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Kazakh Foods

Kazakh cuisine includes easy-to-prepare and hearty dishes. This is due to the harsh climatic conditions of the region and the nomadic way of life characteristic of the peoples who have inhabited the country for centuries. The basis of the diet of the Kazakhs are lamb, veal, game, dairy products, vegetables. Some recipes popular in the region have an ancient history and have remained unchanged for hundreds of years.

Characteristics of Kazakh cuisine

The cuisine of Kazakhstan is dominated by meat and dairy dishes. The menu of local residents is complemented by vegetables and cereals. In addition, the national cuisine includes a lot of fermented milk products. Gathering has always been an important component of the economic activity of local residents. This contributed to the appearance in Kazakh cuisine of a large number of dishes from berries and mushrooms.

The national Kazakh cuisine is one of the youngest, because its identity began to take shape at the beginning of the last century.

Features of national cuisine

Most national dishes are prepared from the following 4 types of meat: lamb, beef, camel, horse meat. It is extremely important that the product is as fresh as possible. The bird began to appear often on the table of the Kazakhs only after their transition to a sedentary lifestyle, because, wandering on the steppes, people could not breed it, so they were content with rare game. Another feature of the Kazakh table is the presence of a large number of traditional dishes, including offal.

How Kazakh cuisine developed

Until the middle of the XVIII century. most of the inhabitants of Kazakhstan led a nomadic lifestyle, so the basis of their diet were semi-finished products from meat and milk. The meat was smoked, salted, dried and canned in fat. People did not have the opportunity to use ovens and other means of cooking, so the food was relatively monotonous.

Nomads acquired vegetables, grains, spices and fruits through the exchange trade that was widespread at that time. More often, people bought plant products that could be stored for a long time. This contributed to the emergence of local traditions of cooking flatbreads and bread. In addition, local residents began to introduce vegetables into meat soups. Fish was originally consumed only by nomads, who often stopped on the coast of the Caspian Sea and large rivers, so there are few traditional dishes from this product.

The national cuisine of Kazakhstan was finally formed only in the XIX-XX centuries, when local peoples ceased to lead a nomadic lifestyle, which expanded their opportunities in growing useful crops. This contributed to the spread of affordable products and the borrowing of dishes from other peoples.

Secrets of cooking Kazakh dishes

Most of the main Kazakh dishes are prepared from large pieces of meat. In ground form, it is almost not used. More often, food is boiled or stewed in fat. Frying is less common. Traditionally, the first and second courses are prepared in cauldrons, i.e. iron thick-walled containers. National Kazakh bread is also baked in this dish. In addition, some dishes are baked in coals and cooked in kurdyuks.

Main products and dishes of Kazakhstan cuisine

Due to the nomadic lifestyle, locals have long been limited in their food choices.

Most of the national dishes of Kazakhstan are prepared from milk, meat and flour. In addition, this country has formed special traditions of cooking sweets.

Cattle meat

The meat of livestock is the main food for all nomadic tribes. Initially, the basis of the diet of the people of Kazakhstan was horse meat and camel. However, after the majority of the inhabitants of this country began to lead a sedentary lifestyle, lamb and beef began to predominate on the menu. Pork is not used here for religious reasons. The development of poultry farms has led to the fact that chicken and duck are often present on the table of local residents. Camel is now a rarer product, so dishes from it are more often prepared for big holidays.

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Milk and dairy products

From sheep, horse, cow, camel, goat milk make:

  1. Sary-may is a creamy fat that is consumed in its pure form, and is also used in the preparation of first courses and pastries.
  2. Kumys is the main drink of Kazakhstan, which is fermented mare’s milk.
  3. Katyk is yogurt.
  4. Irimshik is a common name for all types of cottage cheese, differing in color, fat content and consistency.
  5. Uyz is a product that boils in the intestine until thickened.
  6. Ayran is a type of kefir.
  7. Shyrtyldak is melted butter mixed with sugar.
  8. Kurt is a cheese that is prepared by pressing sour cream. It is used in the preparation of some soups and main courses.
  9. Shubat is a heat-treated sour camel milk.
  10. Kaymak is a fermented milk product of yellow color, resembling sour cream in taste.
  11. Katyk is a drink that is prepared by boiling sour fatty milk.
  12. Suzma is a thick, slightly salted sour cream.

Homemade sweets

Traditional homemade sweets are served with tea and fermented milk drinks. Some recipes of delicacies were borrowed from Tatar, Uzbek, Tajik cuisines.

The most favorite desserts of the Kazakh people include:

  1. Chak-chak are small flour sticks soaked in honey.
  2. Halva is a dense dessert in consistency, which is prepared from ground seeds.
  3. Kustil – thin flatbreads of unleavened dough, fried in oil.
  4. Jent is a crushed wheat mixed with honey, ghee, honey and sugar.


