Oriental cuisine


Oriental cuisine


Oriental cuisine is a general term for the cuisine of the peoples of the East, Asia, India, the Caucasus and the Balkan Peninsula, the core of which may be Chinese, Japanese, nomadic or medieval Turkic-Islamic cuisine.


The food is based on mutton and rice, the mixture of which in dry form forms pilaf, and in liquid form shurpa. The peculiarity of oriental cuisine is the absence of soups in the European sense. Shurpa is a soup where the line between broth and gravy is erased.



Pilaf with meat


Shurpa with mutton


The emphasis on mutton is explained on the one hand by the fact that Turks, who were the titular people of many medieval states of western Asia (Ottoman Empire, Mughal Empire), were nomadic sheep breeders, and on the other hand mutton is a ritual Islamic dish used, for example, on the feast of sacrifice. In addition to the above-mentioned dishes, mutton originally formed the basis of such dishes as dolmá, and shavérma. Dolma (tolma, sarma) is a dish consisting of stuffed vegetables or leaves (usually grape leaves), stuffed cabbage in grape leaves. The stuffing is usually rice-based and may also contain boiled minced meat. Dolma is widespread in the cuisines of the peoples of Transcaucasia, the Balkan Peninsula, West and Central Asia, as well as North Africa.



Dolma with grape leaves


Shawarma, shawarma (also shawarma, shuarma, shaorma) is a Middle Eastern dish of Arab origin made of pita (round, flat unleavened bread) or lavash (unleavened bread in the form of a thin flatbread), filled with chopped fried halal ("in accordance with Sharia law") meat (lamb, chicken, less often veal, turkey with spices, sauces and fresh vegetable salad).



Ready-to-eat shawarma


Among drinks, fermented milk products like ayran are widespread. Ayran is a type of fermented milk drink based on katyk or a type of kefir in Turkic, North Caucasian, South Caucasian and Balkan peoples. Traditional ayran is made from cow's milk with the addition of water and salt. Goat or sheep milk is sometimes used instead of cow's milk.



Fresh ayran (Istanbul, Turkey)


Appetisers are represented by lavash, which in the East plays the role of spoon and napkin.



Lavash is an unleavened bread


The hot climate, which favours the rapid spoilage of food, has determined the spread of both desserts and spicy spices in oriental cuisine. Oriental sweets based on dried fruits and nuts served with brewed black coffee are widely known: sherbet, rahat-lukum, halva, baklava.



Oriental sherbet with peanuts



Lukum pieces



Several types of baklava


Uncharacteristic for oriental cuisine are: pork and wine (due to the influence of Islam), as well as fish, beef, eggs and cheese.



Roasted noodles with vegetables. Chinese cuisine



A seafood-rich assortment from Japanese cuisine