Tatar cuisine

more than a year ago
To say that food is important is as superfluous a take as can be made in the modern age, but it is particularly true in this most unique part of Russia. Tatarstan is where Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia collide, where the forests of the north bleed into the steppe of the south, and the semi-nomadic clans that make up this part of the country and extremely traditional when it comes to what they are putting in their mouths.

The cuisine is extremely diverse, but simple nonetheless. Spices are kept to a minimum and recipes as easy to follow as possible, ensuring the survival of dishes such as steak tartare, chak-chak and cheburek over the generations. The latter of those hasn’t given any signs of being in jeopardy of course, with the deep fried turnovers taking pride of place as the so-called ‘Khan of Russian fast food’.

Modern trends have begun to chip away at the thick traditional skin, but don’t expect fusion cuisine to make its presence felt in Kazan anytime soon. And when it comes to the daily tea time, don’t you dare take umbrage with the Tatar’s favourite liquid pastime.

Tatar cuisine is filled with local twists on Central Asian and Russian dishes such as:

plov (Uzbek spiced rice and meat),
pilman (Tatar pelmeni or boiled dumplings),
burek (deep fried pastry parcels stuffed with cheese or meat),
ochpochmak (a triangular shaped mini-pie stuffed with fatty meat and onions, whose name literally means triangle),
beshmarak (boiled meat chunks served on a bed of large flat noodles).


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