We are launching into the K-countries this week in our cooking around the world adventure. Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is the world's ninth largest country in the by land area and is also the world's largest landlocked country. It is located in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.
Kazakh national cuisine is heavy on meat and milk. And though a traditional Kazakh dinner involves a multitude of appetizers followed by soup and, then, one or two main courses, I kept it simple with a single dish tonight: Kazakh Plov, rice pilaf.
Their traditional drinks are intriguing, but not readily available here. They drink mare's milk - kumys, camel's milk - shubat, and sheep milk. We poured airan, cow's milk, and I had some goat's milk leftover from our Jordanian dinner. I also made a pot of chai which is one of the staples of the Adai Kazakhs. Black tea was introduced from China along the Silk Road and is usually served with sweets after dinner.
Plov (Rice Pilaf)
Plov (Rice Pilaf)
- 2 C cooked rice (I used a short-grain brown rice)
- ⅓ C raw sliced almonds
- ⅓ C raw pumpkin seeds (not traditional, but I had some)
- 2 T minced garlic
- 1 C dates, pitted and chopped
- 1 C prunes, pitted and chopped
- 1 C apricots, pitted and chopped
- 1 T salt
- 1 pound ground meat, traditional calls for ground lamb but I had beef
- splash of olive oil
- 1/2 t ground cardamom (not traditional, but I wanted to match the flavors in the drink)
- 1/2 t fennel seeds (not traditional, but I wanted to match the flavors in the drink)
- Mix the meat, almonds, fruits, salt, and garlic in a large bowl.
- In a frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Brown the meat mixture until beef is no longer pink.
- In a serving bowl, combine the lamb with oil and rice then mix with another splash of olive oil.
These Global Table Ambassadors are signing off for now. We are headed back to Africa - to Kenya - next.