The national dish of Turkmenistan is Ichlekli (Turkmen Shepherd’s Pie). Why not make it on October 27 when Turkmenistan celebrates their independence day. Here’s what our country chef Bayramgül says about the national dish of Turkmenistan:
One of Turkmen shepherds’ food is ichlekli (pronounced ishlekli), a meat pie that was traditionally baked buried in hot sand and embers. Nowadays, ichlekli is baked in the oven but the traditional technique is still kept alive by local enthusiasts.
Recipe: The national dish of Turkmenistan - Ichlekli
For the filling
- 500 g beef or lamb
- 1 tomato
- 1 onion
- ½ bell pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 120 ml water ½ cup
For the dough
- 50 g butter softened
- 1 tsp salt
- 300 ml lukewarm water
- 500 g flour
Prepare the filling:
- Cut the meat into very small pieces
- Finely chop the onion, dice the tomato and the bell pepper
- Mix all the filling ingredients together in a large bowl
Prepare the dough
- In another large bowl, mix all the dough ingredients together and knead until soft.
- Divide the dough in half and roll each half between your palms into a ball. Cover the dough balls with a kitchen towel and allow resting for 5 minutes.
- Take one ball of dough, sprinkle some flour on it and roll it out to a circle of about 30 cm diameter. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Spread the filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1 cm border.
- Roll out the remaining ball of dough to the same size as the first and place it over the filling. Fold the edge over itself and press down firmly to seal.
- Cut a small hole in the center of the pie to allow steam to escape, and prick the rest of the surface with a fork. Brush the top of the pie with water.
- Bake at 250°C (482°F) on the middle rack until the top of the pie becomes light brown, about 25 minutes. Serve right away.
About the Country Chef
Bayramgül is native Turkmen from Ashgabat who currently lives in Prague. She is the author of One Turkmen Kitchen – a blog where she shares Turkmen recipes illustrated by photographs taken by her daughter, Mähri.
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Read more about other national dish recipes published on this blog