Tag Archives: Shashlik

twenty-one:: lagman and samsa and shashlik, oh my!

Here are the rest of my favorite Kyrgyz foods and recipes. They are delicious! I suggest you attempt them. Unless you live where I do and then you should just head to the amazing Russian House downtown (a soviet restaurant, not just Russian) and try them all!



Prep time: 35 min
Cook time: 60 min


  • 3 Lamb Shoulder Chops
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, big
  • 2 Carrots, medium
  • 2 Bell Peppers, green or red
  • 2 Tomatoes, medium
  • 2 tablespoons Cumin Seed (not powder)
  • 2 Potatoes, small
  • 1 Bunch of Parsley, fresh
  • 10 Leaves Basil, fresh
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2.5 cups Water
  •  long pasta, such as Fettuccine

1) Finely chop all vegetables: Cut onion in half and then slice thin rings. Chop carrots, bell peppers, potatoes in small-medium cubes. Slice tomatoes finely. Finely chop parsley and basil. Chop garlic cloves.

2) Pour olive oil in a large pan and heat it on high heat until hot. Add lamb chops and cook on each side until nicely browned – about 7 minutes on each side. If lamb chops start sticking to the pan, just leave them there to cook until they do not stick any more and then you can flip them over to the other side – when pan gets hot enough it will be easy to flip them over. Do not cover with lid – use splatter screen instead. Splatter screen lets the steam out and prevents olive oil from spraying out of the pan. It’s a very handy tool!

3) After you browned lamb chops in the olive oil (which should remain in the pan – do not discard the oil), continue putting ingredients in the same pan in the following sequence (you can also see the sequence in my photos):

4) First, add onions to lamb chops and continue cooking on high heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, until onions get a little browned.

5) Add carrots and continue cooking and stirring on high heat, uncovered, or using splatter screen. Cook for about 10 minutes, then add bell peppers. At this point, remove lamb chops to a separate plate and continue cooking vegetables uncovered on high heat for 5 minutes.

6) Add tomatoes, cumin seed to the pan. Continue cooking for 10-15 minutes until tomatoes are cooked.

7) Finally add potatoes, half of chopped parsley and basil, salt to taste – mix everything up, cook for 5 minutes.

8) Add 2.5 cups of water, when it starts boiling, throw the garlic in.

9) Return lamb chops back to the pan, settle them at the bottom of the pan, with the vegetables around or a bit on top of lamb chops, bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, but so that the liquid continues simmering in the pan. On my stove when the dish has been heated through like that, low setting still results in pretty strong simmering, but on a different stoves, the low setting might be too low for simmering. Salt to taste. Cover with the lid and let it simmer for 30 minutes.

10) In the mean time, boil water for pasta, throw the pasta and cook it until al dente. Drain pasta.

To serve:

Prepare 3 bowls. Put a little bit of pasta in each bowl. Pour the sauce with vegetables over pasta. Top with a lamb chop. Sprinkle with chopped greens (parsley and basil) on top.

(courtesy of juliasalbum.com)





2 cups flour

calimpir (red pepper) 

1 egg

salt, pepper

melted butter

3-4 cups ground beef or mutton

2 onions, chopped fine

10 cloves garlic, chopped fine


Dissolve 2 tablespoons salt in warm water. Beat the egg and mix with the flour. Add the salt water to the flour a little at a time until the dough holds together but isn’t sticky. Set aside in a covered bowl.

Mix the ground beef or mutton, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and calimpir together.

Roll out the dough into one big thin circle. Spread a thin layer of butter on the circle, and then roll up the circle as you would a rug, into a long tube.

Cut off a 3 inch section of the tube and roll out again. This will create fine layers in the pastry. Put 1-2  tablespoons of the meat mixture on the dough and fold opposite ends together to make a little package. Repeat until the dough is used up.

Bake on a greased cookie sheet at medium heat (350) for 40 to 50 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and the dough is brown.

(courtesy of friendsofkyrgyzstan.org)




  • Lamb leg or shoulder, boneless, cut into 1-inch cubes — 2 pounds (beef and chicken are great too)
  • Onion, thinly sliced– 1
  • Salt and pepper — to season
  • Lemons, juice only — 2
  • Oil — 3 tablespoons


  1. Toss the lamb, onion, salt and pepper, lemon juice and oil together in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to marinate. Overnight is best. (Also, adding sparkling water helps to soften the meat.)
  2. Thread the chunks of meat on skewers and set at room temperature while you get a hot fire going in a grill.
  3. Grill the meat skewers over the hot grill flame, turning frequently, until done to your liking.
  4. Serve the skewers with a vegetable salad(tomatoes, cucumber and dill), fresh sliced red onion with dill, slices of rye bread and shots of vodka or cold beer.

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