Around the World in 80 Dates is a blog series designed to take me (and Tom) out of our comfort zones and force us to cook food from other countries. Each week, we use a random country generator to tell us where we will be cooking from. We have to cook at least one dish from this country, the more traditional the better. We alternate who’s cooking each week, this week is my turn.
This series is doing wonders for my geography skills, I tell you. Kyrgyzstan is a central Asian country housing almost 6 million people. I’ll be honest, when I first started researching their traditional cuisine I was freaking out in a mild way. It’s incredibly meat heavy – horse meat, specifically – which is something I’m really trying to avoid where I can, especially after last weeks pork fest.
Their national dish is something called Beshbarmak, which is boiled mutton or beef served with noodles and onion broth. I found a recipe for it on this blog and while it does look delicious if you’re in the mood for a big pile of meat, it doesn’t really strike me as the sort of thing that could be easily vegetarianised. I found this to be the case with most of their popular dishes, it’s really all sheep, cow or horse.
Bread, however, is a beacon of hope. Bread or dessert almost never contain meat, I think that will be something worth remembering for me when I’m completing this challenge in weeks to come, if there’s nothing I could possibly vegetarianise on the cards, look for a bread or dessert.
It was on this avenue of searching that I stumbled upon Borsok. Borsok are tiny little rectangles of fried dough. I can’t actually tell from my research whether or not it’s considered to be a dessert. They seem to be served mostly with sweet things, but at the start of a meal, not at the end.
The internet really is a wonderful thing. It took me like 0.5 seconds to find a recipe for the mysterious Borsok, courtesy of this blog. Seemed pretty simple: mix dough, roll dough, cut dough, fry dough. Off I went to get dough supplies and lovely sweet things for dipping.
I have no idea if I was successful in making this stuff authentically, but I can tell you that it was absolutely gorgeous. It’s fried bread, it’s not like it was gonna go far wrong. I have a feeling that by ‘fresh cream’ something thicker like clotted might have been meant, but double was all I could find and that was lovely. As were the peach jam and my Mum’s blackberry jam..
I must apologise for the low lit pictures, I ran out of time to make this in the day and it is what it is – besides, Mondays are our casual exploring days, we’re not looking for perfection. You’ll notice that I burned the second batch ever so slightly, thankfully they didn’t taste any different.
It’s Tom’s turn next week and he’s got Algeria.. see you then!