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Tatar Cuisine - Top 5 National Dishes to Taste when Travelling in Kazan
July 21, 2018 11:02


Kazan is not only the cultural centre of the Tatars, the capital city of the Tatarstan Republic and the host city of the World Aquatics Championship 2015. Kazan is primarily the cradle of Tatar culture and Tatar cuisine, which is a must-try when visiting this remarkable city.
So, What to Eat in Kazan?
The Tatar cuisine has been developing for centuries under the influence of different cultures: both the forest North and the steppe South, the Russians and the Turks, Christianity and Islam. That has imposed very peculiar characteristics, which make it possible for the Tatar cuisine to preserve its identity.
Beef and lamb are the most commonly used types of meat, whereas pork banned by Muslims is still not welcome. As for horse meat dishes that used to be popular once have been gradually receding into the past. Among vegetable dishes of the Tatar cuisine, there are few delicacies. Mushrooms are hardly ever used in traditional recipes, while dairy products are big in number. Read where to eat out in Kazan

Here are 5 Top Dishes that You Should Try on Your Kazan Tour.

1. Echpochmak is the symbol of the Tatar cuisine. This triangular pie is the king of multifarious Tatar pastries. It is made from yeast dough, with the stuffing of lamb, potatoes and onions. Less often, poultry is used. Its main peculiarity is that the stuffing is put inside the pie when uncooked yet and is baked together with the dough. You can find echpochmak everywhere in Kazan and other cities of the Tatarstan Republic: from ordinary canteens to posh restaurants. As they say, “the one, who has not tasted echpochmak, has ever visited Kazan”.

 

 2. Smetannik (i.e. sour cream cake) is a dainty melting cake, which is very similar to cheesecake, bothin appearance and taste. The secret of the Tatar sour cream pie is that there is no cottage cheese in it. As its name says, smetannik has a filling based on sour cream. This is one of the most common desserts in Kazan.  

 

 

3. Tokmach is a traditional Tatar noodle soup. It is from the Tatar cuisine precisely that this dish was adopted by the Russians. Its name, tokmach, is translated as "noodles" and determines its main ingredient. Tokmach can be cooked with meat, chicken, or mushroom broth. Sometimes even milk is used as the liquid base of this national noodle soup. The same concerns other components: at times the soup is cooked with potatoes and vegetables added, and sometimes there is nothing but noodles and broth in it. This dish serves well as an appetizer to a hearty portion of pastry or as the main lunch course.

 

4. Beshbarmak is a meat dish that Tatar women traditionally cook for their hard working husbands. Historically, beshbarmak was cooked and eaten by nomads. It is eaten with hands and cooked right before serving. The dish consists of lamb broth, boiled and cut lamb meat, dough cut in small rhombuses in oil, boiled jacket potatoes that are peeled afterwards, onion rings, and chopped green onions. Just a few minutes before serving, the ingredients are combined in a special way. All the ingredients should not be cooked together or combined long before serving – otherwise the dish will lose its taste.

 

 

5. Pelmeni (Meat Dumplings) for the Groom
This special dish of Tatar ravioli is an indispensible element of the Tatar wedding ritual. After the most important part of the wedding ceremony, the mother of the bride offers little meat dumplings in broth to her son-in-law. These ravioli are special for super tender and low-fat meat and extra thin dough sheets they are made from. Usually this ritual dish is served along with katyk, a traditional Tatar dairy product similar to kefir. Today, however, you can taste these special dumplings even if you are not a groom and not even a wedding guest. On a Kazan tour you will surely find this dish at the best restaurants of the capital city of Tatarstan.




Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Tatar Cuisine Kazan Republic of Tatarstan Regional Cuisines  

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