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     Kazakh Tradition Dishes

The mode of life of people, traditional craft, interrelations, customs and traditions are, perhaps, well comprehended through traditional dishes.
In the Kazakh national cooking as in a mirror found reflections the people's nature, its history, customs and traditions.
The table manners of nomads, filled with so many customs, rituals, special behaviour find its place in our time.
The whole clan and tribe shared the joys and sorrows of life, any unexpected traveller was an honoured guest.

Any steppe inhabitant knew, that he was a welcome guest and had a right to his share. This steppe tradition was strictly observed and is still observed today by the host of any house. A violation of this tradition was regarded as an insult to the honour and dignity of the guest and shame to the host. Some time later this violation merited a sort of punishment. That explains why every host regarded the ritual of hospitality as sacred rule and welcomed guests warmly and with all attention and kindly saw them off with good wishes.
In the first instance the guest was treated to kumys, shubat or airan, then to tea with milk or cream, baursaks, raisins, irimshik, kurt. Then followed appetizers made of horseflesh or mutton - kazy, shuzhuk, zhal, zhaya, sur-yet, karta, kabyrga. Flat cakes made of flour were sewed without fail.
The main traditional dish of Kazakhs is besbarmak. It is mostly served for the guests and eaten by hands (bes barmak-means five fingers).
Besbarmak is usually cooked of fat mutton and parts of smoked horse meat and horse delicacies like kazy and shyzhyk.
The meat is boiled and separately is boiled thin paste. Boiled parts of meat are put on the paste and spiced with a special flavoring called tuzdyk. As the custom demands the host serves the meal in special crockery - tabak. The bas-tabak, which is placed before the most honourable guests is used to serve the mutton head, zhambas, horse meat delicacy and other fatty parts. The esteemed guest (usually the oldest one) cuts bits and parts from the head and offers them to the other guests at the table. The secret of distribution of parts of the meat from the head lies in traditional wishes. When given the palate, it expresses the wish - "be wise and eloquent", the larynx - a gift to sing, skin of forehead- "be the first among equals". Meanwhile one or two dzhigits (young man), silting next to the esteemed guest start cutting the boiled parts of meat to pieces and the dish is again spiced with tuzdyk. The guests are offered to help themselves to the dish. The youth and children usually sit at sides of the table dastarkhan. They receive meat directly from the elders. The custom is called asatu and symbolizes the desire of the youth to experience the long and good life the elders have experienced. When all the meat and sorpa (soup with large fat content) have been eaten and drank, the most respected guest thanks the hostess on behalf of all the guests and blesses the hosts of that house.
If during its century-old history the Kazakh people has accumulated much experience in processing and cooking meat and milk dishes, the present-day life has replenished this set by dishes made of vegetables, fruits, fish, sea products, as well as baked and meal makings and sweets.
Great importance was given to layingin and long-term preservation of food. During live-stock slaughter a part of meal was salted, dried, sometimes smoked; of horse-meat mainly such delicacies as kazy, shuzhuk, zhal, zhaya, karta and so un were made.
Bread was baked mainly in form of flat cakes; among baked makings the greatest popularity enjoyed and enjoy baursaks.
Among drinks kumys, shubat and airan were always popular; tea enjoyed particular popularity.
In our days the main features of this old rituals and table etiquette exist, are carefully kept, followed and passed to their children.
The present-day entertainment has changed in some details but continues to observe the ancient laws of hospitality. And what is more, its boundaries have broadened: the present-day dastarkhan gathers not only Kazakhs but also numerous guests living in one big multinational family - Russians, Tatars, Ukrainians, Uzbeks, Germans, Uigurs, Dungalts, Korcans.
The present-day Kazakh cuisine includes not only traditional Kacakh dishes but also dishes of the Uzbek, Uigur, Russian, Tatar, Korean and other cuisines the Kazakh caught the fancy of. Just therefore it is easily tc note international featum in the present-day Kazakh cooking side by side with pure national ones.

More information:
Kazakhstan [ RUS ENGL ]
Welcom to Kazakhstan [ RUS ENGL ]
The central State museum of Republic of Kazakhstan [ RUS ]
Balkhash city history and economy museum [ RUS ]
State museum of arts named after A. Kasteeva [ RUS ]
Pavlodar history and economy museum named after G.N. Potanin [ RUS ]
Mangistau history and economy museum [ RUS ]
Archaeology Museum attached to Archaeology institute named after A.Kh. Margulan [ RUS ]
People's musical instruments Museum named after Ykhlas [ RUS ]
Archaeological museum of Kazakh State University [ RUS ]
Historical museum of Kazakh State University [ RUS ]
Biological museum of Kazakh State University [ RUS ]
Republic of Kazakhstan National currency Museum [ RUS ]
Aktobe Regional history and economy museum [ RUS ]
Kostanay Regional history and economy museum [ RUS ]

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