What does come to our mind when we mention Dagestan? Perhaps, most of us might think of lezghinka, hinkal, Islam, mountains. But not everyone knows about defining characteristics  of these nation, about family traditions and historical roots. We decided to go on a Dagestani family, to cook traditional dishes and to discover what indeed is hidden behind the conservative Caucasian image.
Three hostesses – Leila, her sister Fati and their aunt – instantly tuned us to a very kindhearted communication. They answered to all questions (in many respects, maybe, naive) with respect and light humor, therefore, the cooking process turned into simple process.

Nevertheless, word “simple”, of course, doesn´t suit much to traditional Dagestani cuisine. Heavy, “worldly¨”, carefully cooked food is the reflection of the hardworking nature of these people: every ingredient that will then become a part of a dish, should already be brought to perfection while cooking process. It might take several hours, sometimes even days. For example, to cook halva you need to mix flour, sugar and butter over low heat continuously (!) more than one hour. The same accuracy is necessary for pinning out dough for hinkal up to almost ideal circle, and with the same carefulness lamb is boiled during several hours till it starts melting in mouth.

Dagestani family is notable for hospitality and generosity. It is not theatrical that might be common for a European, but it is specifically integral character trait thoroughly deep-rooted and that has not dropped away even in modern conditions. Kindliness of hostesses can be reflected as through verbal attentions, so through gifts presented to dear guest, even if this guest is seen and met at first time.

Here we share with you the photos from the meeting. And we express our thanks to wonderful hostesses that left bright impressions in our hearts! 


*dishes:   halva, hinkal, pilaff.

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