Street Food in Uzbekistan - 1,500 KG. of RICE PLOV (Pilau) + Market Tour in Tashkent!

Street Food in Uzbekistan - 1,500 KG. of RICE PLOV (Pilau) + Market Tour in Tashkent!

- Good morning, I hope you're having an amazing day. It's Mark Wiens. I'm in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and we just arrived about four, we landed at the airport about four hours ago. So this is my first time to visit. I'm excited to be here. Today we are gonna go on an Uzbekistan, Tashkent Uzbek food tour. I'm gonna meet up with Bekruz. He's the one who invited us here with the Ministry of Tourism. This is gonna be my very first day to ever eat Uzbekistan food, and I'm gonna share it all with you in this video. (upbeat music) - [Mark] Hi, man. - [Woman] Good morning. - How are you? - [Mark] Good, how are you? - Welcome to Tashkent man. - He's an awesome food blogger here. And Akbar? - Akbar. - We are on our way to start eating. (upbeat music) - [Man] Yep, this is where we're gonna have breakfast, and walk around today. - We are in Chagatai. Chagatai, is the heart of the whole city, and all the people within Tashkent, especially, they come exclusively for bread. - I can smell the bread already. - Exactly, right!

- We're starting off for breakfast here, and this is an entire Bazaar dedicated to bread. And just the aroma of the bread smells incredible. You can see the sesame seeds. They're like these giant rings of bread. They almost look like baby carriages, that they roll the bread in. Babies of bread. That smell, I just can't wait to taste it. It smells so good.

Two words to learn when you come to Uzbekistan, Assalomu Alaykum, which is hello. It's just a greeting, which is similar to Arabic, and rasmat? - [Bekruz] Rahmat. Rahmat. Rahmat means thank you. So those the words we're gonna be using throughout this trip in Uzbekistan. We're gonna gather some things for breakfast and have my very first breakfast in Uzbekistan. Assalomu Alaykum. - [Bekruz] You see? So early morning they milk the cow. - Assalomu alaykum! Assalomu alaykum! - Yeah, we got a little portion of (speaks foreign language). I made sure that it's very fresh. - [Mark] Great. - This is called (speaks foreign language) which means beans. And you can see the carrot fried with the oil. And you see (speaks foreign language). Usually minced meat. - Oh wow. You can't smell that. Like the honey, yeah. Rahmat. Rahmat. Oh it's so juicy! The aroma! Oh it's so fragrant! Oh wow! That has to be the juiciest melon I've ever tasted! And so like honey. That's crazy juicy, huh? Mmm it's like drinking an entire cup of juice in every single bite. (upbeat music)

We bought all the stuff at the market and then we walk over right next door to the market, there's a it's a restaurant but it's also a community gathering space. If you can notice we're actually sitting above a stream. A small river that flows underneath us. Oh man, you can smell the onions and the carrots. That bread. The grapes. Kaymak, everything we're about to dig in for this breakfast feast. - [Bekruz] Oh yeah it's so huge. It's so big so we can see all the layers. We can see the dough. (speaks foreign language) Yeah, yeah the best bread is cooked in (speaks foreign language). - Good. (laughs) - [Mark] I'm gonna grab some of the bread and wow, that's actually really dense bread. We've all got our own bowls of the kaymak. So you kinda just dip it in. Very thick and creamy. - Viva kaymak! (laughs) - Oh wow! - Good? - The bread is so fresh and then the kaymak is like a really creamy, almost like whipped butter in taste and texture. Wash it down with tea. Ahh, oh yeah. Just soothing. It just goes so well. Dip into some more of this kaymak.

- [Man] These are different, there's two types. Yellow and we have another one. What you do is you just break it up like a jam. (Mark laughing) - [Mark] And a little on your pants. Alright I'm gonna try one of the figs. Break it in half. I can just feel the juices just squeezing out. Oh wow. Squeeze it together. Squeeze it together. And yeah you can see like the pulpiness just kinda and the sugars just coming together. Squeeze it together and that just brings out the juices and the natural. That's just natural jam in fruit skin. (upbeat music) Just crazy good. It is, it's like pudding. So you can see it's like a very thin dough. And then you can see that. She smeared on this mixture of minced meat and carrot. That is just delicious. That's almost like a carrot jam, smeared within this savory thin dough. - (speaking foreign language) - It's just the beginning. It is just the breakfast. - That was a fantastic way to start this Tashkent food tour. Yeah the bread in the morning is so soothing. Oh man and that fruit. So sweet. So juicy.

