4 Iconic Dishes from the Silk Road

AAlex October 13, 2023 12:16 PM

The Silk Road, an ancient trade route stretching from China to Europe, has been a significant contributor to the culinary exchange among civilizations. This historical route has influenced the food culture of many countries, introducing and blending flavors from different parts of the world. Let's explore four iconic dishes from the Silk Road that are still popular today: Plov, Lagman, Manti, and Naan bread.


Originating from modern-day Uzbekistan, Plov (also known as Pilaf) is a flavorful rice dish cooked with meat, vegetables, and a mix of Silk Road spices.


  1. Rinse 2 cups of basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear.

  2. In a large pan, sauté one chopped onion and two carrots in olive oil until they soften.

  3. Add 500g of lamb chunks and cook until browned.

  4. Add the rinsed rice, 4 cups of boiling water, salt, and spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric). Cover and cook until the rice is tender and the water has evaporated.


Lagman, a noodle dish popular in Central Asian countries, combines hand-pulled noodles with a rich and spicy vegetable sauce.


  1. Make the dough for the noodles with flour, water, and a pinch of salt. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

  2. While the dough is resting, prepare the sauce. Sauté chopped vegetables (carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes) and meat in a pan, add spices (cayenne, cumin), and a cup of water. Simmer until the sauce thickens.

  3. Roll out the dough and pull it into thin noodles. Boil them until cooked.

  4. Serve the noodles with the sauce on top.


Manti is a type of dumpling popular across the Silk Road. The fillings vary by region, but common ingredients include ground meat, onions, and spices.


  1. Prepare the dough by combining flour, water, and a pinch of salt. Let it rest.

  2. In the meantime, mix ground meat (lamb or beef), finely chopped onion, and spices for the filling.

  3. Roll out the dough, cut out circles, place the filling in the center, and form the dumplings.

  4. Steam or boil the dumplings until they are cooked through.

Naan bread

Naan bread, a type of flatbread, has its origins in the Persian Empire and is a staple food along the Silk Road, especially in Middle Eastern countries.


  1. Mix flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and water to make a dough. Let it rise.

  2. Divide the dough into balls, roll them out into flat circles, and cook them in a very hot oven or on a hot griddle until browned on both sides.

These authentic recipes bring the flavors of the Silk Road to your kitchen. Enjoy this journey through the culinary history of one of the world's most influential trade routes.

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