Oriental Sweets

Desserts of Uzbek cuisine

 

Oriental SweetsOriental sweets have been valued throughout the world for centuries. Their main advantage is that they are made of natural products only, without the slightest use of artificial colors and preservatives. Legend says, the recipes of many desserts of Uzbek cuisine and the secrets of their cooking were kept in the strictest secrecy for a long time, since only the king - Khan and his entourage were worthy of them. Today, everyone can try these divine sweets!

According to etiquette on all big holidays, as well as for any guest in the house, the first dish is sweets and cakes served with hot tea. Homemade sweets, snow-white nishalda, sunny nawat crystals, nuts, dried fruits that remember the bright rays of the summer sun, pastries and other confectionery occupy the whole space of the dastarkhan (table) and pleasantly pleasing to the eye. While the guests gather and lead leisurely conversations over a sweet dastarkhan, hot dishes are cooked!

There is dozens of items in the list of oriental sweets. Let us try to mention signature Uzbek sweets, their recipes and give some tips on how to cook them properly.

Nawat is a traditional Uzbek sweet, is a crystallized sugar, served to tea, sometimes instead of ordinary sugar or caramel. Navata is made from concentrated sugar syrup or grape juice with certain spices added. The hot syrup is poured into large cauldrons, inside the threads are stretched horizontally serving a basis, around which sugar crystallizes. Nawat can be of different shades: from whitish to light yellow and dark brown. It is served for tea, or savored in the mouth like a candy. Nawat of pure glucose and fructose has a number of useful properties - people use it as pastille from cough and sore throat, and green tea with nawat is a traditional remedy for many diseases. Nawat has a warming effect, it gives strength and energy, it is useful for hypothermia and colds.

Oriental SweetsParvarda (national Uzbek caramel) - traditional Uzbek sweets that looks like a tiny white pillow sprinkled with flour. The parvarda consists of sugar, flour, lemon juice or citric acid only. First of all, the hard candy mass is cooked from sugar, then white sweets are formed and dumped in flour. The procedure is quite time consuming (below you can see the video: how to prepare parvarda). One adds herbal additives or spices to parvarda sometimes, to give it delicate color and refined taste, but also healing properties.

Pashmak - sweet ball of the finest floury threads. Crispy and tender at the same time, this delicacy is melting pleasantly in the mouth. Pashmak should always be fresh, as it is not subject to long-term storage. One can always buy fresh pashmak at any large Uzbek bazaar.

Halva is one of the most famous oriental sweets, which one cooks from sugar, nuts or seeds (sunflower, sesame, etc.). There are many recipes for halva, some of them also use egg whites, butter, honey, flour, etc. In some eastern countries, including Uzbekistan, there are areas where halva is exclusively hande-made by unique ancient recipes. Such halva has a delicate structure and amazing taste, many secrets of its preparation are kept secret.

Oriental SweetsNishalda (nisholda) is whipped egg whites with sugar syrup and decoction of the Acanthophyllum paniculatum (emmac) or licorice. Nishalda resembles thick sour cream. Traditionally nishalda, as well as sumalak, is made for the holiday of spring - Navruz (March 21). In March, the nishalda is sold in large vats by weight at every urban bazaar. The seller in a white gown stirs a sweet white mass in the tub with a huge ladle, wrapping it in a massive tangle and spreading it in portions. The weight is so thick that a spoon can stand in it. Due to its content, this dish is not only delicious, but also useful.

Urama (“hvorost”, "vitushki") - fried flat pieces of fresh dough, often curled into "curls", which are then sprinkled with powdered sugar. This sweet dish is very simply to cook. Here is a short recipe for how to cook urama:

Dough for urama:

1kg of flour;
2 eggs;
0.5 cup melted butter;
0.5 cups of water;
1 teaspoon of salt;
oil for fryer.

All you have to do then is fry it until it is ready.

Chak-chak - a sweet dish of Uzbek and Tatar cuisine is a piece of dough in the form of "vermicelli", bar or ball, filled with honey syrup. Below is the simplest recipe for chak-chak:

Chak-chak dough:

4 eggs;
65-70 ml of milk (can be substituted with water);
10 g of salt;
20 g of sugar;
400 g of flour.

Honey syrup for chak-chak:

370 g of honey;
30 g of sugar.

Oriental SweetsMix eggs, milk, salt, sugar into a homogeneous mass, and then add the flour gradually. Divide the dough into several parts, roll each into an even layer and cut the noodles. Meanwhile, heat oil in the boiler or in the deep fryer. Throw ready sweet "noodles» into a boiling oil. Fry it for 2-3 minutes; put it in a separate cup or on a paper napkin.

While it drains off and cools, pour out the sugar into the cup and put it on the fire. Continue stirring; add honey as soon as it starts dissolving. Do not add water! Then pour the liquid sweet mass onto the toasted "noodles" and form bricks, cubes, balls, etc. It is better to do it with wet hands; otherwise, all the sweet mass will stick.

Abovementioned is only a small part of the wealth that a generous Uzbek cuisine has. Oriental sweets are not only delicious, unusual, but also useful (at reasonable doses, of course). All this is definitely worth trying to taste all the sweetness of the East literally!

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