The national dish of Kyrgyzstan traces its history to the cuisine of nomads, who knew how to create a delicious meal with what they had.
“Besh” = five
“Barmak” = finger
The national dish of Kyrgyzstan is traditionally eaten without utensils, hence the name: besh barmak.
Very little is required to make this dish, though a true platter of besh barmak represents at least 4 or 5 hours of hands on work. First of all, the meat is placed in a large pot with quite a lot of salt and kept covered with water as it maintains a rolling boil for 1.5 to 2 hours.
As the meat boils, the noodles are prepared. Flour + salt + water + a little yeast; then five strong fingers dig in to mix and knead the dough. After the dough rests, it is kneaded down, rests, kneaded, and divided into small mounds for the rolling process.
Rolling pins do not suffice for besh barmak noodles. Wooden dowels a meter long are wielded deftly by able hands, which stretch the mounds of dough into enormous circles. Eventually, when the dough is stretched to a 1 mm thickness and reaches beyond the edges of dowel, it is spiraled around the rolling pin, sliced off, and cut into even squares. When all of these squares are prepared, the meat is taken out of the boiling water, the pasta squares dropped in, and the table is set.
The meat comes out first. Big chunks served on casual platters with accompanying knives. Shortly after this the noodles appear: hot, oily, and slippery.
Some sampling of the meat and pasta might occur at this point, but then everyone surrounds the table, knives in hand, to help cut the meat and noodles into small, small pieces. These little pieces are mixed together in order to create the final masterpiece:
The Capitol of Kyrgyzstan
The Ala-Too mountain range looms up majestically from the southern edge of Bishkek. Especially in the fall and winter, these snow-capped peaks are pristinely visible on clear, sunny days.
Places to Visit in Bishkek
In the center of Bishkek, near the Philharmonia, the epic story of Manas is readily brought to mind with a statue of the hero astride a flying horse. Snow fall in the winter creates a beautiful contrast, and enhances the reflection of the lighting that shows off the city's features.
Online Content Editor @ White Leopard Travel Co.
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