Monday, October 15, 2012

Vegan MoFo - Stopover 11 - Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan doesn't have a lot of vegetable based dishes to offer in their cuisine. Their people were mainly nomadic until around 100 years ago so meat was traditionally a large part of their diets and still remains this way today. A dish called oromo can be served with or without meat so I decided to give this one a try as it sounded like an interesting thing to make. I remembered to take a few photos along the way to talk you through the process of making oromo.  

Oromo is an unleavened dough that is stuffed, rolled into a coil and then steamed. The dough is mixed/lightly kneaded until it becomes smooth and then it is rested for 30 minutes. After the resting period, the dough is rolled into a rectangular shape with a thickness of 2-3mm.

After spreading the carrot, potato, lentil and onion mixture on the dough, the dough is rolled up tightly into a long log.

This log is curled it into a coil shape, which is steamed for 30 minutes. The oromo is cut into pieces and served with tomato puree with spices or yoghurt mixed with greens and spices.

The word around our table was that the meal was interesting and I did have to agree with that sentiment. It wasn't spectacular, nor was it completely boring or bland yet I can't say it's something I would be rushing back to make this way again. I really did enjoy preparing this meal as it was such a different cooking experience so I'm pleased to have stopped over in Kyrgyzstan!

Oromo (Adapted from National Cuisines of Kyrgyzstan)


250g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon Orgran egg replacer mixed with 1 tablespoon water
100ml warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place the flour in a large bowl. Dissolve the salt into a jug with warm water. Pour the water and egg replacer into the flour and mix with your hands until it becomes a smooth dough. Use additional flour if the dough is too sticky. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes.


1/3 cup puy lentils
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 small carrots (200g), peeled and grated
1 medium potato (200g), peeled and grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the lentils in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Drain in a colander then place in a bowl with the onion, carrots, potato, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.


Roll the dough into a large rectangular shape to a thickness of about 2-3mm. Spread the filling on the dough leaving 1-2cm of the edges plain. Roll the dough into a long log with your hands. Take one end of the dough and curl it up into a coil.

Steam for 30 minutes.

Cut into serving size pieces and serve with spiced tomato sauce.

Spiced tomato sauce

400ml tomato passata (pureed tomatoes)
pinch cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

Place the tomato passata and cayenne pepper in a small saucepan and heat gently. Season with salt and pepper. Stir through parsley just before serving.


Did you know?

Over 70% of Kyrgyzstan is made up of mountain terrain and there are a total of 88 mountain ranges in the country.

Do you want to know where else I've been this month? Click here for the round up.


  1. this looks interesting - I was sure you were going to say it would be baked - steaming sounds quite a challenge as it looks quite big (and how would you steam it if you were nomads with very little equipment or did this come into being after people settled more?)

    1. I actually do have a secret steaming weapon up my sleeve but I ran out of time to go into the details of it. I'm not sure how they made this in nomadic times, perhaps they had special equipment that worked over a fire?

  2. Every day's a school day on MoFo - that's just increased my knowledge of Kyrghzstan no end!

    1. It definitely increased mine too! ;) The only thing I knew about Kyrgyzstan before this was it's name and vague location.

  3. I haven't heard of Kyrgyzstan or oromo so I learnt a lot from this post! It's a shame it was fantastic but it's certainly unique!

    1. Even though it didn't taste fantastic, it was still fun to make and it definitely wasn't the worst meal I've ever made.

  4. My goodness Mel, what an amazing dish! That spiralling is really impressive and the steaming equally so. I hadn't heard of oromo either - what a great insight into it.

    1. The spiralling part was actually quite easy, the hardest part was rolling the dough out by hand! It certainly is a unique dish.