Volga Tatar cuisine generally comes from those of Volga Bulgars, which once were nomads, but nearby 1500 years ego turned to agriculturism, and assimilated local agricultural societies.

Tatar cuisine was greatly influenced by various surrounding peoples - Russian, Mari, Udmurts, etc., and also peoples of Central Asia, especially Uzbeks, Tajiks. Dishes, such as plov (pılaw), halvah (xälwä), and sherbet (şirbät) entered long ago into the Tatar culture. Tatars became familiar with many elements of Russian cuisine very early in their history. However, culinary influences and greater variety of products have not changed the basic ethnic features of Tatar cuisine but have instead made it more diverse. Geography and nature were also instrumental in the creation of Tatar cuisine. Being situated on the border of two geographical zones - forests North and the steppe South, and also in the basin of two large rivers - the Volga and Kama, promoted an exchange of natural products between these two native zones, and a rapid development of trade. All this has considerably enriched the national cuisine. The Tatars became acquainted early in their history with rice, tea, dried fruits, walnuts, seasonings and spices.

The basic structure of Tatar cuisine has developed along with Tatar agriculture, specifically grain and cattle. Tatars have long been engaged in nonmigratory agriculture and animal husbandry. Naturally, the resulting cereal products dominate in their food. From the end of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th centuries the average weight of a potato noticeably grew. Gardening has been developed much less than agriculture. The vegetables primarily cultivated are onions, carrot, radishes, turnips, pumpkins, beets and, in small amounts cucumbers and cabbage. Gardens were found in areas of the right bank of Volga more often. In them apples of native breeds, cherries, raspberry, and currant grew. In the forests people collected wild berries, walnuts, hops, cowparsnip, sorrel, mint, and common wild leeks. Mushrooms were not typical in traditional Tatar cooking, their use began only recently, especially among an urban population.

Cultivation of grain crops among Volga Tatars went together with cattle breeding. The large and small-sized horned stock prevailed. Horses were cultivated not only for needs of agriculture and transport, they were also eaten. Horse meat was used in boiled, salted and jerked foods. The preferred meat of Volga Tatars was mutton although it was not as important as to the Kazakhs and Uzbeks. Beef was as widely used as mutton.

Most peasant farms were dedicated to poultry breeding. They cultivated hens, and geese]. Tatars lived from ancient times in a forest-steppe belt, and were familiar with beekeeping. Honey and wax played an important role in the income of the population.

The dairy aspect of Tatar cuisine was rather diverse. Milk was used primarily in a processed form (curds, sour cream, etc.).

Features of the Tatar galley

All foods can be divided into following kinds: hot soups, main courses, baked items with a savoury stuffing (also used as main course), baked items with the sweet stuffing served with tea, delicacies, beverages.

Soups and broths. Depending on the broth (şulpa) with which they are prepared, soups can be divided into meat, milk, and vegetarian. The broth is supplemented with noodles, buckwheat groats, vegetable. Tatar table soups with noodles are called (toqmaç).

The plov (pılaw)
The plov (pılaw)

A ceremonial dish for the Tatar is pilmän (ravioli) which is always served with broth. Pilmän are also called varenik (Russian boiled pastry) with different stuffings (from cheese curds, seeds and peas).

For the main dish meat, buckwheat groat dishes and potatoes figure in the traditional Tatar kitchen. Meat may be boiled in a broth after cutting into small flat pieces, sometimes slightly sauteed in oil with onions, carrot and pepper. If soup is made with chicken broth then the boiled meat is also cut into small pieces. For a garnish boiled potato more often is used. For holidays a hen stuffed with eggs with milk (tutırğan tawıq).

The most ancient meat - buckwheat groat dish is bäliş, baked in a pot. Use chopped pieces of a fatty meat (mutton, beef, goose meat or duck) and grains (millet, barley, rice). To same group of dishes it is necessary to refer tutırma, which is intestine filled with millet (or rice).

