Dushanbe - Shaftoluzor Restaurant - Qurtob

Qurutob, Tajikistan’s National Dish

Tajikistan claims mainly two national dishes: plov (aka osh), and qurutob. While plov is more famous and is also the national dish of neighboring Uzbekistan, qurutob, a mix of bread and onions in a yogurt sauce (with the occasional extra meat and vegetables), is specifically Tajik. Tajik culinary literature is pretty scarce. Pan-Soviet cookbooks typically […]

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Cooking National Dishes for Ingredient Matcher

Ingredient Matcher is a new web site (and app) that offers to compare a list of ingredients you already have to its recipe database, in order to figure out what you can cook for dinner without having to go to the store. It’s so new, in fact, that it hasn’t even officially launched yet. While […]

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Restaurant Review: Taam Tov

A note about my restaurant reviews: New York City counts many Eastern European restaurants scattered across the five boroughs, most of them ignored by restaurant critics and diners alike. I intend to visit as many as I can and report! Taam Tov, in Midtown West, is probably the only Uzbek restaurant in Manhattan. More precisely, they […]

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Shashlyk Po-Karski

Shashlyk Po-Karski, Döner Kebab, and Gyro

Shashlyk po-karski (Kars-style shashlyk) is a rather mysterious dish. Every time I’ve ordered it in restaurants, I’ve been served either a rack of lamb or individual grilled lamb chops. What made either version specifically from Kars, a Turkish town that once belonged to medieval Armenia? Why not call it chalakhach, another dish of mysterious origins that […]

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Caucasus Adventures Redux

I’ve recently posted the last installment of my Azerbaijan Adventures, so it’s time to say farewell to the Caucasus (for the time being, at least), and look back at all I have distilled over the past three years. Like a goat jumping over the snowy peaks of the Caucasus, I have traveled through Georgia, Armenia, […]

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Skirt Steak and Eggplant Shashlyk

Labor Day’s already over, a week behind us, and you probably think you’re done with barbecues until next year. You’ve spent the past two (three?) months reluctantly pigging out with wrinkled beef franks and shoe-sole patties prepared by self-proclaimed Grill Masters who swear by their kerosene-soaked charcoal briquettes. You’ve hung out in 100+ temperatures next to a […]

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Restaurant Review: Pepela

A note about my restaurant reviews: New York City counts many Eastern European restaurants scattered across the five boroughs, most of them ignored by restaurant critics and diners alike. I intend to visit as many as I can and report! There aren’t too many Georgian restaurants in New York / the US /  the West, and […]

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