Shurpa-Шурпа на костре



Shurpa is the most popular Uzbek soup that take special place in national culinary of Uzbek cuisine.Although there is many different recipes of shurpa, but the base ingredients are the same consisting of meat,potatoes and vegetables with various spices and aromatic herbs.Shurpa is a hearty soup that can be cooked on stove or on the fire.Cooking it on the fire is my families favorite,it adds a smoky flavor to the soup which makes it taste hundred times better.My mom and dad are pros on that.Dad is always in charge of controlling the fire and mixing the ingredients, and mom cooks the soup.It’s cooked in a large cast iron pot (kazan).Cooking it in regular pot will make a difference in taste and wont taste the same.This recipe serves a fairly big crowd, around 15-20 people and usually they’ll ask for seconds but you can cut all ingredients by half if you don’t need that much.This recipe came from my mom who always get requests to cook it for parties,special occasions and of course the family.The images are for shurpa on the fire, but the steps are the same to cook it on the stove.Just cut the ingredients by half.


            Prepare the firepit.Place the pot on top.Heat it really well.Add oil.When the oil is hot, throw in the meat and mix.


Continue to mix….


until the meat is well browned.


Add onions.Mix.Add carrots and continue to mix.


Throw in bell pepper and continuing to mix.


Add tomato sauce,salt,black pepper,paprika,cumin and red pepper flakes(optional) and continue to mix and cook for 3-5 min.

Add garlic,bay leaves,and water.Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.


Throw in potatoes….


And add more water if needed to cover potatoes all the way.

Simmer for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are done.


Throw in all the fresh herbs and mix.

Serve in a bowl with crusty bread or Uzbek lepeshka(flat bread).

For leftover shurpa,transfer to regular pot and refrigerate when cooled.



Pan Fried Homestyle Potatoes


Pan fried homestyle potatoes (жареная картошка) is very popular and simple comfort food in Russian,Ukrainian, and Belorussian cuisines.You can almost call it national dish.My mom would always prepare it for us when we were growing up.It’s quick,its easy and most of all it’s delicious.You can have it for breakfast with fried eggs,lunch with fresh tomato salad,or dinner with russian style meat patties(Kotleti) or sautéed mushrooms.


pan fried homestyle potatoes


Uzbek Manti


Uzbek Manti are steamed dumplings with different variety of fillings like spiced beef,lamb,potato,cabbage,pumpkin and meat with potato.They are very popular in Central Asian cuisines and  came to be famous in Russian cuisine as well.

We made them together with mom very often when I was growing up,and now that I’m married  I still love to get together with mom and sisters and make them as we used to.Its a great way for us to catch up on our talks, have fun and then enjoy this yummy goodness together.My personal favorite filling is beef,or beef mixed with lamb or cabbage.You’ll just love my moms recipe for this dish.They are very juicy,authentic and just the way they should be.

You will need a [amazon asin= with sauce pot] to steam them.I also make my dough in bread maker .It’s faster and easy.But you can do it by hand as well.





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Baby Dutch Potatoes with Onions and Dill




Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are very easy to make and all time favorite at gatherings.There are many ways you can make it, starting from just plain and to adding more flavor like with garlic,chives,cheese and so on.I usually use milk and lots of butter, and sometime I use cream or mascarpone cheese.


8 potatoes peeled,cut in half
1 stick butter sliced (1 1/2 if not using mascarpone)
2/3 cup warm milk
1 tbsp Mascarpone cheese (optional)
bay leaf
chopped chives (optional)
1 crushed garlic (optional)



Place potatoes in a pot, and bring to a boil.

Add salt and bay leaf. Reduce to low.

Cook until potatoes are done.

Drain the water,discard bay leaf.

Using hand mixer,beat the potatoes for about 1 minute.

Add 3/4 butter and mascarpone.

Beat again for 1-2 minutes.

Add milk.

Beat again until well combined.

Throw in chives and garlic.

Add butter on top. Mix when serving.

Cold Summer Soup ''Okroshka''

”Okroshka” is a cold soup of diced vegetables and bologna combined with liquid like kvass, diluted kefir, or diluted sour cream and plain yogurt. It’s usually  served during summer hot weather days. My family favorite is with sour cream and plain yogurt, and sometimes with homemade kvass and mayonnaise added when serving.
3 hard boiled eggs diced
1 big  or 2 small russet potatoes cooked with skin,peeled and diced
¾ pound Russian style bologna diced (or regular bologna)
5-6 radishes cut in half and thinly sliced
½ of English cucumber diced
5 stalks green onion finely chopped
good amount of baby dill chopped
6 cups cold boiled water
2 ½  cups sour cream
16 oz plain yogurt or kefir
In a pot combine all diced and chopped ingredients. Add sour cream,yogurt ,salt and water. Mix well. Keep it cold in a fridge.