During formal dinner parties, especially for town-dwellers, the pilaw is served. Alongside with classical (Bukharian, Persian pilaf) the aboriginal version - a so-called "Kazan" pilaw from boiled meat was prepared also. As a main course also boiled meat - dough dish, for example qullama (or bişbarmaq), general for many Turkic peoples. Meat is prepared for the future (for spring and summer) by salting it down in brine and by jerking. From horse meat are made sausages (qazılıq), goose is jerked and a filling are considered as a delicacy.

Poultry eggs, primarily those of chickens, are eaten often boiled, fried and baked.

In the Tatar kitchen different porridges have a wide use: millet, buckwheat, oat, rice, pease, etc. Some of them are very ancient. Millet, for example, in past was a ceremonial dish.

Feature of a traditional table is a diversification of flour items. Fresh and a fermented dough do{make} two kinds{views} - simple and short. For fancy bread oil(butter), soft tallow (sometimes horse), eggs, Saccharum, vanilla, cinnamon is added. To the paste tartars reach very closely and well know how to prepare. The attention a diversification (as under the form, and as required) pays to itself of items from a unfermented dough, doubtlessly, more ancient, than from sour. Plot buns, flatbreads, patties, delicacies for tea.

Are most typical for the Tatar galley of an item from the sour (yeast) paste. To nymas bread (ikmäk) first of all concerns. Without bread does not pass any dinner (routine or celebratory), he is considered sacred nutrition. In past for the Tatar existed(breathed) even custom of swearing by bread - ipi-der. Children with small a flying were accustomed to select{pick} each fallen crumb. Behind meal cut bread a highest degree term of family. Bread plot from a rye flour. Only prosperous layers of the population used, at that not always, wheat bread. Now basically logistics bread - wheaten or rye is used.

Except for bread, from an abrupt fermented dough it is produced, many different items. The most eurysynusic kind(view) of this series is qabartma. On a way of a thermal treatment the flame furnace, and qabartma, baked in the boiler, in boiling oil(butter) distinguish qabartma, baked on a girdle before warmed-over. In past sometimes to lunch qabartma is baked of the grain (rye) paste. Of the grain paste did(made) flatbreads, but from more abruptly involved and is more thin unrolled. Qabartma and flatbreads of fur-trees hot, densely oiled.

Items from a light paste also are divided on fresh and sour. To first concern fritters from a wheaten flour (qoymaq), to the second - griddle cakes from different kinds of a flour (oat, pease, buckwheat, millet, wheaten, blended). From Russian griddle cakes qoymaq from the sour paste differs the greater depth. File routinely to lunch with the kindled oil on a patellula.

Baked items with a stuffing are specific and diversiform for the Tatars.

The most ancient and simple from them is qıstıbí, or as still call, küzikmäk, representing a combination of a unfermented dough with a millet cereal (by the way stuffings). From the extremity of XIX century qıstıbí become to do(make) with mashed potatoes.

Liked and not less ancient is bäleş from fresh or a fermented dough with a stuffing from a shards of a fatty meat (mutton, a beef, a goose meat, a duck's flesh, etc.) with a sleet or a potato. Bäleş did(made) major and mesh sizes, in special solemn occasions - in the form of a low truncated cone with an aperture from above. Later so become to call routine cakes (with a different stuffing), on a way of preparation recalling Russian.

Traditional Tatar food is also öçpoçmaq (triangle) with a stuffing from a fatty meat and an onions. Later in a stuffing become to add and a shards of a potato.

Peculiar group of baked items compound(make) pärämäç. In aged times of them did(made) with a stuffing of shallowly threaded boiled meat, plot in the furnace (as cheesecakes) and submitted to lunch with a bisk.

The widespread item, especially village galley, is bäkkän (or täkä.) It is patties, larger, than routinely, oval or a floor of the lunar form, with a different stuffing, often with vegetable (a pumpkin, carrot, cabbage). Especial popularity uses bekken with a squash stuffing. To same group it is necessary to refer sumsa, under the form recalling a patty. The stuffing same as for bäkkän, but is more often meat (with rice).