We are moving on. I think we're going to one of the main biggest bazaars now, to eat a few signature dishes. Buh-bye! - Buh-bye! (upbeat music) We just drove down the road to Chorsu Bazaar. This is the biggest and the oldest bazaar market place in Tashkent. We're gonna walk around here. We're gonna eat some more food and especially, - You can even see the smoke. - Oh yeah on the outskirts of the market people are selling things like melons, peanuts, nuts, dried fruit. We're moving into the smoke. I can smell the meat. - You can smell the meat. It's a beef, it's a kebab. There's a lot of things going on here. (women speaking foreign language) - There's so many unique things. Check out this sausage. There's meat grilling. I mean there's such a mix. Such an influence from so many different places because Uzbekistan is on the silk road and so there's such a mix of influence. But there's so many unique things in this region as well.

Assalomu aleykum. Oh this is the samsa here? - Made samsa. Ahh, okay. - Okay. (laughs) - So this is the spot. So the Chorsu has many varieties of the food. Local people if you pay attention there, they come and eat. This is what it is.

- She has been making this dish for 25 years right here at the market. It's kind of like a lasagna but you can see it's tomato sauce, but at the same time it's almost like a dumpling because there's like little self contained little pockets. She puts it onto the plate. She scoops on it looks like onions and dill onto the top and with a chili on the side. And then this is kind of a big food court section. It's packed right now. We're coming to the back here to sample it. Big communal tables. You can smell the aroma of the smoke. Oh this is beautiful. We've got two little dumplings, and they're topped with onions. And you can smell the dill. I would love to taste this chili too. Maybe chase it with a chili. But I wil open one of these guys. Get some of the onions. Look at that inside of it. Oh what's on the inside? Kinda like matchstick cut potatoes, which are filled onto the inside. (all laughing) Thank you very much. - We call it, Doppler. - Doppler. - It has actually a very really good meaning. If you can give me for one moment I'll explain you. - Yeah, sure.

- So this is a chili sign. Chili pepper sign. - Oh! Chili pepper sign! - Yeah the sign says it protects from the evil eye. The chili sign from four sides, Uzbek man used to wear them so they are protected from evil eye from all sides. We call it, Doppler. Traditional doppler. And we wear it like that. - Yes. So do you wear it to the side or do you wear it to the, - However you like. It looks good. - Okay that's even better with the chili, the chilis. Thank you very much.

Back to the dumplings and yeah you can see they are filled with potato. - [Bekruz] It's burst of flavors. - You've got the gummy wrapper. You've got the potatoes in there. Part tomato sauce, and then the crispy onions and the dill. Chew it up. Make sure you chew it up well. Oh yeah. So good, so good. I love it yeah. That goes up your nose a little bit. Oh it's wonderful and it's just very maybe very lightly pickled. Oh what do we have next? It's so solid. It's so like dense. You can feel like kind of a crusty oiliness. I'm not even sure what's on the inside. Oh there's meat and kind of like a lump in there. - This is a fat and this is a, this is a lamb fat. Our sheep has big butts. (laughs) - This is a next level samsa. I'm gonna try to get a little bit of that fat into this bite. And okay let me navigate my bite. Whoa! Whoa, that just melts with, that's just pure lamb oil. It just melts. You taste a little bit of spice in there like, a little bit of cumin but just liquid lamb. I mean that's just a live jiggly piece of fat. But wow! That is umami flavor at its best. Oh it just fell out. Oh I gotta save it! (upbeat music) - She liked how much you liked it. And she's refusing to get money. She's saying it's on me. I like the way they like. They are guests. We respect. So this is the true hospitality. - Rahmat. Rahmat. Oh man and just, we have been now in Tashkent Uzbekistan for a total of like 12 hours, and so far everybody that we've met has been so friendly, so generous, so hospitable. It's a beautiful culture. That food was incredibly good. When you come to the market here, when you come to the bazaar, come to meet her. She is an amazing lady.

