My first venture in to the ‘Stans’ and sadly found out that it is the second-poorest country in Asia. The name Kyrgyz is said to derive from the Kyrgyz word for forty and it is a possibility that the people of Kyrgyzstan came from forty families or clans. It has one of the world’s largest natural walnut forests. Alcohol is very cheap, a bottle of vodka is priced at around 180 som (3.5 EUR) and beer costs 60 som (1.2 EUR). A search in Expedia for a flight from London to Bishkek, the capital city, starts around £370 return if you stop at Istanbul on the way. There are 36 hotels in Bishkek according to Trip advisor, Futuro Hotel being the highest ranked. They eat a lot of horse meat and mutton, but not many vegetables. Recipes include Beshbarmak (Boiled meat mixed with noodles & spicy onion sauce, eaten with the hands), Manty dumplings & Lepyoshka (flatbread). To accompany our Panamanian breakfast doughnuts, I opted to cook Borsok (fried bread).
Rating: 9/10 – we thought these little breads were awesome and could be enjoyed equally with savoury dips or with honey, jam or chocolate spread.
2 cups of flour
½ tbsp salt
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp dried yeast
¼ cup milk
¼ cup warm water
1/2 cup olive oil
Combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and stir in the milk. Combine the two mixtures, stir them together, and stir in warm water slowly until the mixture holds together but is not sticky.
Cover the mixture and place it in a warm part of the house.
After two hours, roll the dough until it is about ¼ inch thick. Cut the dough into 1 inch by 2 inch rectangles.
Pour ¼ cup oil into a saucepan and heat on medium high. Additional oil may be needed depending on the size of the saucepan. Make sure the oil completely covers the surface of the pan.
Once the oil is heated, fry the borsok in the pan. Depending on the size of the pan, you can fry 4-8 borsok at the same time-but be sure that they do not overlap.
Fry the borsok until it puffs up and is golden brown on the bottom.
Flip the borsok over to fry the other side until it is also golden brown.
Add additional oil as needed to keep a thin coat of oil on the surface of the pan.