Traditional Kazakh cuisine

Traditional Kazakh cuisine is deeply rooted in the country's nomadic heritage and the need for hearty, energy-rich foods to sustain the nomadic way of life in the harsh Central Asian environment. Many traditional Kazakh dishes are based on meat, dairy products, and grains. 

Here are some of the most iconic dishes and components of traditional Kazakh cuisine:

Beshbarmak: Beshbarmak, which means "five fingers" in Kazakh, is Kazakhstan's national dish. It typically consists of boiled meat, traditionally lamb or beef, which is then thinly sliced and served on a bed of flat, wide noodles. The meat and noodles are often accompanied by onions and sometimes served with a flavorful broth. It is a hearty and celebratory dish often enjoyed at family gatherings.

Kumis: Kumis is a fermented dairy product made from mare's milk. It has a slightly sour taste and is a significant part of Kazakh culture. It's often consumed as a refreshing drink and is considered to have health benefits.

Shubat: Shubat is another fermented milk product, but it is made from camel's milk. It is a traditional beverage in Kazakhstan and is known for its unique taste and potential health benefits.

Manti: Manti are dumplings filled with ground meat, such as beef or lamb, and sometimes mixed with onions and various seasonings. These dumplings are typically steamed and can be served with sour cream or other sauces.

Lagman: Lagman is a noodle dish that typically includes hand-pulled noodles served in a flavorful broth with vegetables and meat. It is similar to a stir-fry and has influences from Central Asian and Chinese cuisines.

Samsa: Samsa are savory pastries filled with minced meat, usually lamb, onions, and various spices. They are often baked in a tandoor (a clay oven), giving them a distinct flavor and crispy texture.

Plov: Plov, also known as pilaf, is a rice dish cooked with meat (usually lamb or beef), carrots, and onions. It is flavored with a variety of spices, including cumin and coriander, and is often garnished with fresh herbs.

Besbarmak: Besbarmak is a simple and traditional dish made with boiled meat (usually lamb or beef) and served with flat noodles. It's often accompanied by onions and a flavorful broth. The name means "five fingers" because it is traditionally eaten with one's hands.

Kazy: Kazy is a traditional Kazakh sausage made from horse meat, usually the horse's intestines. It is a delicacy and an important part of Kazakh cuisine.

Kurt: Kurt is a dried dairy product, often made from yogurt or sour milk. It is shaped into small, bite-sized balls and is a popular snack, especially among travelers.

Bread: Bread is an essential part of Kazakh cuisine. Flatbreads, such as naan and tandyr nan, are commonly served with various dishes.


Kazakh cuisine reflects the country's nomadic heritage and the need for hearty, energy-rich foods. The dishes often feature meat, dairy products, and grains, making them well-suited to the harsh Central Asian environment. These traditional foods continue to be an integral part of Kazakh culture and are enjoyed at family gatherings and special occasions.