- This is all cheese. We call it, kurt. Even with a bit of yogurt it's a cheese. So it's very tender. I believe you may get it. - It has a little bit of a yogurt cheese aroma to it. Mmm! Oh wow! Oh that's delicious. It's sour. It tastes like yogurt but it's salty. Condensed and almost like yolky. - Our local recipe. It's really nice. You gotta try it. (upbeat music) - Mmm! I immediately taste the basil. And then that's like a crunchy, it's like rock yogurt. But like whoa! (upbeat music) This whole part is still the bazaar. Like the outside area indoor section. - That sign is the, This lemon grown in Tashkent. Mmm! Ahh! (Mark laughing) It's very refreshing. Try it. - Mmm. Mmm! Oh the juiciness. (laughs) That's just like a pool. A puddle of lemon juice. The skin was kinda thick. More leathery than I thought. Oh yeah that's sour. (laughs) Oh, sorry! - This is shot of mulberry juice. Even though it doesn't contain alcohol, it will warm us in the friendship. Maybe Brudershaft. - (laughs) Okay. Okay. - (laughing) This is mulberry. A shot of fresh mulberry juice. - In a bazaar. One, two, go. (upbeat music) - Oh oh oh! - Oh oh! - Oh it's incredible! Maybe also because we had that lemon in our mouth, it like magnifies the flavor. Perfectly sweet, sour. That was really really good.

Rahmat. We really are here at one of the best times in Uzbekistan because it's fruit season and so everything is fresh. And there's just mountains of raspberries, and grapes and figs. Whereas if you come here in different, like winter for instance, well people buy the fresh fruit now and then they preserve them for periods of cold when you cannot get the fresh fruits. So it's great to be here at this time. I just see the abundance and the vibrancy of the natural ingredients.

We've emerged from the fruits and vegetables section to one of the most iconic sites of the bazaar, which is a dome shaped structure which we're gonna go inside. We're gonna see inside. And what I like also about this bazaar is that you know it's busy, it's vibrant, but at the same time, it's still calm and friendly and I mean people are so friendly. You still have space to breathe and walk around and roam around. As soon as we entered the dome, you can smell the aroma of the fresh meat, and this is the meat section of this dome but it's so cool. You step inside. The design is almost like a web on the dome, and then there's an opening at the top. It's designed this way for the heat, but also just as an icon. It's so spacious also because of the height of the dome, and you can hear just kind of echoing.

Assalomu aleykum! I don't think I've ever seen raw meat being sold in such a cool, such a like museum like structure. It's beautiful.

- It is the meat. Most of our cuisine is based on the lamb so, we need the fresh supply of the meat. So I don't know, tons and tons of lamb comes here, and everyday they sell it out. (speaking foreign language) - Oh those are the spices you can smell. Wow. And then we just came up the stairs, and check out this view of the market floor. It almost looks like a, you know what it reminds me of? It reminds me of like a stock exchange. It's like a stock exchange. It's so, it really is. This has to be one of the coolest markets in the world. It feels like you're in a museum, and yet it's live. It's a living museum of food. It's beautiful. (upbeat music)

We're heading out of the market and we gotta rush a little bit because we're going to this lunch spot where we're gonna see they serve a huge, what is probably the national dish food of Uzbekistan. So yeah it's perfect. Back into the van. We're on our way to the TV Tower for lunch. (upbeat music) - Yeah everyone is for plov. Every, those cars. - [Mark] All of these cars here? - All of those cars. Even our national football team, look! Our national football team is coming to eat plov. - [Mark] That's the national football team? - Yes, there we go. They are having lunch. - Literally for the last kilometer, we've been passing cars parked on the side of the street. They are all coming to eat what we're about to eat. That's the national dish. - It is national. Plov is a wedding. Plov is a baby. Plov is a birthday. Plov is everything! Any occasion we have we want to celebrate, we celebrate with a plov. - That's all you need to know. Come to the base of the TV Tower. - It's almost over.

- I can't even call that a pan or a pot. It's like a, it literally is a swimming pool of plov. It's almost finished. There's a little bit of oil at the bottom. And by a little bit of oil that's like a, that's like a tub of oil at the bottom. And then you're still scooping out some of the rice. - See there was a big one, and unfortunately it ran out. - Still it's just like a bathtub instead of a swimming pool. There's lamb. I put it on a plate and over there they're chopping up the meat. And it looks like you kinda get into a cuing system. You order your plov, you order your plates, and then they dish it out for you. Smells unbelievable. (people speaking foreign language) If you could smell the meat aroma back here. It is, my nostrils are just, I can actually like feel a layer of meat on my nostrils. - Look at it. So there is like three portions in one. This is for three people. So you see this is a qazi. This is horse meat. - [Mark] It's the horse sausage? - Exactly. And we have a quail boiled egg. We have ordinary egg. And you see just the pile of the meat. I think more meat than rice itself.

