Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Lagman

LagmanHave you ever tried Lagman? Have you even heard of such a dish?

When I came to America around 4 years ago, I started working in a little coffee/pastry shop, owned by Russian guy named Vladimir, which was located in Port Jefferson on Long Island. Vladimir was a nice guy and payed me a pretty good salary, considering my lack of experience and a very shaky English. He was a lousy businessman though, so the place went out of business some time later. One of his crazy ideas, which was supposed to boost sales and bring customers in, consisted in hiring 2 Uzbek cooks and turning the place in a coffee/pastry/Uzbek cuisine shop. I’m not sure why that didn’t work, because Uzbek cuisine is delicious IMHO. So those guys had introduced me to lagman. It is a noodle lamb or beef stew. Noodles are supposed to be hand made, but very often when cooked at home those noodles are substituted by regular pasta, which could be bought in any supermarket.

My second encounter with lagman happened when Daniеl’s mom cooked it for dinner. Since they lived in Tashkent for over 10 years and she was exposed to the Uzbek cuisine there, lagman is on her “I can cook it” list (and it’s a big one if I might add!). It’s really good in her interpretation, I should take a recipe from her one day.

I decided to try to cook lagman when I was searching for something nice and easy on one of my favourite forums : www.kuking.net/my . The recipe was kindly provided by Tatiana-Nonsense, who lives in Tashkent. I cooked it yesterday for the 2nd time and should say that it’s very easy (took me about an hour from scratch) and savoury meal.

Ingredients for LagmanIngredients:
  1. Beef – 800 gr/ 1.7 lb
  2. Onions – 3 average siza
  3. Carrots – 2
  4. Turnip -1
  5. Green bell peppers – 2 (not too large)
  6. Red bell peppers – 2 (not too large)
  7. Potatoes – 3-4 average size
  8. Garlic – 3 cloves
  9. Celery
  10. Tomatoes – 3 average size
  11. Cilantro or parsley
  12. Salt, spices (paprika, black freshly crushed pepper, bay leave)
  13. Oil

I used less meat then in the recipe (bought about 1.2 pounds of cubed beef), just 2 onions, 5 small tomatoes, just 1 red pepper and I accidentally bought parsnip instead of turnip (what a noob). )

  • Heat the oil (I use extra virgin olive oil for everything, but I think any vegetable oil could be used) in a cooking pot with a heavy thick bottom. Cut the beef into cubes approximately 1,5*1,5 sm and add it to the oil. Cook beef cubes over a small heat with the closed lead till almost all the water evaporates and meat starts browning evenly, stir the meat occasionally.
  • Meat for Lagman
  • Meanwhile dice carrots, onions and tomatoes. When the meat is ready, add diced onions and carrots to the pot and cook for about 5-6 min over medium heat with the open lead. Tomatoes should be blanched (they should be boiled for about a minute and then skin comes off easily). Add tomatoes to the pot and cook over medium high heat for another 5-7 minutes.
  • Add paprika, freshly crushed black pepper and a little bit of salt to the mixture. Don’t be shy with red pepper, this dish is supposed to be hot.
  • Dice peppers and potatoes, cut celery and add them to the pot. Stir everything and let it cook for about a minute or two.
  • Diced Vegetables
  • Add boiling water so it would cover vegetables (depending on the taste it can be more or less water).
  • Let everything boil, take the foam off. Add more salt, sliced garlic and let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes until potatoes are ready.
  • Add cilantro and bay leave, boil everything for one more minute with the closed lead. Turn off the heat and let lagman stay for some time.
  • Stew Cooking Process
  • During the stew cooking process, pasta should be boiled. I used linguine, because they are thick.

To serve, pasta should go on the bottom of the dish and stew should be put on top and sprinkled with chopped cilantro and parsley.

Lagman MealI usually add some more red hot pepper in my dish and Danya likes to add a splash of white vinegar.
In: Food & Dining
Time: 19:28   Comments: 1 Comment   Post a Comment  
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