Camel meat and fermented mare’s milk, deep fried butter cookies and salted milk tea - Mongolian cuisine is much more than boiled or dried meat and yak’s cheese and it is anything but boring. And Mongolia is, in fact, the next stop on our culinary journey across Asia. Mongolian cuisine is heavily influences by Chinese and Russian culinary traditions and yet manages to preserve its distinct originality. The cuisine is an heartwarming assortment of soups and stews, boiled, dried and roasted meats, noodles and a yes, an array of dumplings. I love dumplings and hence picked Khuushuur a deep fried Monolian dumpling that is one of the most popular street bites in Mongolia. There are other popular kinds like baansh (boiled) and buuz (steamed) but then I have a soft spot for anything deep fried. Who doesn’t ?
The filling that goes into the khuushuur is as delicious as it is simple. Minced lamb, ideal high in fats, mixed with finely chopped onions and garlic, flavoured with nothing but caraway seeds and seasoned with salt and pepper, stuffed into dumpling shells and deep fried over a low flame to a perfect golden. You must eat them piping hot . . I love it how the Khuushuur is crunchy and squidgy all at once. I love it how the crunch quickly gives way to that squelching sound and soon as the caraway flavoured juices from the meat gushes out to fill your mouth. You will love it too.