Jarma

Jarma is a Kyrgyz beverage made by cooking ground and fried cereals in water and adding liquid yogurt.

Lastest Updated January 6, 2024
Verified by A-Z Cuisines Team
  • National
  • Traditional
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Fact: Jarma is considered one of Kyrgyzstan’s national beverages.

Flag of Kyrgyzstan#7 in Kyrgyzstan

Basic Information

Jarma: Basic Information

Pronunciation

[ʤɑɾmɑ́]

Alternative Name(s)

No

Drink Type

Cold non-alcoholic beverages

Mealtime

Anytime

Popular Variations

No
Origin and Region

Jarma: Origin and Region

Origin

Kyrgyzstan

Continent’s Region

Central Asia

Country’s Region

Nationwide Origin

Associated Region

Unspecified
Kyrgyzstan Map
Ingredients and Preparation

Jarma: Ingredients and Preparation

Main Ingredients

Fried cereals, water, fat, and ayran

Main Preparing Method

Frying and boiling

Preparation Process

Frying the grains, boiling in water, adding ayran
A Deep Dive

Jarma: A Deep Dive

Cultural Significance

Popular beverage in Kyrgyzstan, especially in summer

Taste

Sour and salty

Texture

Thick or watery

Aroma

Grainy

Color

Off-white

Serving Style

In a cup

Serving Temperature

Cold

Accompaniment

No

Occasions

On any occasions

Calories

Unspecified

Popularity

Kyrgyzstan

Popular Similar Drinks

  1. Maksym
  2. Kvass

Popular Dining Area

Local stores, supermarkets, street vendors

Jarma is a popular cold beverage in Kyrgyzstan, especially in summer. Its main ingredients include crushed or ground cereals, water, and fat, though ayran (a cold drink made from yogurt and salt) is usually added.

Jarma Infographic

Wheat, barley, and corn are popular grain varieties for making jarma, whose taste varies significantly according to the ingredients. Interestingly, some people compare the taste of wheat-based jarma to that of undistilled beer.

Locals prepare jarma by frying the flour in fat before cooking the mixture in water and adding ayran. Lamb fat is the traditional choice, but vegetable oil is also widely used.

To fry the ground cereals, Kyrgyz usually employs a kazan, a traditional Central Asian cooking pot similar to a Dutch oven or cauldron.

Continue reading to explore the characteristics of this unique Kyrgyz beverage, such as its strengths, weaknesses, common concerns, and similar drinks.

Key Points

  • Jarma is a cold beverage in Kyrgyzstan.
  • People prepare jarma by cooking fried cereal flour in water and mixing it with liquid yogurt.
  • Bottled jarma is very popular.

What Is the History of Jarma?

Jarma was traditionally prepared at home or by street vendors, but since the 1990s, bottled jarma has been a popular product.

Shoro and Enesay are the main companies supplying the bottled version of jarma in Kyrgyzstan.

Nevertheless, the homemade version of jarma is still widely enjoyed. A Kyrgyz household can prepare multiple liters of the beverage daily in the summer.

Next, let’s delve into the benefits and shortcomings of consuming jarma in Kyrgyzstan.

Pros and Cons of Drinking Jarma

Jarma comes with the following upsides and downsides.

Pros

  • Flavor Profile: Jarma offers a mix of sour and salty flavors that locals find especially thirst-quenching and suitable for hot weather.
  • Cultural Significance: Jarma is a unique Kyrgyz drink that represents the distinctness of traditional cuisine. 
  • Nutritional Benefits: With liquid yogurt as a main ingredient, jarma contains beneficial microorganisms and vitamins with immunity-boosting benefits.

Cons

  • Acquired Taste: People unfamiliar with Central Asian cuisine may have a hard time trying jarma for the first time.
  • Limited Availability: Outside of Kyrgyzstan, it might be challenging to find authentic jarma.
  • Dietary Restrictions: People with gluten-free or vegan dietary preferences might not be able to consume it.

Do you still have questions about jarma? Check the FAQs section for more insights!

Jarma FAQs

Yes, jarma can be enjoyed by people of different age groups.

No, jarma isn’t expensive. You can easily find reasonably priced jarma bottles in supermarkets as well as street stalls throughout Kyrgyzstan.

Similar Beverages of Jarma

Maksym

Maksym is a Kyrgyz beverage made by boiling cereals in water and letting them ferment for a short time.

Kvass

Kvass is a fermented beverage that is made from cereals and has its roots in Eastern Europe.

Adam Sam

Adam Sam

Senior Food and Drink Editor

Expertise

Food Writer & Recipe Developer, Recipe Tester, Bartender, Cooking-video Maker, Editor In Chief

Education

  • University of Gastronomic Sciences – Pollenzo (Italy) (MA Food Culture, Communication & Marketing)
  • Johnson & Wales University (US) (Baking and Pastry Arts)
  • Professional Bartender at HNAAu School (Vietnam, International Joint Training Program)

Adam Sam, an experienced food writer and recipe developer, is passionate about blending diverse culinary traditions, national dishes, and innovative beverages, showcasing his proficiency in both traditional and modern recipe testing.

As the Editor-in-Chief, he elevates culinary content from street food to fine dining, focusing on Western cuisine and types of drinks at azcuisines.com, and is professional in creating engaging cooking videos that simplify complex dishes and ingredients.

His passion for food is evident in his writing, where he uniquely merges various cultures, traditions, and contemporary trends, skillfully combining classic recipes with modern cooking methods.

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