Very peculiar item is göbädiä, first of all characteristic for a galley urban Kazan Tatars. This circular high cake with a multilayer stuffing - one of mandatory entertainments at solemn receptions.

The Tatar galley is very affluent items from the short and sweet paste: çelpek, qatlama, qoş tele (bird's tongue), lawaş, pate, etc. which file to tea. Some buns - under the content and a way of preparation sample for many Turkic peoples - exposed to the further improvement, derivating original national dishes. One of such original dishes - çäkçäk (or çäk-çäk) is a mandatory wedding entertainment. Çäk-çäk brings in the dwelling of the husband pullet, and also parents. Çäk-çäk, the dry fruit pastilles wrapped up in a thin plate, is special honorary entertainment on weddings.

For a traditional Tatar galley typically use of a plenty of fat. From animal fats use: oil(butter) creamy and heated, bacon (mutton, cow, less often horse and ancerine), from vegetative - sunflower, less often olive, mustard and a hemp - oil.

From sweeties honey is most widely used. Plot delicacies, file to tea.

From beverages to the most arcaded is äyrän, received by a dilution of qatıq (product of sour milk) by cool water. The Tatars especially living in a surrounding of the Russian population, long since use also a kvass (quas), is plotted from a rye flour and malt. During formal dinner parties for a dessert file compote from a dried(dehydrated) dried apricot without stone.

The Tatar tea has early become usual. Tea with baked items (qabartma, fritters) occasionally changes(interchanges) lunch. Drink proof, hot, often diluting with milk. Tea for the tartar is one of attributes of hospitality.

From other characteristic beverages (not alcoholic) it is possible to mark a sherbet (şirbät) - a sweet beverage from the honey, having at the end of XIX - the beginning of XX centuries only ceremonial value. For example, for Kazan the Tatar during wedding in the dwelling of the groom to visitors bore « a sorbet of the bride ». Stay, having drunk this sorbet, laid on a tray money which were intended pullet.

A thermal treatment of dishes and kitchen stock

For comprehension of specificity of a national galley the form of the locus to which the technology of preparation of dishes, in turn, is connected has important value. The Tatar furnace on exterior is close to Russian. At the same time she has the considerable originality, the bound with an ethnic feature of people. The smaller stove bench, a low pole, and the most important - distinguishes availability of a lateral projection with the built-in boiler.

Process of cooking was reduced to a cooking or roasting (primarily flour items) in the boiler, and also to preparation in the furnace. All kinds{views} of soups, gruels and a potato in most cases pulpified in the boiler, In a nem also boiled milk, prepared a lactate product qort (red curds), and also roasted qatlama, bawırsaq. The furnace was used primarily for flour items, first of all breads.

Roasting of meat (in fats) for a traditional Tatar galley not typically. It occurred only at manufacturing a pilaw. In hot dishes boiled meat items prevailed(dominated) boiled and on half. Meat pulpified in soup lumps (milled only before meal). Sometimes boiled on half boiled meat (or the game animal), having divided(separated) into a small tear-out, was exposed a padding thermal treatment by the way with roastings or extinguishing in the boiler. After-treatment (roasting) of the whole carcass of the goose or a filling was effected in the furnace.

Dishes above a naked light were prepared less often. To this technology resorted at manufacturing frikets (täçe qoymaq) and fried eggs (täbä), thus the girdle was put on tagan.

The most generalpurpose ware for cooking in the furnace were cast irons and pots. In cast irons pulpified a potato, sometimes soup pease, and in pots - different porridges. The wide circulation for the Tatar was received with major and steep girdles (for baking bäleş and göbädiä).

From pottery ware, except for pots, large pots were applied to mixing the paste, an earthenware pot and pitchers for a storage and a trouble lamp of milk food and beverages. Depending on destination they were the miscellaneous dimensions: milk pitchers in container (capacity) in 2-3 litres, and pitchers for an intoxicated beverage buza - in 2 pails.

In past of the Tatars, as well as for other peoples of the Middle Volga region, broad application found wooden kitchen stock: plungers and boards for making up of the paste, a maul for stirring products during preparation of dishes and pestling of a potato. For scooping a mode (a kvass, äyrän, buza) used ladles of the oblong form from a tree, with short, declinate a peg from top to bottom, the handle. I peep from the boiler and cast iron got wooden serving spoons.

