Kazakh Dishes

Lastest Updated February 11, 2024
Verified by A-Z Cuisines Team
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Basic Information

Kazakh Dishes: Basic Overview

Common Ingredients

Meat (especially lamb and horse meat), dairy products (like cheese, and strained yogurt), rice, noodles, flour

Common Cooking Methods

Boiling, steaming, baking, stewing

Courses

Main course, dessert, appetizer

Meals

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Key Taste

Sweet, savory, sour

Eating Etiquette

Eating with hands so washing hands before meals is a must. Respecting elders by offering choice cuts of meat. Avoid wasting bread.

Meal Presentation

Dishes are served on dastarkhan (tablecloth or low table) while having meals.

Culinary Festivals

Nauryz – Kazakh New Year (aka Nowruz – Persian New Year), Oraza Ait and Qurban Ait, weddings.

Influence and Fusion

Russian and Soviet influences, Silk Road impact, and global trends
Origin and Region

Kazakh Dishes: Origin and Region

Cuisine

Kazakhstan

Culinary Region

Central Asia

Country’s Region

Nationwide Origin
Kazakhstan Map
Ingredients and Preparation

Popular Types of Kazakh Dishes

  • Dumplings

    Many dumplings are staples in the country.

    They feature a doughy exterior with fillings made from meats and/or vegetables.

    Most are not for vegans/vegetarians and not gluten-free.

    They are typically steamed or boiled.

  • Cakes and Pastries

    These range from sweet to savory which can be filled with meat, cheese, or sweet fillings.

    Some have a flaky texture, while some are thick and dense.

  • Bread and Doughs

    Bread in Kazakhstan varies from flatbreads to fluffy, leavened types. They are not free of gluten due to the flour.

    They are normally baked in traditional ovens.

  • Noodle Soups

    Kazakh soups include rich broth with homemade noodles.

    Meat and vegetables are common accompaniments.

  • Dry Noodle Dishes

    These dishes focus on noodles served with less broth.
  • Rice Dishes

    These delicacies use rice as a main component.

    It is cooked with meat, spices, and vegetables.

  • Stews

    Stews are slow-cooked and hearty dishes with meat.
  • Soups

    Soups are typically rich in flavor and use meat broth (e.g., lamb, horse, or beef).

    Some soups held cultural significance.

  • Desserts

    Desserts in Kazakhstan are sweet pastries, dairy-based treats, and nutty paste.
Ingredients and Preparation

Kazakh Dishes: Signature Culinary Delights

  • Most Popular Dishes

    These dishes are widely beloved and integral to Kazakh culinary culture.

    They are served in homes and restaurants throughout the country.

  • National Dish

    The delight reflects the nomadic heritage and shows the essence of Kazakh hospitality and communal dining.
  • Traditional Dishes

    These are time-honored recipes passed down through generations.

    They are linked to specific rituals, celebrations, or daily life.

  • Street Food

    It refers to Quick, convenient, and flavorful foods typically sold in local markets or small street stalls.
  • Exotic Dishes

    They are less common in other countries, especially those outside Central Asia, or have unique ingredients.
  • Fusion Dishes

    Fusion dishes here blend traditional Kazakh elements with influences from other cuisines, like Russian and Soviet influences.

Kazakh dishes are culinary creations prepared and enjoyed by the people of Kazakhstan.

Local cuisine is significantly shaped by the nomadic Central Asian traditions. Russian culinary influence is also considerable in Kazakhstan, which was part of the former Russian Empire and Soviet Union.

Traditional Kazakh foods are calorie-dense and heavily dependent on meat (including mutton and horse meat) and dairy products. Pasta, grains, and vegetables are also popular ingredients.

Among the most popular types of dishes in Kazakhstan, notable names are stews, breads, cakes and pastries, and noodle-based dishes.

Most Kazakh main dishes are savory, while snacks and desserts are usually sweet.

Baking, boiling, stewing, deep-frying (traditionally in animal fat), and grilling are dominant cooking techniques.

However, curing methods, such as salting and fermenting, are widely used to preserve dairy products and similar foods.

With the emphasis on meat and dairy, Kazakh foods are usually gluten-free, though vegans and vegetarians find fewer options here.

Continue reading for more informative facts about the cuisine of Kazakhstan, starting with how historical and cultural factors influence it.

The next topics will cover Kazakhstan’s regional cuisines, the role of Kazakh dishes in local festivities, the main features of Kazakh dining practices, and the food taboos to avoid in the country.

Are you ready to explore the beauty of Kazakh dishes? Don’t just read about them, engage with your senses! Use interactive filters or click on the dishes to dive deeper into them.

Kazakh Dishes Beshbarmak
Beshbarmak served with other foods in Kazakhstan.

42 Most Popular Kazakh Dishes with Filters

#1 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan

Beshbarmak

Beshbarmak
  • National
  • Traditional

Beshbarmak is a Central Asian dish consisting of boiled and chopped meat and onions on a bed of egg noodles.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Flour, lamb or horse meat, and chyk (onions cooked in meat broth)

Cooking Method: Boiling

Course: Main Course

Mealtime: Dinner

#2 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan

Pilaf

Pilaf
  • Fusion
  • National
  • Street Food
  • Traditional

Pilaf is a rice dish (or wheat) popular in many countries around the world, combining grains with various broths, spices, meat, and vegetables.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Rice

Cooking Method: Stir-frying, steaming, or boiling

Course: Main course

Mealtime: Lunch, dinner

#3 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan

Börek

Borek
  • Street Food
  • Traditional

Börek is a family of pies and pastries in many regions of Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Flaky pastry (usually filo) and ingredients for the filling (such as meat, cheese, spinach, potatoes, etc.)

