Words can’t do justice to the rich simplicity of pilaf (or plov), made of rice fried with lamb, or to the first juicy bites of a kebab, roasted over smoky coals. And it’s not enough just to try the local foods in one city in Uzbekistan – each region has its own signature dishes. Shivit oshi (noodles infused with dill and served with vegetables) and tuhum barak (boiled square dumplings filled with egg) are found only in Khiva, while Bukhara is home to a particular type of pilaf that’s cooked in layers, with meat, carrots, raisins and rice all simmered together. Make sure to try the bread in Samarkand, where large, shiny, round loaves are sold on the streets, and the norin in Tashkent (finely sliced meat and dough – freshly chopped in cafes and bazaars). If you love food (or fall in love with Uzbekistan’s cuisine), you’ll definitely want to visit a class to learn how to make the most famous dishes for yourself.

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