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16 Delicious Uzbek Dishes You Need To Try Immediately

Exotic, hearty, full of flavor, and reasonably healthy. Basically everything you want in your food.

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2. Eggplant Salad (Bademjan)

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In Uzbek tradition, a meal usually starts off with some sort of salad appetizer, like this dish that combines freshly sliced eggplant, radishes and peppers on a bed of greens sprinkled with a garnish of parsley. Needless to say, most Uzbek dishes are meant to be shared family-style.

4. Wedding Pilaf (Plov)

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A delightful mixture of rice, bits of meat, grated carrots and onions, and raisins (with a clove of roasted garlic on top). The "wedding" part refers to the fact that it's easy to cook in large quantities (traditionally in a kazan over an open fire) and is often served on special occasions, like weddings.

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5. Tashkent Salad

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Named after the capital, this trademark salad is made from boiled beef tongue, radishes, and fresh greens generously coated in a special yogurt dressing and topped with crispy fried onions.

7. Samsa

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A triangular dough pastry that's baked in a tandoor oven so that the bread is somehow both crunchy and super-soft. Like manty, they can be filled with a variety of things, including ground lamb, herbs, and, the most interesting traditional option, pumpkin.

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10. Shurpa

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A soup made out of fatty meat (usually mutton) and fresh garden vegetables like tomato, carrot, and slices onions. There are two version: Kaytnama (made from fresh meat) and Kovurma (made from fried meat).

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13. Kebab (Shaslik)

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Chunks of lamb, chicken, or lyulya (a mix of mutton and spices) served on steel skewers and topped with more slices of raw onion than you ever thought you'd encounter. It's often served with Adjika- a bright red, spicy sauce made from hot red peppers.

14. Exotic Fruit Platter

Not technically a "dish" but you'll find that patrons of Uzbek restaurants typically end their meal with a platter of "exotic fruit" (usually slices of watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, and grapes), or "compote" (a juice made from fresh or dried fruit).

16. Tea and Sweets

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It's imperative to try Uzbek tea, which comes in a wide assortment of green, black, and herbal varieties, and is served with ceremonious care. You can also try a Bukharian Jew specialty called Chai Kaymoki - green tea mixed with milk and butter and sprinkled with almonds.