- I can't thin of another word other than epic. Epic food adventure. Wow, huge. (laughs) Everybody in here is eating what we just saw. There's for sure 1,000 people in here. It's a huge dining hall area. Oh, are we going upstairs? We're gonna sit upstairs so we have a view of everybody. And how many thousands kilos did you say of plov they serve here? 1.5 tons, - Altogether? - Altogether. During the lunch time in two hours. Look at it. And it's gone. Usually we eat from one so it's a community kind of thing. I hope it's okay with you. - It's very okay for us. It's like a equal ratio of meat to rice. - Bahramad. - Bahramad! Bon appetite. First bite usually the elder begins, and then guests and then we can all dig in. But the meat. You got the rice. It's so fluffy. You can smell that oil. Oh! Oh wow! The rice is fluffy and then it is coated in like meat juices and oils. And the rice is not sweet but then you've got this sweet like dried raisins in there. And you got so many different textures in there. You've got rice, which is almost like al dente. You've got the starchy chick peas. You've got the silky carrots. And I gotta try the sausage. Next up for the sausage, it's a special sausage it's horse sausage. It has kinda like a salted preserved taste to it a little bit.

(upbeat music) I'll follow that with some of the salad. (speaking foreign language) It's amazing. Mmm, oh yeah. It's like those yogurt balls that we had earlier. Just the fresh version. Well not really fresh but the non hardened version. That provides like a totally different cooling sensation to your mouth. (upbeat music) Yeah. It's spectacular. I'm washing it down with lemon tea. It's kinda sweet. And you can just taste that like undertone of lemoniness. (upbeat music)

That was one of those meals that's just filled me with an almost, it's almost a speechless, to the brim with a speechless overjoy. In like two to three hours they sell out of one and a half tons of rice and meat. Empty, empty, empty, empty. There's the last one. There's just a little bit. But it is time for a little stroll after the amount of food and quantity and meatiness and deliciousness of the food that we've eaten today. But I was just even reflecting on the morning, we went to the market which was literally like a museum. And then that restaurant that we just ate at for the plov. Like I don't think I can describe it any better way than an opera house of meat and rice. This is one of the main square, one of the main gathering areas of Tashkent but before we get there, we're just walking through this beautiful lush park. Look at these trees. Big tress. Evergreens, flowers. It's so green and lush. Okay now we're in the artist's section. So I'm seeing some art. Some antiques. Lots of paintings. (upbeat music) Are you taking a video? (woman laughs) Okay run! Oh! (laughs) (boy laughing) (woman speaking foreign language)

A jumping castle in Tashkent. I have definitely built up an appetite going up that hill and sliding down. I think we can, we're ready to eat again. - Hello. - Pleasure, Mark. - Mark, hello. - [Mark] Hello. - How are you? - [Mark] Very good. - Welcome to Uzbekistan. _ [Mark] Thank you very much. - I was talking you about. Everything in this is what remained. (men talking) - And next stop on this Tashkent Uzbekistan food tour today, we've come to it's kind of like a family restaurant. They have a bunch of local dishes. - This is what we came for. - Another dish. Specific dish that we've come here to eat is naryn, which is a dish that I've really been looking forward to trying since I learned about it today. So has a very thin dough, which she slices into very fine juliennes. Then you move over to this station where she's finely chopping up a mixture of horse meat and beef. And that mixes into the dish. And then I think it gets assembled over at station number three. So she takes an equal amount of meat plus the julienne dough. Now she's just mixing it fully. She added in some seasoning. Some local cumin, some black pepper. A little bit of oil and is just fully mixing it so that it's completely even tossing it. (men speaking foreign language) - This is a soup in which the horse sausage was brewed.

