based dishes include other meat preparations, sausages (shuzhuk) and ofal or the liver, kidneys and other organs of cow, horse or cow, diced and served with onion and pepper.

Dairy products, like milk and yogurt, include mare's milk (kumys), camel's milk (shubat), as well as sheep's milk.

Black tea is a traditional drink. Many historians believed that this has been served during the famous Silk Road existence that existed in the nation's location. It is often served with milk. Guests from China and neighboring countries, consumed black tea with baursak or ball-shaped doughnuts (fried in oil and spread with sugar) and sweets after the main course.

Flat breads or tandyr-nan (man made from Tandoor) and shelpek or flat cake are also among the favorites.

Manti is also popular, made with spiced mixture of ground lamb or beef (spiced with ground pepper) wrapped in dough then steamed and served with butter sour cream or onion sauce.

Palaw  is another food attraction, fried meat in carrots, onion and garlic, then cooked with rice. I wonder how the taste like?

For sweets, Sheckshecks is the most popular, especially to children.

Well, these are just my researched items on Kazakh cuisine. If my friend send me a message again, I'll better ask him how it is done. I'm sure, he'll be influenced by the way of life in Kazakhztan. 



Other Central Asian Cuisines

 Kashmir cuisine of Pakistan is similar to Indian cuisine, since the country is once a part of the Indian peninsula.

Former states of Soviet Union with distinct cuisines of their own include; Kyrgyz cuisine of Kyrgyztan, Tajik cuisine of Tajikestan, Turkmenistan cooking, Uzbekistan food dishes, 

Also included are the cuisines of Iran, Mongolia, Tibet and Xinjiang of China,  SInce Central Asia was once the route being traveled by traders from Europe known as the Silk Road leading to China.

The Cuisine of Pakistan c/o AsianTravelTV


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    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @neo: Thanks for correcting some glitches on this hub. I'm really craving to have a taste of this cuisine. As I said, my friends will give me tips on how to cook authentic Central Asian Cuisine.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      if i may ... afghan foods are so delicious that u cant forget the taste ... and that is a tandoori roti not a naan ... naan is a bit thick than that and it dosent fold like that ... in these areas roti or naan is used with almost every meal of the day ... knifes and forks arnt a tradition over there and the only time they use spoons and forks is when there is a rice dish served cuse roti and naan isnt used with rice at all ...

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Yes and you can make it at home. It;s timely you made this comment. It's good during the Holy Week. No yeast, just flour and water, that's Naan bread.

    • earthbound1974 profile image


      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      I want to taste that Naan or Flatbread.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      My classmate who's stationed in Kazakhztan relayed to me that he like besbarmak, a popular dish out of horse meat (please see the picture above)in the country.

      Thanks, Sandy, you have great hubs on different cuisines, too.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Very interesting hub and the Central Asian cuisine.


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