Join twowildtides on the country challenge. Each week, we’re going to be heading to a new country (in spirit). Primarily, we’ll be cooking a meal from each country; but we’ll also be watching travel documentaries, reading travel blogs, and listening to music. During the global pandemic, travel is largely inaccessible. We want to reignite our wanderlust, satisfy our travel bug as much as we can, and learn some new things along the way. I have a feeling our bucket list will have a number of items added to it through this experience as well. We created a simple alphabetical spreadsheet with all the countries of the world, and each week we will draw a random number that corresponds with a country on the spreadsheet.
There are seven countries with the suffix “stan”. “Stan” comes from the Persian language and means “land”. This week, we’re in our second of the “stan” countries: Kazakhstan. (Our first was Uzbekistan). Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in the world and the ninth largest overall. The country looks incredible– and surprisingly, a lot like Canada in the sense that it offers so many different landscapes, skylines, terrains, and cultures. Have a look at this article on Pinterest, you might confuse the images for Canada, western or eastern!!
After a quick Google search, I learned that the national dish of Kazakhstan is Beshbarmak. I’d never made anything like this, so I was really excited. We followed this recipe, which was easy to follow and simplified an otherwise complicated dish:
It was easy to get the ingredients for Beshbarmak locally. I would describe the main part of the dish as a traditional beef stew, but with cumin. I enjoyed making my own simple beef broth for this recipe, which is something I’d never done before.
So far in the country challenge I have not had many negative things to say. For this recipe, however, I have something less than complimentary to add about this dish. The base of the dish is a boiled dough. I did not like it. It was bland and slimy. It could have been my mistake, or perhaps the recipe is not the best, or maybe I just don’t like this style of cuisine. Any suggestions on how this should be improved are more than welcome.
Overall, I liked the flavour of the broth/stew. I loved the caramelized onions served on top. But I did not like the dough at all. I really preferred eating the main part of the dish on its own as a soup, and that was really tasty. Was it the most unique dish we’ve tried? Probably not. Was it one of the most hearty and traditional? Yeah, it’s definitely up there.
What do you think? Would you try beshbarmak? Have you tried it? Let us know in the comments!
Stay tuned for next week!