In addition to dairy drinks, black tea is especially popular in Kazakhstan. It is served with milk, cream and even sour cream. More often it is drunk from deep bowls. In this country there are many lovers of Chinese green tea. It is consumed without additives.

There are no traditional alcoholic beverages in Kazakhstan. However, some types of koumiss can produce an intoxicating effect, because during fermentation, alcohol is formed in them.

National Kazakh dishes

Some national dishes of Kazakhstan have fans around the world.

This category includes:

  • coctal;
  • beshbarmak;
  • manta rays;
  • palau;
  • kuyrdak;
  • kazy;
  • kurt;
  • balkaimak, etc.

Manty and beshbarmak are national dishes of Kazakh cuisine.

When visiting this country, you should definitely try them, because here they are prepared in traditional ways. These dishes are extremely popular in Kazakhstan, so they can be ordered in any restaurant.


Koktal refers to the few national fish dishes of this country. More often it is served to the festive table. It is difficult to reproduce the recipe due to some features of cooking. With large fish, the weight of which should be at least 3-5 kg, fins and scales are not eliminated. The carcass is cut into 2 halves along the ridge, leaving the whole peritoneum, and then the internal organs are removed.

After that, the carcass is unfolded and laid with the outside on a special smoking grate, called a cocktail grate. On top are placed chopped vegetables (onions, tomatoes, bell peppers), spicy herbs and spices. Potatoes are laid around the fish. Smoking is carried out on sawdust or branches of an apple tree.


Kazakhstan is considered the birthplace of beshbarmak, because here it is the most popular, but in reality this dish has been a favorite for nomadic peoples for many centuries. Different parts of the country have their own peculiarities of its preparation.

According to the classic recipe, horse meat, sausage and lamb are used on the bone, as well as vegetables. It is important that the pieces of meat are small. In addition, noodles from unleavened dough are prepared separately, which are then dried and boiled in a fatty meat broth. Cooked noodles and meat are laid out on a plate. Before serving, the dish is decorated with fresh herbs.

Beshbarmak is eaten with their hands.


Manty is an extremely popular meat dish in Kazakhstan. When it is cooked, finely chopped lamb, beef or horse meat mixed with chicken fat is seasoned with spices, and then wrapped in a thinly rolled dough. Formed large dumplings are cooked in a mantovarka.

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Now in Kazakhstan this dish is made with different fillings. Meat is often combined with pumpkin, potatoes and onions. In restaurants, dishes are often served with a creamy cheese sauce. Some housewives additionally bake manta rays in the oven for 30 minutes. This makes the filling juicier.


Palau is a local variety of pilaf. Fresh lamb, rice and carrots are used to prepare the dish. Palau is stewed in large cauldrons, sparing no meat and spices. To give the dish a specific sweet and sour taste, dried apricots are added to it. Pilaf turns out to be fatty and satisfying. They eat it with unleavened flatbreads.


Kuyrdak is a Kazakh roast of lamb offal. They are first boiled and then fried in chicken fat with potatoes and onions until a golden crust appears. This dish is put on the table along with thick gravy and fresh vegetable salad. Traditionally, kuyrdak is served to guests in front of beshbarmak.


Kazy is also called horse meat sausage. This is a national Kazakh snack. It is prepared not from minced meat and offal, but from whole pieces of meat, as well as chicken fat. Kazy is cut into thin slices and laid out on a plate. Often in a separate container serve salted half-rings of onions.


Kurt is a popular fermented milk product in Kazakhstan. It tastes like a cross between cheese, cottage cheese and milk powder. Kurt is high in fat. More often it is prepared in the form of small cakes. Kurt can be both salty and sweet.

The first option can act as an independent snack, and an ingredient for the first and second courses.


Balkaimak is a dessert that is prepared from sour cream and honey in a water bath. To increase the density of the mass after heating, flour diluted with milk is introduced into it. All components are thoroughly beaten with a whisk to break up possible lumps. After about 5-7 minutes, the dessert is removed from the water bath.

Balkaimak is a very tasty Kazakh dessert.

Interesting recipes of Kazakh cuisine

Many recipes of this kitchen are simple, so they can be reproduced even at home.

First courses and soups

There are dishes in Kazakh cuisine that can be attributed to both the first and the second. It depends on the amount of broth added.

Lamb and offal beshbarmak

The following ingredients will be required:

  • ribs – 1 kg;
  • kidneys – 4-5 pcs.;
  • heart – 2 pcs.;
  • onions 2 pcs.;
  • coriander – 1/4 tsp;
  • flour – 500 g;
  • broth – 1/2 tbsp.;
  • eggs – 2 pcs.

