Imaginary Kazakh Thanksgiving Feast

This week in the United States we are preparing for Thanksgiving. All week we think about the dishes we will make, how many people will be attending our feast, and how much food we will need. Many people who celebrate Thanksgiving usually prepare dishes such as turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, bread, pumpkin pie, apple pie, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and much, much more.

While people in Kazakhstan don’t celebrate this holiday (understandably, as our Thanksgiving is an American tradition), we can only imagine the traditional Kazakh dishes that would be present in such a feast.

With that being said, we have decided to make a list of Kazakh food items that that could be at a Kazakhstan-themed Thanksgiving dinner.

**Main Dishes: **

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Beshbarmak: Of course, how could we have a Kazakh-themed Thanksgiving without Kazakhstan’s national dish? This dish is also known as “five fingers” because it is meant to be eaten with your hands. The dish consists of noodles topped with meat (such as sheep or horse meat), carrots, onions, and potatoes.

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Kazy: So we don’t typically eat horse meat in the United States, but it is quite common in Kazakhstan. So, for our Thanksgiving feast, we should definitely include the popular dish called kazy. Kazy is sausage made with horse sausage. It is considered to be expensive, so it is often made for celebrations.

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Manti: Manti are oval-shaped dumplings which are steamed and usually filled with sheep meat. They are often served with sour cream and tomato sauce and are common at parties.


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Plov: Plov is yellow rice, which is typically quite oily and contains pierces of mutton and carrots. This dish is traditionally eaten with your right hand. It is said that, when you eat well-made plov, the oil from the dish will run down your wrists.

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Olivie Salat: You may assume that salat would be like a traditional salad found in the U.S., however, salat in Kazakhstan usually features heavier items such as potatoes mixed with carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other items. There are many different versions of salat found in Kazakhstan, many of which were influenced from Russian dishes.

**Desserts: **

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Chook-Chook: Reminiscent of a doughnut, chook-chook is made with fried dough that is soaked in a glaze made of sugar.

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Halva: A common Russian treat, halva is a sweet paste made with sunflower seeds. It is typically found in the form of a block, and comes in many flavors like chocolate or raisin.

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Tort: Tort is a type of cake, but not like American birthday cake. It’s more of a dense cake topped with sugary icing. Some torts feature sliced fruits, nuts, honey, cream, jam, and other things.


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Airan: Airan is a drinkable yogurt that is quite common in Kazakhstan. It is often made with plain yogurt without any flavor.

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Koumiss: Perhaps one of the most famous beverages in Kazakhstan, koumiss is made with fermented mare’s milk. This drink is usually served on special occasions and is slightly sour.

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Shubat: While koumiss is made with fermented mare’s milk, shubat is made with fermented milk from a camel. It is sour like koumiss, but slightly thicker.

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Sorpa: If my Kazakh Thanksgiving feast is going to feature beshbarmak, then my meal must also include sorpa. Sorpa is a broth that is drank after eating beshbarmak.

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Tea: How could I leave tea off of my list? A staple in the Kazakh diet, tea is an essential beverage in Central Asia, so it is a must for my list.

Well, readers, there you have it. Our Kazakh Thanksgiving feast would be quite filling! For those of celebrating Thanksgiving this week, Happy Thanksgiving!