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Passport & Plate - Curd 'n' herb

Kazakhstan | Friday, 14 March 2014 | 12 photos

Curd ’n’ herb recipe
I will not talk about Kazakh traditional dishes such as Besbarmak or Kazy because I do not have a special story related. These dishes deserve a separate article. The dish I will cover here is very simple, fast, cheap and honest. It is my little office worker’s delight and I have some very important memories associated with it (see the story). Here it is.
1 cup of curd
handful cilantro (the more the better)
1 clove garlic
fresh crispy rye bread (good old Soviet type)


How to prepare this recipe
Preparation method
1. Wash herbs thoroughly with running cold water for you do not know what kind of chemicals were used to preserve and protect them.
2. Chop cilantro.
3. Chop garlic very nicely.
4. Mix chopped garlic and cilantro with curd.
5. Add salt and a bit of pepper.
6. Cut the bread.
7. Spread. Enjoy together with colleagues and nobody will complain about the garlic smell. Back to work.


The story behind this recipe
By Anvar Nizamov
Cold white luminescent illumination is coming from the ceiling of my office as a substitute for the sun. The blood has dried on my finger cut and I am punching the keyboard buttons relentlessly for I know how to distract myself from my misery. She left for Paris. Maybe I will never see her again.
The day before…
Intensive work is the only way to survive another numbing and dull day in the office worker’s life. The lunch time is approaching slowly and painfully. Finally I can stop working and take a little break for lunch. One hour to brighten up this artificial way of life. Food has become my obsession and eating my passion. /Food has become a pretext for taking off an employee mask and just be myself for a while. / Lunching at a cafeteria where meals are selected and prepared by somebody else is not enough for me anymore. I want to take part in the process. I need to get hungry, get out and find exactly what I want. Has food become the only real thing in my life? Am I even alive in this modern ruthless insensitive urban environment torn off from everything that is alive and sensible?
At lunch time she rings me and wants to tell me something, but I am too busy cutting the cilantro and I ask her to call me back later. She never does. I cannot find a knife and I use a tin lid instead to cut herbs. I accidentally cut my finger, but it’s worth it. Garlic and cilantro do their job and I am too satisfied to remember about her and I dive back into work once my meal is over. The next morning I find out that she has left me. Many years from now I may not remember the reason why she left me, but I will certainly remember the food I was eating on that day. Am I surprised? How do I feel? Am I still capable of feeling anything?
I feel hungry. It is lunchtime…

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