Chef and author Gyulshat Esenova describes how the desert climate of her native Turkmenistan shaped traditional Turkmen food, such as lamb cutlet.
Esenova is the author of “Sachak: Traditional Turkmen Recipes In A Modern Kitchen,” which she describes as the first cookbook of Turkmen recipes published in the U.S.
Excerpt from ‘Sachak’
By Gyulshat Esenova
- 4 lean lamb cutlets or 1 lb lamb loin, thinly-sliced against the grain into 4 pieces
- 1 1/2 tbsp tallow (or 50g mutton fat, chopped)
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, thinly sliced
- 1/2 bunch parsley/1/2 cup/10g, leaves only, chopped
- 1/2 bunch scallions/3 each, sliced
- 1/2 bunch cilantro/1/2 cup/10g (optional), chopped
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a large frying pan, heat 1 1/2 tbsp of tallow (or render mutton fat, remove cracklings).
- Cover the sliced lamb with plastic wrap and pound it on both sides to flatten.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Fry for 2 minutes, flip and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Transfer the kakmaç to a plate and serve with chopped herbs and onion on the side.
Reprinted with permission from SACHAK: Traditional Turkmen Recipes In A Modern Kitchen, by Gyulshat Esenova. Copyright © 2021.