Sunday, 2 September 2012

Olympic Food Challenge: Non Bread - Tajikistan

Today, my Olympic Food Challenge journey has entered Tajikistan.  Formerly part of the Soviet Union, Tajikistan is a landlocked country in Asia, bordered by Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, China and Kyrgyzstan.  The cuisine is largely influenced by the food of these neighbouring countries with the national dish being pilaf.  
My non bread - but it is real, honest!

Meals are usually served with non, a flatbread found throughout Central Asia. If a Tajik has food but not non, he will say he is out of food. If non is dropped on the ground, people will put it up on a high ledge for beggars or birds. Legend holds that one is not supposed to put non upside down because this will bring bad luck. The same holds true if anything is put on top of the non, unless it is another piece of non (source - Wikipedia)

I loved the above bits of trivia and the beautiful designs shown in pictures that I found when I was looking for a recipe so I knew this was the dish for me.  Plus, it gave me some bread to go with the cauliflower soup that I made yesterday - and now I'm stuffed to the gills for the rest of the day.

Traditional non bread
The recipe was pretty easy to do, if a little time consuming.  My sponge went a bit bonkers and so I managed to short-cut a little of the time.  The resulting bread was nice and soft although do pay attention to the bit that says to have the toppings to hand for when you take the hot trays out of the oven.  I didn't and ended up flinging salt at them so had to brush quite a bit off when it came to the eating.  

I just wish I had a fancy bread stamp and had thought to find out what the traditional ones are glazed with to give them their lovely golden hue.  You can find the recipe that I used here.

As for their Olympic and Paralympic entries, they won a single bronze medal in the weight lifting at the Olympics and have one competitor in the Power Lifting at the Paralympics although their Paralympians have yet to win a medal.

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