Jent, sur-yet, and shee baursaks: Kazakhstani desserts and healthy snacks

Food & DrinkNomadic

You can take these traditional dishes and desserts with you on the road as they can work as a tasty and healthy snack.


Sweet irimshik — sweet cottage cheeseг

This is a simple but tasty and healthy dish: cottage cheese with various sweet additives. In one region of Kazakhstan, honey is added, in another - sugar or jam. Keep sweet cottage cheese in a refrigerator as this product expires very quickly.


Balkaymak is sour cream mixed with honey. The method to make balkaymak is to slowly boil raw sour cream over in low heat until the fat is separated. Then sugar, honey, and flour are added. The resulting product is mixed and left for another 8-10 minutes. The dish is served with tea and baursaks.


Jent is prepared from talkan (coarse flour from fried barley or wheat), milk, butter, sugar, honey, and raisins. Fried wheat is pounded in a mortar. The resulting product is mixed with sugar and raisins; then butter is added. The dish needs to be cooled to a solid. Ready jent is cut with a sharp hot knife. In the past, only rich people could afford such a treat.


Shee baursaks

Shee baursaks differ from ordinary ones in size, shape, taste and the type of dough. They are prepared from unleavened dough and taste crispy and sweet.
Nomads used to take these baursaks to battle. They are dry, and therefore do not go bad. Shee baursaks is one of Semipalatinsk’s signature dishes. You can find them in almost every store or market in the bakery department.

Qurt (kashk)

Qurt is a fermented milk product that is prepared from salted sour clotted milk obtained from sheep’s milk. There are several types of qurt: dry salted, boiled, and pasty. It is most convenient to take a dry one with you, as it can be stored longer. Dried qurt can be added to broth, soups. Crumbled qurt is sometimes added to sour cream.

Sur-yet — jerked beef, dried fish

Drying is one of the most ancient methods of processing meat, which remains one of the most effective. Drying allows you to eat fish without further cooking, and meat - with minor processing.

Jerked meat is an excellent snack due to the fact that it can be stored without a fridge for a long time. Proteins and trace elements will nourish your body in extreme situations.

In addition to these, be sure to try taba nan – bread, baked in a pan; qazi (kazy) - traditional horse meat sausage; shelpek – flatbread, fried in oil; and other Kazakh delicacies. Bon appetit!

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Studio of author's handmade textiles in patchwork style

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