- ош [osh] n. an entree made from rice, shredded carrots, chickpeas, lamb, and often other ingredients, like garlic, all cooked in a cast-iron pot with cottonseed oil; the national dish of several Central Asian countries, including Tajikistan; also called plov and pilaf.
No trip to Tajikistan would be, could be, complete without eating ош.
Tajik cuisine has three standard dishes: osh (or as I typically call it, plov, its Russian name), laghman (a noodle dish, sometimes in soup, sometimes not), and qurtob (chunks of bread soaked in oil and spicy yogurt). These recipes are also claimed by Tajikistan’s neighbors in Central Asia, and every country, heck, every region within every country, proudly say that they make the best versions of each of these staples. I like the Gharmi version of osh the best, I think — the garlic they add tweaks the usual just enough, and in a good way, to make it stand out.
I’m going to have “TWotD” posts on each of the three key dishes of the Tajik people in the coming weeks. Hopefully, I’ll post recipes too so all you enterprising home chefs can give them a try if you want, though the quality of meat at home is too high to get a true sense of the plov-eating experience here.
*** UPDATE: Of course, how could I forget shashlik? I’ll be doing a post on that delicacy of meat chunks soon as well.