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Traditional Turkmen recipes featured in first of its kind book in U.S.

Chef and author Gyulshat Esenova describes how the desert climate of her native Turkmenistan shaped traditional Turkmen food, such as lamb cutlet.

Esenova is the author of “Sachak: Traditional Turkmen Recipes In A Modern Kitchen,” which she describes as the first cookbook of Turkmen recipes published in the U.S.

Excerpt from ‘Sachak’

By Gyulshat Esenova

Lamb Cutlet Kakmaç

Serves 2

  • 4 lean lamb cutlets or 1 lb lamb loin, thinly-sliced against the grain into 4 pieces
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tallow (or 50g mutton fat, chopped)
  • Chef and author Gyulshat Esenova. (Constantine Fedorets)
    Chef and author Gyulshat Esenova. (Constantine Fedorets)

  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch parsley/1/2 cup/10g, leaves only, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch scallions/3 each, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro/1/2 cup/10g (optional), chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • In a large frying pan, heat 1 1/2 tbsp of tallow (or render mutton fat, remove cracklings).
  • Cover the sliced lamb with plastic wrap and pound it on both sides to flatten.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Fry for 2 minutes, flip and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Transfer the kakmaç to a plate and serve with chopped herbs and onion on the side.
  • Reprinted with permission from SACHAK: Traditional Turkmen Recipes In A Modern Kitchen, by Gyulshat Esenova. Copyright © 2021.

    This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.