The complex of wooden ware was applied and at bread making. So, a dough for bread mixed in the dough trough made of close fitting revetings, subtended by hoops. Stirred slowly a dough a wooden shovel. Dressed a grain dough separate slabs in a superficial wooden trough - cilpüç which also was used for mixing a unfermented dough. "To approach" the cut slabs were decomposed in wooden or twisted cups from straw. Bread planted in a furnace through a wooden shovel.

Button leavened and tolerated in riveted kits an altitude about 20 sm and a dia in 25 see. In a small linden family tubs with a dense cover kept honey, the pot butter is frequent also.

Oil{Butter} forced down(churned) in wooden butter churns, less often trunk-deck pahtanijah or it is simple in a pot through a verticil. Butter churns represented cylindrical kits from a linden an altitude up to 1 m and a dia up to 25 see.

In kitchen stock the tartar of the extremity XIX - the beginnings of XX centuries were present wooden troughs for chiselling meat, small wooden (less often cast-iron or copper) mortar boxes with pestles for grinding Saccharum, salt, spicery, a dried(dehydrated) cherry, court. Simultaneously kept to occur (in villages) major and heavy mortar boxes in which the roughing croup was effected. Occasionally used also the domestic hulling mills consisting of two solid wooden circles (millstones).

From midpoint of XIX century noticeably expansion of kitchen stock factory-prepared. In custom occurs(comes up) metal (including enamelled), faience and glassware. However in a household activities of a main body of the population, especially village, the kitchen stock factory-prepared has not received prevailing(dominating) value. Remained without change of a furnace with the boiler and the technology of dishes conforming to them. At the same time the factory tableware the Tatars has come in a household activities enough early.

Boxara qäläwe and çäkçäk
Boxara qäläwe and çäkçäk

The especial attention reverted on tea-things. Tea liked to drink from small cups (that did not cool down). Low small cups, with a radiused bottom and a patella, in people it is accepted to call "Tatar". A subject of table layout of a tea table, except for cups, personal plates, a sugar bowl, the pitcher for milk, a teapot, teaspoons, was also a samovar. Up to luster the cleaned, rustling samovar with a teapot on the burner set the fashion to pleasant(sweet) conversation, good mood and always studed a table both in holidays, and in everyday lives.

There were major changes and in ways of a thermal treatment of dishes, and in kitchen stock. An introduction in a household activities of gas-fires, microwaves has, etc. reduced in drawing new technological methods and dishes, first of all fried (meat, a fish, cutlets, vegetables), and also to updating of kitchen stock. In this connection boilers, cast irons, pots, and also a considerable proportion of wooden utensils have departed on the second plan. In each family there is a major panel of the aluminium and enamelled pans, a girdle and other ware.

Nevertheless prolong widely to be applied in an economy a plunger and a bake board, every possible barrels and tubs to a storage of products, anthodiums and birch-bark bodies for berries and mushrooms. The pottery ware is quite often used also.

 A modernity
Crimean Tatar cuisine: On the beach in Köktebel: Plov, Manty, Shashlik.
Crimean Tatar cuisine: On the beach in Köktebel: Plov, Manty, Shashlik.

A feed the Tatar, saving basically tradition of a national galley, has undergone fixed changes. With a rise in the living-standards of people and increase of a cultural level new dishes and items have appeared many, the national galley dressed. More vegetables and fruits become to take the considerable place, the nomenclature of fish courses has extended, mushrooms, tomatoes and a salinity have become usual.

Some influence on the Tatar culinary was rendered with national galleys of other peoples, especially Russian. Now on a dining table of the tatar family alongside with national dishes it is possible to see both a Russian cabbage soup, and a beetroot and cabbage soup, both to an ear, and mushrooms, and cutlets. At the same time the Tatar dishes have saved originality of the registration, preparation and palatability that is one of the causes of their popularity.

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