- You gotta eat this with your fingers. That's the traditional way. But just a mound of what she mixed up with her fingers. The dough the julienned dough. The mixed in meat. The thick chunks of horse sausage. And then there's some onions on top. So I'll grab, you can see the pepper in there too. Oh nice. Oh that's beautiful. I can't wait to try it. Mmm! Wow! (laughing) Oh that's awesome. You've got like, they are kind of like noodles, but it almost has like a cheese texture to it. And then you've got that meat mixed in. And it's oily. And you've got that light spice. The pepper in there. The light cumin. And then again you can really like taste the meat. So far today in the dishes, in the meat based dishes that we've had, the meat just comes in so vibrantly flavorful, but so natural tasting. It's fat. - [Man] It's horse fat. (upbeat music) - Whoa! Wow it's like really meaty. And it is like a sausage. Like kind of like salty. Almost like salami. It's so succulent. This is the soup that the horse sausage was boiled in. Mmm it has this saltiness. It's a little bit sourish. It's powerful.

Yeah that's good. Really really good.

Some of the boiled meat and rice, which has just turned into a paste. You can see the fibers in it. - [Bekruz] Yeah, yeah. - Grains and rice and you can see the fibers in there but it's all just boiled and simmered down for like half a day, for like 11 or 12 hours until it just turns into a paste. A porridge. It's like a, very like comforting. You've got a foamy, almost like a foamy texture to it. And again you taste that meat.

Okay next up for the lamb sausage. And this is pretty hardcore. You can see the fat just laced within it. It's a mix of organs as well, and then wrapped up into an intestine, and it's just dripping in oily meaty juices. Wow! Yeah that's like fatty juicy. Yeah it's pretty good but that's meaty.

Some of the lamb chop. Oh yeah it's delicious. It's so tender. That piece was kinda lean, or at least in comparison to the last bite I had. And this one is the dolma. There's cabbage and there might be grape leaves in here as well, but then rice and meat on the inside. And the dough in there. That's what makes it, that's what brings it to the next level.

Moving through the meats, next up is the kebab. (upbeat music) Oh wow! Yep that's a meat mummy. I taste the smokiness of it. How it's been, and the saltiness as well. How it's just been scorched with the hot colds. It was all good but that horse noodle like dough dish with the soup, and that is unique, and it's incredibly good. Oh man it's good.

We're gonna go back to the hotel. We're gonna rest for a couple hours and then we have one more meal to complete this first, my very first day in Uzbekistan. Yeah it's been nothing short of just impressive, impressive. And we met so many friendly people, so much good food, but we, okay all that to say, we have one more big dinner coming up. Wow this okay, we went back to the hotel, we rested for about an hour. It's very modern but very nice, very beautiful restaurant with modern Uzbekistan style. And we're eating a dish, it's called (speaks foreign language). Look at this platter! It's a beauty! It's another stunner! And if you can notice right in the center, you'll see the horse sausage that we've already eaten. Once or twice or three times today. You guys hungry? - Oh yeah! Look at it! I can't wait to try. - Sausage, that's like one of the winning meats of the day. It's like sheets. Sheets of what look like kind of like dough. Okay and I got some horse meat on there as well of course. Mmm mmm. Oh that's incredible. Those are like noodle sheets. You've got that really meaty broth, that the noodles have sort of soaked up with. That horse meat which is salty and like horse salami. And then the crispness of the green onions.

- What do you think, what is the main ingredient in this? What is the main ingredient? - The noodle or the dough. - No. - [Mark] No? And it's not even the meat. It's the broth. - The broth. Every now and then like in this bite, you get a cumin seed. Like a whole cumin seed but it's kind of mild. (Uzbek music)

This has been one of those days that just blows me away, and I'm still trying to process the food, the culture. We landed about, okay actually less than 24 hours in Tashkent. Slept for like two and a half, three hours, then immediately got started on this ultimate Tashkent food tour. Truly a learning and just a beautiful beautiful day. I loved the food. I loved the different dishes. Dishes I've never seen or even imagined before. But even more than the food, the people, the hospitality, the friendliness and genuine kindness. So many people that we met today is what really shines. It's what really stands out. So I want to say a huge thank you to the Ministry of Tourism Uzbekistan who invited Ying and I to Uzbekistan. Thank you so much for making this happen. Thank you to Bekruz. Bekruz arranged everything. He did a lot of work to make this happen. So thank you so much. And to Akbar and also to Ravshan for coming along with us today. Man what an amazing day we had. And it's just day one of Uzbekistan. We have so much more food, adventures and experiences in Uzbekistan that I'm gonna share with you in this entire series. So stay tuned and yeah be sure to watch this entire series.

I'm gonna say goodnight. I'm going straight to bed. And I will see you on the next video.

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