Friday, November 17, 2017

Tajik Non Bread

When we pulled into the train station in Khujand, Tajikistan we were met by a band with men in long black robes and gold trim playing very long horns and other odd musical instruments. But even more striking were three young girls dressed in colorful garb, each carrying a pyramid of stacked bread. 

Judy posed with one of the girls for a picture and I was then offered one of the loaves of bread from the top of the pyramid. It was round with a rounded, bulbous and serrated rim and a depression in the middle swimming in honey. Most everyone else evaded the girls and their bread and I had a hard time finding any takers of pieces of bread that I tore off the loaf. The bread was rather stiff, not something I would seek out, and the honey helped. But there was so much honey that it was dribbling all over the place. I ended up finding a trash can to deposit most of it and had to use several wet wipes to get the honey off my hands. 

The first stop of our tour of Khujand was a Museum of Archaeology. After I got bored of the tour which took way too long, I went outside and wandered around. As I passed a restaurant I noticed a cart with bicycle-type wheels carrying about 20 round loaves of bread like what we'd seen the girls carrying earlier that morning. Then a man came out, pulled six of the rounded loaves from the cart and took them inside. 

Later that morning we visited the Payshandba Bazaar, the largest bazaar in Tajikistan. There again we found more of the rounded loaves of bread resting on the two-wheeled carts. The prevalence of the bread was striking. 
Tajikistan is known for its yogurt non or naan bread. It is a blend of basic wheat, all purpose flour and yogurt. This link gives a recipe, then shows the intricate process of women creating designs in the rounded loaves, then pasting the dough against the inside of a large kiln to cook them. 

I didn't really like any of the bread we had in Central Asia until we got to Azerbaijan. There it got more moist and flavorful. But it was fun to see and try it. 

1 comment:

  1. It was so beautiful to look at. I'm guessing that if you get it hot, right out of the oven, it is much better. As it is, it's probably "survival bread," or bread that lasts a while and is easy to haul around.