They eat horses in Central Asia, don’t they? Well, I had not considered that. I knew the people of the region are famed horse breeders and riders, and take pride in the care of horses. I had not thought about how else horses might figure in the culture. On my first day in Uzbekistan, I found out.
Naryn is a cold salad of fresh noodles, kazy (spicy horsemeat sausage) and beef or mutton. At Milly Taom in Tashkent, an entire section of the open-to-view restaurant kitchen is given over to the preparation of this popular dish. When I visited, on a Saturday at mid-day, naryn preparation was in full swing, with six women chopping and mixing to a fare thee well. The restaurant seats at least two hundred people, and naryn seemed to be one of the most requested items available.
The noodles were hand cut, and the sausage sliced, then finely diced. Other meat was chopped, and a dressing prepared in plastic buckets. Everything was done on a large table, and with a smile. Here is a look at the process.
And the flavor? Naryn at Milli Taom turned out to be tasty, spiced a bit more than other popular dishes I tried there. I went back for seconds.
For more about specialties of Uzbek cuisine, and dining out in Tashkent, take a look at Suzanna Fatyan’s post for Uzbek Journeys.