Tajikistan (Asia) 21 February 2021

Tajikistan is located in the continent of Asia. It has Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan to the north, China to the east, India to the southeast, Pakistan and Afghanistan to the south, Turkmenistan to the west, and Uzbekistan to the northwest.

The capital is Dushanba.

The official language is Tajik.

The climate changes with the altitude. The valley areas are warm and temperate. The higher elevations are drastically different with temperatures dropping to -51 F. The staples are meat, yellow rice, flatbread, onions, eggplants, carrots, vegetables, cucumber, soups, sheep, goat, and dairy products (http://paramountjourney.com/en/centralasia/tajikistan/tastetajikcuisine/#:~:text=The%20main%20meal%20typically%20involves,such%20as%20samosas%20(sambusa).&text=Meat%20dishes%20and%20soup%20are,and%20tomato%20are%20also%20common).

https://www.britannica.com/place/Tajikistan

QURUTOB and FATIR (https://www.196flavors.com/tajikistan-qurutob/):

For the qurutob:

  • 22 oz Greek yogurt
  • ½ C water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ bunch cilantro, chopped
  • Vegetable oil
  1. Heat the Greek yogurt and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Add salt.
  2. Stir regularly for 30 minutes.
  3. The result should yield about 2/3 of the initial weight of yogurt, e.g. 14 oz here.
  4. Sauté onion in a skillet in hot oil until translucent, about 8 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, place small pieces of fatir bread in a bowl (traditionally a large wooden dish).
  6. Top with yogurt.
  7. Pour the onion with the hot oil.
  8. Top with spring onions, tomatoes and cilantro.
  9. Serve immediately.
Here is how my Qurutob turned out. Very yummy!!

For the fatir (1 bread):

  • 4 C flour
  • 1 C water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 C butter, softened
  1. Mix flour, water and salt. Stir with your fingers. Do not knead the dough more than necessary.
  2. Form a ball. Flatten the ball and cover with plastic wrap.
  3. Refrigerate for at least an hour (more if possible).
  4. Preheat oven to 350F.
  5. When out of the refrigerator, roll out the dough into a rectangle on a generously floured work plan.
  6. Brush the dough with butter. Sprinkle with flour.
  7. Make five regular rectangular strips.
  8. Roll the first strip to form a “snail”. Squeeze while rolling.
  9. Once the first strip is rolled, put it on the second strip and roll the first in the second.
  10. Repeat step with the other strips of dough to obtain a large “snail” shape.
  11. Then, place the dough horizontally on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  12. Flatten the dough into a ¾” thick circle.
  13. Traditionally, marks are made on the dough with an instrument called a chakich. You can also use a meat tenderizer. It is also possible to make marks with a fork.
  14. Bake until fatir is golden. This can take up to 40 minutes.
Here is how my Fatir turned out. I would make this again!!

TAJIKISTAN CREAM CHEESE COOKIES (https://cookpad.com/uk/recipes/1560286-tajikistan-cream-cheese-cookies):

  • 10 TBSP butter
  • 8 oz Cream cheese
  • 2 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Raisins
  • Walnuts
  1. Leave butter and cream cheese at room temperature.
  2. Soak the raisins and cut the walnut.
  3. Mix the butter and cream cheese well.
  4. Put the vanilla, flour and baking powder and mix by hand.
  5. Prepare the sugar on a flat plate.
  6. Make the dough like golf ball and spread to a round shape.
  7. Stick one side on the sugar and put the raisins and walnuts on the sugar side.
  8. Fold in half and stick sugar on one side.
  9. Fold again and stick sugar on it.
  10. Unfold a little of the upper side.
  11. Preheat oven to 350 F and bake for 20-25 minutes until the cookies are golden brown.
Here are my version of the Tajikistan Cream Cheese Cookies. They might not look like they are supposed to, but they melted in your mouth!!

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