A Bukharian Jewish Culinary Adventure

Other Cuisines

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The Bukharian Jews have lived in the land of Bukhara, in what is now Uzbekistan and Tajikistan for at least two millennia. They were mostly isolated from other Jewish communities and were at times relegated to living in ghettos, apart from the Muslim population, which led them to develop their own culture and cuisine. Still, through the centuries they incorporated into their community Jews emigrating from different parts of the Islamic world. Most Bukharan Jews emigrated to Israel, and later New York City, in the wake of the Russian revolution and later during perestroika, thus bringing their foods and traditions to these two lands.

Bukharian Jewish cuisine is based on rice dishes, sometimes similar to Central Asian pilafs, with meats, vegetables, herbs and sometimes fruits serving to enhance the flavor. Meats, in particular, are used sparingly. Unlike other cuisines in the region, they don't use many spices.

I did not know about the Bukharian Jewish cuisine when I first cooked "B" cuisines almost two decades ago, so I only made one Bukharian Jewish when I visited this cuisine last week. It wasn't very successful, but it was interesting and novel, for me. I made: