From a treat for the eyes, to a treat for the taste buds. Uzbek cuisine has been shaped by the history and geography of this region. Traders, conquerors and nomads arrived from all corners of Asia, bringing with them ingredients, recipes, cooking techniques and religious customs. On the menu, you’ll find common characteristics of Turkic, Chinese and Eastern European cuisine.
The national dish of Uzbekistan is plov: pilau rice simmered in a rich stew of vegetables and meat – typically lamb, and more rarely beef or chicken. As it bubbles away on an open fire, piled in a big kazan cauldron, the aromas will set your tummy rumbling. For foodies on a holiday to Uzbekistan, we can arrange a live plov cookery demonstration.
Other favourites include lagman, a warming broth featuring hand-pulled noodles, vegetables, and lamb or beef; shashlik (shish kabab); delightful spiced-meat dumplings called manti, and their smaller cousins, chuchvara; flat-loaved bread called non; and a hearty one-pot stew called dimlama.
To sate your sweet tooth as the Uzbeks do, enjoy dried fruits and nuts, or a more indulgent halvah sweet, washed down with green tea – the national drink, served in teahouses (chaikhanas) across the country. Viticulture is somewhat in its infancy, here, but tastings at one of the dozen wineries can be arranged.
Uzbekistan’s arts and crafts