Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Favourite Salad - Granatoviy Braslet

Introduction: Granatoviy Braslet is a salad that is shaped like a thick bracelet, studded with pomegranate kernels (seeds) popular in Nukus and all over the former Soviet Union.

The bracelet “effect” is achieved by placing a glass/cup in the middle of the salad plate and assembling the layers of vegetables, eggs, chicken, and walnuts ect around the outside. The glass is removed once the layers have been assembled and the salad is covered with fresh pomegranate kernels all around.

Recipe for a layered “Pomegranate Bracelet” Salad : Makes 1 large bracelet, enough for 8-10 people.

Using a coarse side of a box grater, grate the carrots, potatoes, beets, and eggs. Place on separate plates.

Put a tall glass in the middle of a large flat serving platter. You will arrange the ingredients in layers on the plate around that glass, and remove the glass once the salad has been assembled.

Begin layering the ingredients evenly on the plate in the following order. Sprinkle the layers with some salt, but take care not to oversalt as mayonnaise is salty already.


1st Layer - Potatoes (3 medium) boiled in water until tender, and peeled and then Dressing (mayonnaise, or half mayonnaise + half sour cream (about 2 tablespoons, spread evenly)

2nd Layer - Beet (1 medium) boiled in water until tender and peeled (boil separately from carrots and potatoes) and then Dressing about 2 tablespoons, spread evenly.

3rd Layer Carrots (3 medium) boiled in water until tender, and peeled and then Dressing (about 2 tablespoons, spread evenly)and then Walnuts - 1 cup walnuts, coarsely ground.

4th Layer Chicken (1 medium skinless, boneless chicken breast halves) cooked in slightly salted water, drained, and shredded into thin strips and then Dressing (about 2 tablespoons, spread evenly).

5th Layer Eggs (3 hard-boiled eggs, shelled) and then Dressing (about 2 tablespoons, spread evenly).

6th Layer Chicken ( 1 medium skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cooked in slightly salted water, drained, and shredded into thin strips) and then Dressing(about 2 tablespoons, spread evenly).

7th Layer - Beet (1 medium) boiled in water until tender and peeled (boil separately from carrots and potatoes) again slather some dressing all over the “bracelet”.

Carefully remove the glass from the plate. Generously sprinkle the salad with pomegranate kernels (from 1 large pomegranate) all around. Slightly press to adhere. Chill the salad in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving, to allow the flavours a chance to blend.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Karakalpak (Қарақалпақ тили / Qaraqalpaq tili)

Karakalpak is a Turkic language mainly spoken by Karakalpaks in Karakalpakstan (Uzbekistan) a language that belongs to the Kipchak or north-western category of the Turkic-Altaic family of languages, along with Kazakh, Bashkir, and Nogay.

It is spoken as their first language by about 600,000 people in the Karakalpakstan Autonomous Republic in Uzbekistan, where the language has official status. (Many Aral Uzbeks and Kazakhs in Karakalpakstan also speak the language as well as their own). There are some Karakalpak speakers in Afghanistan, Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkey as well. Ethnic Karakalpaks who live in other parts of Uzbekistan tend to speak local Uzbek dialects.

Karakalpak is a member of the Kypchak Turkic family of languages, which includes Tatar, Kumyk and Kazakh. The Kypchak family is a subgroup of the Turkic languages. Within the Kypchak Turkic family. Karakalpak is most closely related to Kazakh and Nogai, and has absorbed a lot of vocabulary and some grammar from Uzbek as well as some Uzbek and Russian vocabulary (word share). Due to its proximity to the Uzbek language area, much of the vocabulary and grammar has an Uzbek influence. Like Finnish, Hungarian, and Turkish, Karakalpak has vowel harmony, is agglutinative and has no grammatical gender. Word order is usually subject–object–verb.

The Ethnologue identifies two dialects of Karakalpak: Northeastern and Southwestern. Menges mentions a third possible dialect spoken in the Fergana Valley. The Southwestern dialect has č for the Northeastern š.

Karakalpak has 21 native consonant phonemes and regularly uses 4 non-native phonemes in loan words.

Vowel Harmony
Vowel harmony functions in Karakalpak much as it does in other Turkic languages. Words borrowed from Russian or other languages may not observe rules of vowel harmony, but the following rules usually apply:

a may be followed by a, ɯ
æ may be followed by e, i
e may be followed by e, i
i may be followed by e, i
o may be followed by a, o, u, ɯ
œ may be followed by e, i, œ, y
u may be followed by a, o, u
y may be followed by e, œ, y
ɯ may be followed by a, ɯ

Personal Pronouns
men - I
sen - you (singular)
ol - he, she, it, that
biz - we
siz - you (plural)
olar - they

bir 1, eki 2, u'sh 3, to'rt 4, bes 5, altı 6, jeti 7, segiz 8, tog'ıs 9, on 10, ju'z 100, mın' 1000

Karakalpak was written in the Arabic and Persian script until 1928, in the Latin script (with additional characters) from 1928 to 1940, after which Cyrillic was introduced. Following Uzbekistan's independence in 1991, the decision was made to drop Cyrillic and revert to the Latin alphabet (1994). Whilst the use of Latin script is now widespread in Tashkent, its introduction into Karakalpakstan remains gradual.

The Latin, Cyrillic and Arabic alphabets are shown below:




Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karakalpak_language

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Uzbek Pomegranite and Onion Salad - Anor va Piyoz Salati

Anor va Piyoz Salati - Pomegranate and Onion Salad

Ingredients -
2 onions, peeled and sliced
One large sized pomegranate, pared
Salt to taste
1 tsp of pepper
1 tbsp of vinegar

Place finely chopped onions in a bowl and wash 2–3 times in hot water and drop into a sieve. Take the pared pomegranate and separate half into kernels (arlis) and the other half crush to make sour pomegranate juice. Mix with with the white onion slices and top with an onion rosette, in which a few extra kernels (arlis) are placed and pour on a little sour juice. Edge the dish with onion rings.

If onions are too bitter then put them in cold water for a while, then pour out all the liquid and combine with vinegar and salt. After add in pepper and pomegranate and mix together all ingredients.

Serve and enjoy!

“Anor va piyozli salat” is usually served as a garnish for plov, shashlik and other meat dishes. Very good for digestion.

Editor Note: Pomegranates are one of those special fruits that are stunning to look at, appear in many historical depictions of still lifes going back hundreds of years because of their appearance and color, and by just sprinkling a few pomegranate arils on a dish you make it taste and look a lot better.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Karakalpakstan - New Tourism Website

Karakalpakstan at 165,700 km2 the largest region of Uzbekistan accounting for over a third of its entire land area (447,400 km2)

It has a long and rich history with diverse cultural offerings ranging from, at one extreme, the ruins of Khorezm’s ancient (5th century BC) civilization to, at the other, the Nukus Museum, which houses the Savitsky Collection comprising the world’s second largest collection of 20th century Russian avant garde art as well as the largest folk art collection in Central Asia.

Karakalpakstan’s climate is extreme continental, i.e. very cold in winter and very hot in summer, so the best time to visit is either in the spring or early summer (April through June) or in the fall (September through mid-November), when temperatures range between 15-25C.

Karakalpakstan is not a conventional tourist destination, but as increasing numbers of travelers are experiencing it, Karakalpakstan is one of the most interesting and unique places you will visit on any trip to Central Asia.

See this new tourism website for more information (recommended)