Baursaks are the symbols of hospitality among nomadic people

Baursaks are the symbols of hospitality among nomadic people. The food is popular in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, as well as among Tajiks, Uzbeks, Tatars and Bashkirs. This traditional fried dough is usually served during holidays and treated to honoured guests.

ZHANAT IBRAGIMOVA:

 - Baursak is one of our traditional foods, which is enjoyed by everyone in our country. Baursaks are served for the guests in any family in Kazakhstan. The name ‘Baursak’ is also symbolic and it is derived from the words ‘Baurmasu’ and ‘Baurlasuga’. The word ‘baur’ is translated as ‘brother’, ‘unity’ and ‘kinship’. The name is very good. Everybody enjoys baursak, including children and grandchildren.

Baursaks are also known as Central Asian doughnuts. Usually, they are made of yeast dough or unleavened dough. There are several baursak shapes which are round and diamond. Traditionally, the dough consists of water, milk, salt, yeast and flour. Ingredients such as butter, sugar, eggs or kefir may also be added. Dough pieces are fried until golden brown.

ZHANAT IBRAGIMOVA:

 - There are various baursak recipes. Each housewife has her own recipe. My recipe was suggested by my mother-in-law. I add lamb fat to the dough. This dough rises very well and baursaks have a special taste. I have another secret. I freeze the dough in the fridge. If I have unexpected guests, the dough is always ready. The hot and fresh baursaks are ready in just a few minutes.

This delicious treat has become the favourite food for many nations. There are multiple cooking battles and competitions testing Baursak cooking skills. The largest baursak weighing 179 kilograms was cooked in Russia. Last year, the absolute record which entered the Kazakhstan Guinness Book of Records was registered in Shymkent when 1,136 kilograms of traditional doughnuts were cooked. The previous achievement was recorded in Almaty with 856 kilograms of baursaks.