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Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

First Contact:


gather% / fish % / hunt %
fat % / protein % / carb%

A rough estimate to help us understand how carnivorous and how ketogenic these people were before being exposed to western civilization

Click this Slide deck Gallery to see high quality images of the tribe, daily life, diet, hunting and gathering or recipes

About the Tribe

Kyrgyz cuisine is the cuisine of the Kyrgyz, who comprise a majority of the population of Kyrgyzstan. The cuisine is similar in many aspects to that of their neighbors.

Traditional Kyrgyz food revolves around mutton, beef and horse meat, as well as various dairy products. The preparation techniques and major ingredients have been strongly influenced by the nation's historically nomadic way of life. Thus, many cooking techniques are conducive to the long-term preservation of food. Mutton and beef are the favorite meats, although in modern times many Kyrgyz are unable to afford them regularly.

Kyrgyzstan is home to many different nationalities and their various cuisines. In larger cities, such as Bishkek, Osh, Jalal-Abad, and Karakol, various national and international cuisines can be found. Non-Kyrgyz cuisines that are particularly common and popular in Kyrgyzstan include Uyghur, Dungan, Uzbek, and Russian cuisines, representing the largest minorities in the country.


Importance of Animal Products

Meat in various forms has always been an essential part of Kyrgyz cuisine. Among the most popular meat dishes are horse-meat sausages (kazy or chuchuk), roasted sheep's liver, beshbarmak (a dish containing boiled and shredded meat with thin noodles), and various other delicacies made from horse meat.


Beshbarmak is the Kyrgyz national dish, although it is also common in Kazakhstan and in Xinjiang (where it is called narin). It consists of horse meat (or mutton/beef) boiled in its own broth for several hours and served over homemade noodles sprinkled with parsley. Beshbarmak means "Five Fingers" in the Kyrgyz language, and is so called probably because the dish is typically eaten with the hands. Beshbarmak is most often made during a feast to celebrate the birth of a new child, an important birthday, or to mourn a death in the family, either at a funeral or on an anniversary. If mutton is used instead of horse meat, a boiled sheep's head is placed on the table in front of the most honored guest, who cuts bits and parts from the head and offers them around to the other guests at the table.[1]


Dimlama is a stew consisting of meat, potatoes, onions, vegetables and sometimes fruits.


Kuurdak is one of the main meat dishes.


Skewered chunks of mutton grilled over smoking coals that come with raw sliced onions, is served in restaurants and often sold on the street. The meat is usually marinated for hours before cooking. Shashlyk can also be made from beef, chicken, and fish. Each shashlik typically has a fat-to-meat ratio of one-to-one.


Shorpo (or sorpo) is a meat soup.


Cooking paloo

Paloo (Kyrgyz: палоо or күрүч/аш) is the Kyrgyz version of what is generally referred to as plov in Central Asian cuisine. It consists of pieces of meat (generally mutton or beef, but sometimes chicken) fried in a large qazan (a cast-iron cauldron) and mixed with fried shredded carrots, jiucai(garlic chives) and cooked rice. The dish is garnished with whole fried garlic cloves and hot red peppers. Uzgen paloo is made with locally grown rice from the southern Uzgen District of Kyrgyzstan. Shirin paloo, a close relative of shirin plov in Azerbaijani cuisine,[citation needed] is a vegetarian dish in which meat is replaced with dried fruits, such as prunes, apricots, and raisins.

Paloo is the Kyrgyzified form of the Persian word polow or polo, related in etymology to pilaf. In Russian the dish is called plov (Russian: плов), in Turkish pilav, in Turkic languages ash, and in Tajik osh.

Importance of Plants

Manty are steamed dumplings filled with ground meat and onions.

Samsa are little pockets with meat and vegetables wrapped in flaky pastry or bread, very similar to Indian samosas. They are most often stuffed with mutton and fat, but are also made with chicken, cheese, cabbage, beef, and even pumpkin. They can be bought in most bazaars or on street corners in larger cities.

Lagman (or laghman) is a very popular noodle dish. It consists of thick noodles created by stretching a very simple flour dough, then covered in chopped peppers and other vegetables and served in a spicy vinegary sauce. Lagman is served everywhere in Kyrgyzstan, but is considered a Dungan or Uyghur dish.

Bread and tea

Naan at a market in Osh

Common types of bread (Kyrgyz: нан [nɑn]) available in Kyrgyzstan include Central Asian flat bread (nan), and thick, sturdy Russian breads. Central Asian flat bread is cooked over coals in tandoori (Kyrgyz: тандыр [tɑndɯr]) ovens, and is round and relatively flat.

More traditional bread products include qattama and boorsoq, two types of fried bread.

The Kyrgyz often eat various breads by dipping it in jam, kaymak, butter (or sary may), etc. Boorsoq is sometimes eaten suspended in tea, or dipped in honey.

Bread is valued as sacred in Kyrgyz culture, and a good host always offers a guest bread at the very least (often with tea), even if the guest is only staying for a few moments.

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Transition to Industrialized Food Products

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