Turkmenistan - Day of Revival, Unity, and the Poetry of Magtymguly
May 11th 2017 is Turkmenistan's Day of Revival, Unity, and the Poetry of Magtymguly, symbolizing the triumph of peace and prosperity, national unity and cohesion. If you are interested in more about Magtymguly, this is a good link here.
This wouldn't be a great place for a vegan to go on a holiday, but with a few modifications you can cook yourself up some authentic Turkmen dishes.
Only three cooks for our Turkmen feast, it was the perfect amount of food for everyone. I made kabob, and plov, Wendy made eggplant stacks, and Julie made chak chak.
The kabob is similar to the one I made for the Persian New Year. I used Gimme Lean brand tube sausage, and added fresh diced onion, garlic, parsley and dried herbs to give it a Turkmenish flavor. Let the balls sit overnight and fried them in a small amount of refined coconut oil. The veggies I tossed in some oil, dried parsley and mint, and broiled for a few minutes til the tomatoes got wilty.
The Plov I made my basic steak tips recipe, but again messed with the spices to make it more authentic to the region. Although they were tasty, and great in the dish, on their own I felt they needed more tweaking before I make a recipe for it. So just my regular steak tip recipe would work if you desire to replicate. Get creative with it. Other than using seitan instead of the meat, I followed this recipe pretty much to the T. I initially made something up, using cooked rice, but the method used in this recipe seemed to interesting not to try. First you brown the meat and cook the carrots and onion, then carefully layer the rice on top and cook in broth for 15. After that time you add a whole bulb of garlic, cloves exposed to the middle, cover and cook for another 15. Loved this rice. I'll probably use this method again for making fancy rice in the future.
Wendy made these eggplant stacks she got from Turkmen Kitchen. Very good! She sent me a message as she was prepping her dish at home...
"I'm a fan of Turkmenistan!"
I don't think there was a person present Thursday that would disagree.
Here are her notes from this weeks cook...
"I tripled the recipe for our dinner...
I fried the eggplant in olive oil instead of veg oil and sprinkled pink Himalayan salt on them.
I used follow your heart sour cream and used fresh mint instead of dried. I added the red pepper flakes as per the recipe but also some fresh lemon juice for a little more zing..
The recipe didn't specify what kind of bell pepper, I used green."
She left the stuffing and sour cream at my house and said I could help myself to the leftovers. The next morning I went to go make our breakfast of Tofu Benedict that I had already prepped when I thought, "Hmmm, maybe this would be good on my muffin." And boy was I right!!
It's essentially tofu with a cream sauce and tabbouleh. Brian and I devoured these. I will be replicating them soon for a recipe, no doubt!
Julie made this sweet desert. Using agave instead of the traditional honey and a chia egg in lieu of the egg yolk, this stuff reminded some of us of Sugar Smacks!
It's pretty much deep fried dough smothered in sugar syrup. Crazy good!
Also on the plate was fresh melon. This wasn't just a random side of fruit, Turkmenistan takes their melons seriously, and even has a melon related holiday and festival!
This cantaloupe from Clemons Produce is the sweetest! We've been popping in a few days a week to get a fresh one. So juicy.
That's it from this Thursday, again I didn't take live action shots of the crew, maybe one day I'll get the hang of this. Stay tuned for next week where we taste the flavors of Argentina. Our Pinterest board looks delicious!