Although women are hosting in the kitchen of the Uyghurs, the preparation of Lagman is a male thing. Because it is hard physical labor, which requires both strength and endurance
Basically prepare an elderly men in skullcaps. One cook continuously kneads the dough on the noodles, and then disassembles it on the bundles and spins it like a rope, until it turns into thin threads from a thick piece. This is hard physical labor. Other cooks monitor the cooking of broth and sauces. Then they collect, like a constructor, all elements in a single dish. Serve the finished lagman in two pels: in the first – the broth with meat, in the second – noodles with sauces.
Lagman a century ago was born in the Turkestan oases of the Great Silk Road and, like a thread, tied China and Central Asia. Men in skullcaps preparing Lagman on the streets of Kashgar are not the Chinese, but the Muslim Uyghurs who inhabited East Turkestan (now this is the Xinjiang-Uygursky Autonomous Region of the PRC). The ancestors of the Uyghurs entered the tribal alliance with the Huns. Some researchers claim that Genghis Khan took the Uyghur language as a basis when creating Mongolian writing, which may indicate the antiquity of the origin of this people.
The Uyghurs have always had complex relationships with the neighbors-Chinese neighbors. Caravans of the Great Silk Road passed through the Uyghur cities in the Mostfan cavity, and therefore powerful China always sought to control this territory. In 1865, the Uyghurs created the state of Yettishar in East Turkestan, but only 13 years later the Chinese destroyed it. After a wave of terror, many Uyghurs fled to Western Turkestan (modern Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan). They brought with them the tradition of cooking lagman.
A native of Tashkent, a brand-chef of the Timur Lansky network “Chaikhona No. 1” (in 2018-approx. Vokrugsveta.ru) says that the most important thing in Lagman
How did you learn to cook this dish?
I grew up in a large family and began to earn extra money in the dining room from the age of 12 to help my mother. Lagman was very well prepared in this place, but of course I was not allowed to prepare it. I could only observe the noodles from the outside, extinguish vegetables. Once, when I was 13, I decided to cook Lagman at home for relatives. It turned out successfully, I liked the dish both mom and neighbor.
Which lagman can be considered correct?
Preparation of this dish is a responsible matter. The broth should turn out to be saturated, the meat – soft, vegetables – crispy. It is very important not to digest noodles. Therefore, it is always prepared separately and added when serving.
Where in Tashkent you can try such a lagman?
It is worth going to Lagman in a cafe in the central market of Chorsu. And in the Old City, the center of Lagman was opened not so long ago – mainly local. In addition to lagman, delicious mantles are also preparing there.
The Turkic name of the dish comes from the Chinese “Lamyan” – “stretched noodles”. Pulling wheat noodles are really one of the most important elements of the dish. In addition to it, various sauces are served. The cooks are valued primarily for the ability to cook a great many sauces with vegetables and spices. Separately, a sharp seasoning of the owls, or lazzhan, from pepper, tomatoes and garlic, fried in vegetable oil is served to Lagman.
Chinese Uyghurs serve lagman separately: noodles are poured with sauces and eaten with sticks, and the broth is drunk from Piala. In Central Asia, Lagman turned into soup: complicated in preparation, pulled noodles are replaced with cut and poured with broth. Instead of numerous sauces, they make Vaju – a meat dressing with vegetables. In the spring, fresh herbs, onions, radishes, celery are used. In the summer they put eggplant, beans, tomatoes. In the fall – carrots, radish, cabbage. The only thing you can’t meet in the real Uyghur Lagman is potatoes, and the Central Asian housewives sometimes add this root crop for satisfying. And of course, do not replace home noodles with factory pasta.
There is a lagman alone is not accepted. This dish has long been binding the pivotes with close bonds. After a meal, the cook or the hostess thank them for their painstaking work. And Muslims also read a special prayer after eating, Dua – for those who fed them and watered them.
How many servings: 4
Cooking time: 3.5 hours
Calorie content for 1 portion: 330 kcal
Water – 1.5 l
Bones (equally lamb and beef) – 500 g
For Vaji (meat with vegetables):
Chinese salad – 80 g
Pitch beans – 80 g
Mutton (pulp, hip part) – 600 g
Onion – 80 g
Celery (stems) – 80 g
Radish – 80 g
Radish – 80 g
Bulgarian pepper of different colors – 100 g
Ripe soil tomatoes – 300 g
Garlic – 30 g
Tomato paste – 50 g
Soy sauce – 20 g
Vegetable oil – 100 ml
Salt – 4 g
Infusion of the Badya – 10 ml (out of 1 t. l. stars)
homemade noodles – 800 g
Greens for decoration:
Cinza, celery, green onions – 30 g each
Lose sauce – taste
For Vaji, peel the lamb and rinse, then cut into 1.5 cm cubes. It is good to warm up vegetable oil in the cauldron, put part of the meat and fry. Gradually add the rest of the meat and fry, stirring, for 10 minutes – until a golden crust.
Pour the bone for the broth with cold water, then put the pan on the fire and bring the water to a boil. 3 hours over low heat.
Cut vegetables: Bulgarian pepper, stems of celery and Chinese salad – small rhombics, young beans – in half, tomatoes and onions – cubes. Add onions, pepper, salad, beans, celery to the frying meat to a cauldron. Then add salt, spices and soy sauce. Lastly, put the tomatoes and pour in the infusion of the Badya (preliminarily crush the stars of the battery, pour boiling water and let it brew). Stew all 10 minutes.
Lower the noodles in boiling water and wait until it pops up. Count a couple more minutes and take out. Pour in cold water and put aside.
When serving in a plate, put noodles. Then mix in the stewpan 4 linen of the broth and 4 lilies of Vaji (based on the ladle for one portion). Warm up and lay out on plates on top of noodles. Add chopped greens to each plate and sharp lasa sauce.
Photo: Grigory Polyakovsky