Cooking Method: Baking or deep-frying

Course: Appetizer

Mealtime: Anytime

#4 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan

Manti

Manti
  • Fusion
  • Traditional

Manti is a dumpling version of the Central Asia region with spiced meat.

Country’s Region: Unspecified

Main Ingredients:

All-purpose flour, beef or lamb

Cooking Method: Boiling or steaming

Course: Main course

Mealtime: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

#5 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan

Laghman

Laghman
  • Traditional

Laghman features pulled noodles served in a flavorful broth with vegetables and meat.

Country’s Region: Northwest China

Main Ingredients:

Noodles, beef or lamb

Cooking Method: Boiling

Course: Main course

Mealtime: Lunch, dinner

#6 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan

Shelpek

Shelpek
  • Traditional

Shelpek is a Central Asian flatbread that is especially important for Muslim communities.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

All-purpose flour, milk, butter

Cooking Method: Pan-frying

Course: Dessert

Mealtime: Anytime

#7 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan

Samsa

Samsa
  • Street Food
  • Traditional

Samsa is a baked savory pastry with different fillings that is a favorite street food in Central Asia.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

All-purpose flour, mince meat (commonly lamb)

Cooking Method: Baking

Course: Appetizer

Mealtime: Anytime

#8 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan

Boortsog

Boortsog
  • Street Food
  • Traditional

Boortsog is a traditional fried dough dessert from Mongolia and Central Asia, often likened to doughnuts.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Flour, yeast, milk, butter, salted water, and sugar

Cooking Method: Deep-frying

Course: Dessert

Mealtime: Anytime

#9 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan

Chorba

Chorba
  • Fusion
  • Traditional

Chorba is an extensive collection of rich soups or stews in many Asian, African, and European countries.

Country’s Region: Unspecified

Main Ingredients:

Water or broth, meat, legumes, vegetables, herbs, and spices.

Cooking Method: Stewing or simmering

Course: Main Course, Soup, Appetizer

Mealtime: Lunch, Dinner

#10 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan

Halva

Halva
  • Fusion
  • Traditional

Halva is a confectionary from Persia which is also popular in Asia, Middle East, Mediterranean, the Balkans, and the Caucasus.

Country’s Region: Unspecified

Main Ingredients:

Butter, flour, cocoa powder, milk, liquid oil, rosewater, saffron, and sugar (also depends on the variety)

Cooking Method: Simmering

Course: Dessert

Mealtime: Anytime

#11 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan

Çäkçäk

Cakcak
  • National
  • Traditional

Çäkçäk is a doughnut-like, honey-drenched sweet from Russia.

Country’s Region: Tatarstan, Bashkortostan

Main Ingredients:

Flour, eggs, honey, and sugar

Cooking Method: Deep-frying

Course: Dessert

Mealtime: Anytime

#12 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan

Caviar

Caviar
  • Exotic
  • Traditional

Caviar is a premium food made from the salt-cured roe of the sturgeon.

Country’s Region: Caspian Sea Region

Main Ingredients:

Sturgeon roe

Cooking Method: Curing

Course: Appetizer

Mealtime: Anytime

#13 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan

Dimlama

Dimlama
  • Traditional

Dimlama is a hearty stew with meat and vegetables, which is famous in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Meat (lamb, veal, or beef), vegetables (potatoes, onions, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, etc.), and herbs

Cooking Method: Simmering

Course: Main Course

Mealtime: Lunch, Dinner

#14 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan

Joshpara

Joshpara
  • Fusion
  • Traditional

Joshpara is a filled dumpling in the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Caucasus.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Flour, eggs, ground lamb or beef, onions, and herbs

Cooking Method: Boiling

Course: Main Course

Mealtime: Lunch, Dinner

#15 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan

Kashk

Kashk
  • Traditional

Kashk refers to various dairy products made from curdled milk in the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Yogurt, salt

Cooking Method: Boiling and fermenting

Course: Non-course dish

Mealtime: Anytime

#16 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan

Kesme

Kesme
  • Traditional

Kesme is an egg noodle in Central Asia and Turkey.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Flour, salt, and eggs

Cooking Method: Boiling

Course: Main Course

Mealtime: Lunch, Dinner

#17 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan

Kuurdak

Kuurdak
  • Traditional

Kuurdak is a Central Asian and Mongolian meat dish.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Meat (lamb or beef), onions, potatoes (optional), vegetable oil or animal fat

Cooking Method: Stewing

Course: Main Course, Appetizer

Mealtime: Lunch, Dinner

#18 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan

Lavash

Lavash
  • National
  • Street Food
  • Traditional

Lavash is a flatbread popularly prepared using a yeast dough, perfect for serving as a wrap with various fillings.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

All-purpose flour, yeast

Cooking Method: Baking

Course: Main course

Mealtime: Anytime

#19 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan

Naryn

Naryn
  • Exotic
  • Traditional

Naryn is an intriguing mix of noodles and meat, all served in a hearty bowl in Central Asia.

Country’s Region: Nationwide

Main Ingredients:

Meat (lamb or horse), noodles

Cooking Method: Boiling or steaming

Course: Main course

Mealtime: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

#20 in Kazakhstan Flag of Kazakhstan