#53: Tajikistan

What’s happen’, Food Friends!?

Thankfully this weekend found us with lots and lots of that Colorado sunshine– and not a moment too soon as we were all feeling the rainy day(s) blues. It’s any wonder how I didn’t manage to spend ALL of the weekend outside, but 90% of it was all me and the blue skies. Little puppy dogs had bath days; farmers markets were meandered; soccer was played; walks were had; drinks on the patio at Linger were sipped; Little Man Ice Cream lines were happily tackled. It was the definition of lovely. I’m sort of feeling like the little sunburn I obtained at our outdoor game was a badge of honor after weeks and weeks spent watching raindrops hit window panes.

THE DINNER: We hit up the nation of Tajikistan, which for those not versed on the ever changing geographical climate of the Middle East, this nation resides in West/Central Asia. It’s a not-so-well-kept secret in the 303 that Tajikistan’s capital city of Dushanbe is a sister city to Boulder. So as a gift of this relationship, the Tajik capital gave us a Tea House. That’s right. An entire house! It’s gorgeous. It was shipped in almost one piece and it’s got some of those most incredible and detailed carvings on it’s ceilings and walls and pillars. When I was a student in college there, it was the absolute perfectly tranquil place to study– not only is it serene (fountains, atmosphere, etc) — it has tea! Not to mention some fantastic grub.

So, we stopped at the Dushanbe Tea House to pick up some authentic Tajik tea to go with our meal this week. Turns out, tea is a very big part of meals and culture in Tajikistan. Tea accompanies every meal and is frequently offered between meals as a gesture of hospitality to guests and visitors. It’s served hot and does not have additions like sugar, milk or honey. Food is eaten with reverence and no one eats till the eldest member of the group has taken their first bite. Food is eaten with the fingers and typically meals include at least 3 courses. We picked a very typical dish to make, Samosas. Ours that we pulled are vegetarian and included wild greens and onions— and for those who don’t know, samosas are generally veggie with potatoes or greens, but occasionally include meat.

Samosas Recipe: http://pages.kiva.org/fellowsblog/2013/05/01/tajikistan-kiva-cooks-vegetarian-samosas

image

KN

image

image

image

image

image

image

imageIMG_6208

 

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

 

imageIMG_6203

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:

Ease of prep and cooking: HALF STAR out of five this Dinner!
Basically this is as easy as it gets. We wilted some greens and put them into the pastry crusts and baked them! We got super lucky because we picked a weekend when the Boulder Farmer’s Market was going on- which takes places right outside the Dushanbe Tea House! So we picked out our tea, then proceeded to be able to pick out the most incredibly fresh organic greens for our filling. L decided that pea shoots and sorrel were the winners with some good red kale. It was an excellent choice (more on why below in the critique). We had the option of making our own dough, and typically as you have seen we jump at that; but this time we decided to enjoy the great outdoors and purchased our dough. Can’t win them all I suppose 😉

Best dish of all time scale: FOUR STARS out of five for Dinner!!
Delicious! It was hard because half of us wanted to shoot for 4.5 stars and the other two were at 4 stars… but we all agreed it was amazing. The combination of the kale, which always wilts down well, and the pea sprouts which were sweeter was great. The pea sprouts tasted a lot like the snap peas you typically munch on for snacks. We had never tried (or heard) of sorrel before, and though, “Hey that sounds interesting! Why not!”. Sorrel, as I educated myself via Google, is part of the spinach family. It’s very very very bitter. We were initially concerned, but we went with it! This is after all, an adventure. We also threw in some flat leaf parsley to the green mix for kicks. The flavors were perfect together and the sorrel ended up being our favorite part. It would have been WAY too sweet without it. Well played, mom! We would definitely eat this in a heartbeat. It took 30 minutes from start to finish to boot, BONUS.

Rolling into #54, we are heading to Cote de Ivory (Ivory Coast). I have all these dreams of what the Ivory Coast might be like, and many of them include this mental image of rolling down the jungle rivers with Humphrey Bogart on a tug boat… But I’m not Katharine Hepburn and this is probably not going to be a scene from African Queen. Probably. A girl can dream…

Catch you on the Flip Side!
– L & K

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s