Uzbekistan is located in the continent of Asia. It has Kazakhstan to the north, Kyrgyzstan to the east, Tajikistan to the southeast, and Turkmenistan to the southwest.
The capital is Tashkent (Toshkent).
The official language is Uzbek.
The climate is arid and very sunny. Average temperatures are 90 – 104 degrees F.
The staple foods are sheep meat, flour, rice, vegetables, oil, spices like cumin, coriander, pepper, cinnamon and bay leaves, noodles and kebabs to name a few (https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20191117-is-uzbek-cuisine-actually-to-die-for).
DIMLAMA (Harvest Stew) (http://globaltableadventure.com/recipe/uzbek-layered-stew-dimlama/):
- ½ – 1 lb. lamb or beef, cubed
- 1 large onion, sliced in quarter moons
- 5 small yellow potatoes, cut in half
- 2-3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 red bell peppers, sliced into strips
- 2 large tomatoes, cut in wedges
- 5 cloves garlic, quartered
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1-1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 small green cabbage, cut in hunks
- Brown the lamb or beef and onion in oil.
- Layer on the veggies, being sure to season with salt and pepper as you go.
- First, the potatoes, carrots, and peppers. Next, the tomatoes, garlic, green onion, and cumin seed. Finally, the cabbage.
- You’ll want to cut the cabbage in large wedges, then peel off the outer leaves to cover any gaps along the surface of the dimlama.
- Cover tightly and simmer gently until all the vegetables are tender. Do not stir!
- Some recipes say 1-1/2 hours, but I found mine took closer to 2-1/2 hours.
- The cabbage takes the longest, so use that as your indicator of doneness.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro, as desired.
OBI NON (UZBEK BREAD) (https://tasteofartisan.com/uzbek-bread-obi-non/):
For the Dough:
- 5 C all-purpose flour
- 1-3/4 C water, room temp
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1/8 C white sugar
- 2 tsp kosher salt, or sea salt
- 2-1/4 TBSP butter, melted
For the wash:
- 3 TBSP dry milk
- 2 TBSP water, or as needed
- Add the flour and the rest of the dough ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed for about 5 minutes. The dough should come together in a ball. The dough should be fairly stiff.
- Shape the dough into a ball, place it into a large mixing bowl, cover with a damp towel or a piece of plastic and ferment at room temperature for 4 – 5 hours, or until it increases about 2.5 – 3 times in volume.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, shape each piece into a ball, press down to flatten into round disks, cover and proof for 30-40 minutes.
- After the proofing is done, stretch each disk more, to about 8-inches, making the centers thinner than the outer parts.
- You can also make the center thinner using an Uzbek bread press.
- You may use something similarly shaped, like the back of a glass, to flatten the centers.
- Using a chekich, stamp the center of the disk to add a pattern.
- You can use a fork to add the pattern if you don’t have the chekich. Prickling the center with a chekich or a fork will also prevent the center from puffing up during baking.
- Using a larger bread stamp, stamp the outer parts of the dough disks. You can use the back of a knife to add a similar pattern. Gently lift each disk from both sides to make sure there is no sticking. It will make it much easier to load the disks into the oven. It’s also best to use a wooden work surface to minimize sticking. If not, lightly dust the surface with flour.
- Prepare the milk wash by whisking the powdered milk with water. Brush with the milk wash. Optionally, sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Grab a bunch of paper towels and fold like a “loading pillow”. It’s a crude version of what Uzbek bakers use to load bread in tandyrs, but it works great.
- Gently put the pillow on top of each disk of the dough, pick one side of the disk and flip the dough onto the pillow. The brushed part of the dough will be facing the pillow.
- Then flip back onto the pre-heated baking stone.
Bake at 425F with convection for 10 – 12 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown. Enjoy hot from the oven or cooled down to room temperature. The bread will stay fresh for 2-3 days.