Uzbek cuisine - Urama
Posted by sibylle in food (Friday January 2, 2009 at 10:50 am)


Recipe for Urama (dessert)


Today, my first day off from work, I looked over my Uzbek recipes.

When I climbed at Ak-Su in Kyrgyzstan, our hosts gave me an Uzbek cookbook.

Earlier I posted two dishes, Khoplama, hearty winter stew, and Shirkovok, milk soup with pumpkin and rice. I wasn’t able to cook these, as both recipes called for ingredients unavailable at this time.

Urama, a crisp pastry consisting of fried spirals coated with powdered sugar, looks easy to make and uses basic ingredients.

In Central Asia, Urama is a sweet served with tea. Other tea sweets include the better-known halvah and baklava, though I was not served either of these while in Uzbekistan (on our way to the Ak-Su).

Uzbek cuisine - Shirkovok
Posted by sibylle in food (Wednesday December 17, 2008 at 9:51 pm)


Last time that I posted a recipe from my Uzbek cookbook,  several readers asked me to make it and tell them how it came out. Khoplama calls for “an average size black radish”, not common in the Colorado mountains. I’ve since looked for recipes that might be easier to make - or at least recipes where I have hope of finding the ingredients.

Shirkovok, a milk soup with pumpkin and rice, has a simple list of ingredients, though perhaps not at this season. It’s a typical Uzbek milk soup. I’ll try this or one of the other dishes and let you know how it came out.
Though I’m familiar with black radish, as I often ate it growing up in Germany, where it’s called simply Winterrettich, or winter radish, I have not seen in stores locally.

Until I can find a source of Winterrettich, I’ll pass on an attempt at cooking Khoplama. I’ll post a few other recipes and try one of them.

If anyone finds a black radish, or decides to make Khoplama with red, white, or other radishes, please let me know.


Uzbek cuisine
Posted by sibylle in food, Europe (Monday December 8, 2008 at 8:43 am)


Uzbek cookbook

In 1987, Alex Bertulis called me out of the blue and invited me to join a team of Seattle climbers on the Seattle-Tashkent sister city climbing exchange. I lived in California at the time, and had the good fortune to be invited on this trip because they wanted a woman who both climbed ice and had big wall experience.

At that time, not many women had done walls, and of those, not many also climbed alpine ice routes. I delightedly accepted, and set off for a month of climbing in Kyrgyzstan , which at that time was still part of the USSR and still behind the iron curtain. These two facts most likely contributed to one of the best climbing trips I ever went on, and a trip unlikely to occur today.
On our way in, we flew to Moscow; from there to Tashkent; and then on to Samarkand.

Samarkand is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular towns and locations I’ve ever visited. Alexander the great had his library there, and Genghis Khan overran it with his hordes. In about 800 AD, Samarkand was the center of civilization, mathematics, and knowledge. The silk road ran near there, and in 1987, Samarkand remained famous for its textiles.

I was there to climb, and bought no cloth (and had no money in any case), but one of the Russian climbers gave me an Uzbek cookbook. I was going through my bookshelves today and came across this gem. The book comprises 16 loose cards, each with a picture on the front and a recipe on the back.


Ugra-chuchvara, or Uzbek dumplings

Energy nuggets, recipe
Posted by sibylle in Mexico, food (Saturday March 11, 2006 at 8:32 pm)


Energy nuggets

When Dave and I decided to climb the 23-pitch Timewave Zero in Potrero Chico, Mexico, we needed food to take on the climb that we could easily carry in the pockets of our Camelback; that was fairly energy-rich, and that we could buy (or make) while in Mexico.

We couldn’t get any type of granola bar, Cliff bar, or Luna bar at the store in Monterrey, but a woman staying at our same campground, Rancho Cerro Gordo, was making ‘energy nuggets’ as climbing food. She gave me her recipe, and before the climb I made a supply of energy nuggets which was our food for the route. The nuggets are easy to carry in plastic bags in your pockets or a pack, travel well, and are much moister than many commercial bars.


1/2 c. pumpkin seeds

1/2 c. sunflower seeds

1/2 c. oats

1/2 c. sesame seeds

1/4 c. flax seeds

1 T. peanut butter (unsalted, natural works best)

1 - 2 T. sweetened condensed milk

1 - 2 T. water

Optional: 1/4 c. shredded coconut flakes
Grind dry ingredients separately in a blender. Mix ground, dry ingredients in a bowl. Add moist ingredients, adjusting amount to achieve the right consistency.

When mix is slightly tacky or sticky, roll ingredients into a ball. Roll balls in coconut if desired.

You can substitute ground nuts for one or more of the seeds, or add carob or cocoa powder, adjusting the water to achieve the correct consistency.

After the nuggets are done, store them in a zip lock bag in the freezer until ready to take them skiing or climbing!

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