Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Lamb Chektyrma - Olympic Food Challenge : Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan was a bit of a challenge.  But then It's not called the Olympic Food CHALLENGE for nothing, I guess!  As with so many other places on the globe, country boundaries seem to be rather arbitary lines that don't represent the cultures that they are meant to define.  As such, whole areas claim very similar dishes as their own.  This seems to be very much the case with Turkmenistan which shares cusines with many of it's surrounding countries.

Is this a traditional Turkmenian dish?  I hope so, but if there happens to be any Turkmenians reading, you will let me know, won't you?

Anyway, this soup was rather amazing, light and summery, which was a surprise as cooking it involved no finesse, just boiling the hell out of some lamb until it surrendered...

450g Lamb Chops
4 Medium Onions
4 Tomatoes
2tsp Garlic Puree
250g Green Beans
1/4tsp Saffron Strands
1tbsp Smoked Paprika
1tsp Fresh Mint


1.  Heat 1 litre of water in a large pan.  Place the lamb chops into it and bring to the boil.  Cover and simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours.

2.  Soak the tomatoes in boiling water, then remove the skins, chop and de-seed.

3.  Add the chopped onions, tomatoes, mint, garlic, saffron and paprika to the pan and cook over a high heat for a further 30 minutes.

4.  Let the soup cool completely.  Remove the lamb chops and flake the mean from the bones and return it to the pan, along with the green beans.

5.  Bring the soup back to the boil, simmer for another 10 minutes and then serve, garnished with fresh chopped mint.  Enjoy!


  1. I have to say, I'm totally baffled as to how you managed "light and summery" from this. Working from what you've posted, I'd have burnt my soup somewhere in step 3. And that was after adding another 250mL of water. In any case, it came out more of a stew than a soup, and really really red from all the paprika... (also, I feel like the saffron may have been obliterated by said paprika)

    1. Oh blimey! I'm sorry to to hear that it didn't turn out well. I'll have a look at the recipe again and see if I worte anything down wrong - possibly make the soup again and ammend amounts. Thanks for letting me know though and hope this doesn't put you off trying any of the other recipies on the blog

  2. Hi there. This week's Food on Friday is all about lamb! So it would be great if you linked this in. This is the link . Have a good week.

  3. Great recipe! I am definitely gonna try it. I saw this competition that I think you would be just the right person for! It is about creating the national dish of your country. Would be awesome if you could be the representative for your country :) Thats the right chance to show your skills in Cooking for your Traditional Food. Here’s more info about it