Turkmen Cuisine: What to Eat When You’re There

Turkmen Cuisine: Discovering What to Eat When You’re There

Turkmen cuisine reflects the rich cultural tapestry of the region, offering a delightful array of flavors and dishes that cater to diverse palates. Here’s a guide to some of the must-try foods when you visit Turkmenistan. turkmenistan tourism

1. Plov (Palaw) – A Taste of Central Asian Comfort

Plov, a beloved dish across Central Asia, holds a special place in Turkmen cuisine. This hearty rice dish is typically cooked with lamb or beef, carrots, onions, and a blend of spices. Its aromatic flavors and tender meat make it a staple at celebratory gatherings and everyday meals alike.

2. Shashlyk (Kebabs) – Grilled Perfection on Skewers

Shashlyk, or grilled kebabs, are a popular choice for meat lovers in Turkmenistan. Marinated in a mix of spices and sometimes yogurt, skewered with vegetables, and cooked over an open flame, these succulent kebabs offer a delightful blend of smoky flavors and tender meat.

3. Chorek (Bread) – Traditional Bread that Completes Every Meal

Chorek, Turkmen bread, is a staple found at every meal. This round, flatbread is baked in traditional clay ovens, resulting in a crusty exterior and a soft, fluffy interior. It serves as a perfect accompaniment to stews, kebabs, and other Turkmen dishes.

4. Beshbarmak – Noodles with a Rich Heritage

Beshbarmak, which translates to “five fingers,” is a traditional Turkmen dish featuring boiled noodles topped with tender pieces of lamb or beef and served with broth. This dish symbolizes hospitality and is often enjoyed during festive occasions and family gatherings.

5. Samsa (Samosa) – Savory Pastries with a Turkmen Twist

Samsa, Turkmen savory pastries, are filled with minced meat (often lamb or beef), onions, and spices, all enveloped in a flaky pastry crust. These delicious snacks are perfect for enjoying on the go or as an appetizer before a meal.

6. Chal – Refreshing and Nutritious Fermented Milk

Chal, a traditional Turkmen beverage, is fermented milk that offers a refreshing and nutritious alternative to regular milk. It is often enjoyed chilled and complements spicy dishes, providing a cooling contrast to the bold flavors of Turkmen cuisine.


Exploring Turkmen cuisine is a culinary adventure that unveils a rich tapestry of flavors and cultural traditions. Whether you’re savoring the aromatic plov, indulging in succulent shashlyk, or enjoying the comforting chorek, Turkmenistan’s cuisine promises a delightful journey for your taste buds.

Embrace the flavors of Turkmen cuisine and immerse yourself in the warmth of its culinary heritage during your visit to this fascinating country.

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