The cooking process includes the following steps:

  1. Lamb ribs and offal are washed, cleaned of films and tendons.
  2. The part where the vessels ran is removed from the hearts.
  3. The kidneys a day before cooking are cut lengthwise, placed in a container with water and left to soak, and then cut into portioned pieces.
  4. Ribs and hearts are placed in a pot of boiling water and boiled for at least 2 hours, periodically removing the foam and fat from the surface of the broth.
  5. Allspice, onions and salt are added to the kidneys, and then boiled in a separate container.
  6. When the hearts and ribs are almost ready, take a little broth and cool it to room temperature, and then mix it with flour, salt and eggs.
  7. The dough is rolled out and left for 20 minutes, after which it is thinly sliced.
  8. The finished ribs and hearts are removed from the broth and fried until golden brown, and then kidneys, slightly chopped onions and coriander are added to them.
  9. Prepared strips of dough are boiled in broth.

Noodles, lamb ribs and offal are laid out on a plate, and then a little broth is poured.


To prepare this traditional Kazakh soup you will need:

  • lamb – 600 g;
  • onions – 2 pcs.;
  • bay leaf – 2 pcs.;
  • carrots – 2 pcs.;
  • potatoes – 2-3 pcs.;
  • greens – a bunch;
  • peppercorns and salt to taste.
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The process of preparing sorpa includes the following steps:

  1. Lamb is washed, cut into portioned pieces, poured with cold water, spices are added and brought to a boil.
  2. The finished meat is removed from the pan, and the broth is filtered.
  3. Vegetables are peeled and boiled in broth.
  4. The broth is poured into the plate, lamb and boiled potatoes and carrots are placed.
  5. On top of the dish is decorated with greens.

Salads and the second

For the second in Kazakhstan, meat dishes and salads are often served, which can be made at home.


To make manta rays, you need to prepare the following ingredients in advance:

  • lamb – 300 g;
  • curly lard – 40 g;
  • flour – 1.5 tbsp.;
  • water – 120 ml;
  • salt – 1/2 tsp;
  • onions – 2 pcs.;
  • ground pepper – 1/4 tsp.

Stages of cooking:

  1. The meat is chopped, mixed with chopped onions and spices.
  2. Water, a pinch of salt are added to the flour, and then thoroughly kneaded and left for 10 minutes.
  3. The dough is divided into 12 portions and then rolled out. The thickness of the plates should be about 2 mm, and the diameter – 10 cm.
  4. Inside each flatbread, put minced meat and a little chicken fat, and then sculpt manta rays of a rounded shape.
  5. Products are boiled in a mantovar for 45 minutes.

Ready manta rays are laid out on a plate, sprinkled with ground pepper and chopped greens.

Kazakh salad

To prepare a salad, the following ingredients are required:

  • lamb – 250 g;
  • eggs – 2 pcs.;
  • pickled cucumbers – 2 pcs.;
  • potatoes – 1 pc.;
  • butter – 20 g;
  • mayonnaise – 100 g;
  • apple – 1 pc.;
  • carrots – 1 pcs.;
  • green peas – 3-4 tbsp;
  • dill and parsley – 1 bunch;
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Stages of preparation:

  1. Lamb is washed, peeled from veins, boiled, and then fried in butter and cut.
  2. Potatoes, eggs and carrots are boiled, cooled and shredded.
  3. The apple and cucumber are peeled from the seeds and cut into small cubes.
  4. All ingredients are mixed and seasoned with mayonnaise.
  5. On top of the salad is decorated with apple slices, green peas and greens.

Bread and sweet pastries

In Kazakh cuisine, unleavened and sweet pastries occupy a special place.

Very tasty pastries are prepared in Kazakhstan.


To prepare traditional bread, you will need the following ingredients:

  • wheat flour – 500 g;
  • dry yeast – 1.5 tsp;
  • warm water – 270 ml;
  • sunflower oil – 1 tbsp
  • egg yolk – 1 pc.;
  • milk – 1 tbsp

Stages of preparation

  1. Flour, yeast, water and oil are mixed and placed in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  2. The dough is divided into 2 parts, rolled in flour and left for another quarter of an hour.
  3. Flatbreads are laid out on a baking sheet, smeared with a mixture of milk and egg yolk and baked in the oven for 20 minutes at a temperature of +220 ° C.


To prepare these products, in appearance resembling donuts, you will need:

  • flour – 3 tbsp.;
  • sugar – 1 tsp;
  • kefir – 1 tbsp.;
  • dry yeast – 10 g;
  • egg – 1 pc.;
  • water – 1/2 cup
  • salt – 1/2 tsp.
  • vegetable oil.

Stages of preparation:

  1. Kefir is heated to +40 ° C, mixed with sugar, salt, sifted flour and egg.
  2. The container with the composition is covered with a towel and left for 30 minutes in a warm place.
  3. The balls sculpted from the dough are kept on a tray for another quarter of an hour.
  4. Deep-fry the blanks until a golden crust appears.

On top of the baursaki lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar. In addition, often these pastries are served with honey and cinnamon.

Kazakh Foods
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