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Traditional Turkmen recipes featured in first of its kind book in U.S.03:38
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Chef and author Gyulshat Esenova. (Constantine Fedorets)
Chef and author Gyulshat Esenova. (Constantine Fedorets)

Chef and author Gyulshat Esenova describes how the desert climate of her native Turkmenistan shaped traditional Turkmen food, such as lamb cutlet.

Esenova is the author of "Sachak: Traditional Turkmen Recipes In A Modern Kitchen," which she describes as the first cookbook of Turkmen recipes published in the U.S.

Here & Now's Lynn Menegon has the story.

Excerpt from 'Sachak'

By Gyulshat Esenova

Lamb CutletKakmaç

A lamb cutlet from "Sachak: Traditional Turkmen Recipes In A Modern Kitchen." (Courtesy of Gyulshat Esenova)
A lamb cutlet from "Sachak: Traditional Turkmen Recipes In A Modern Kitchen." (Courtesy of Gyulshat Esenova)

Serves 2

  • 4 lean lamb cutlets or 1 lb lamb loin, thinly-sliced against the grain into 4 pieces
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tallow (or 50g mutton fat, chopped)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch parsley/1/2 cup/10g, leaves only, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch scallions/3 each, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro/1/2 cup/10g (optional), chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a large frying pan, heat 1 1/2 tbsp of tallow (or render mutton fat, remove cracklings).
  2. Cover the sliced lamb with plastic wrap and pound it on both sides to flatten.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Fry for 2 minutes, flip and cook for 2 more minutes.
  5. Transfer the kakmaç to a plate and serve with chopped herbs and onion on the side.

Reprinted with permission from SACHAK: Traditional Turkmen Recipes In A Modern Kitchen, by Gyulshat Esenova. Copyright © 2021.

This segment aired on November 25, 2021.

Lynn Menegon Twitter Producer, Here & Now
Lynn Menegon has been a producer with Here & Now since 2001.

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