Kuurdak - an ancient Kyrgyz dish


Kurdak, koordak (in Kyrgyz "kuur." - fried) - roasted meat, offal and onions. One of the most popular dishes of Kyrgyz and Turkish peoples. Very tasty and easy to prepare: you fry in tail fat meat and offal (lung, liver, heart) of mutton with onions and spices.          

As a rule, kuurdak is prepared for two contradictory cases: if guests are in a hurry - home owners prepare quickly this tasty meal; or if the guests do not hurry, slaughtering of a sheep is accompanied by a kuurdak before serving the main dish - besh barmak.    

Different types of meat are used to prepare a kuurdak: mutton, beef, horse meat or even poultry. In the Kazakh cuisine kurdak (in Kazakh - kouyrdak) are often prepared from offal and poultry and sometimes the vegetables (carrots, potatoes, squash) are added to the dish for volume. Kara Kuurdak (in Kyrgyz - " black kuurdak") without onions is the easiest type to prepare and made exclusively of meat.    

Tondurma kuurdak (Kyrgyz - "frozen kuurdak") is a kind of conserved meat invented by ancient nomads, who used sheep fat as the main preservative to keep or transport meat. Pieces of meat are fried in a large amount of fat without contact with air, which ensures the meat to stay fresh for a long period of time.                                                                                                  

The nomads took Tondurma kourdak on long walks as well as on hunting, or when they carried livestock on the summer and winter pastures. In addition, this roasting was often used as a basis for the first and second meals: by adding necessary ingredients one can prepare most of dishes of the Central Asian cuisine. In the difficult climatic conditions of high mountains this method of conservation is still used by shepherds and guides, accompanying the travelers.