Turkmen Cuisine

cuisine Are you a foodie? If you are, then you should visit Turkmenistan!

Dishes of the Turkmen cuisine impress with the uniqueness, great taste and variety. Obviously, this cuisine is one of the most delicious in the world! Still do not believe? There is a reason to check it out.

Turkmen cuisine has hundreds of delicious recipes that can astonish even the most fastidious gourmets. The Turkmen people has formed the national cuisine over the centuries, combining the traditions of many neighbouring peoples, generously sharing rich experience and know-hows and exchanging the secrets of the culinary art. Nevertheless, the main thing is that the Turkmen cuisine has always been authentic – many ancient traditions are cherished nowadays.

To date, acquaintance with the local cuisine helps foreign tourists get to know the character of the Turkmen people, broaden their ideas about the local culture, and feel the ‘taste’ and ‘aroma’ of the traditions in Turkmenistan. Moreover, the traditions and recipes of the same dishes sometimes differ in the country’s regions.

For example, pilav is a hallmark of both the Central Asian, and the Turkmen cuisine. There are dozens of recipes, including in pilav with lamb, beef, camel meat, chicken, fish, raisins, or fruits.

There are a great number of recipes for barbecue or kebab. The list of fish dishes is huge. A distinctive feature of the Turkmen cuisine has always been richness and simplicity.

The local cuisine is notable for abundance of the soups based on meat broth (in Turkmen ‘chorba’) with different seasonings: pea soup, bread soup, tomato soup, bean and noodle soup, soup with dumplings, milk noodle soup, pea and lamb soup, and soup with rice and vegetables.


The most popular national dishes are toasted ishlekli (meat pie), mouth-watering gutabs (pasties) filled with pumpkin or spinach, gatlakly (flat cake), gokli borek and etli borek (the dumplings filled with vegetables and meat), rich gara chorba and toy chorba, friable pilaf, spicy un ash (noodle soup) and kakmach (fried meat), substantial yarma, etc. This list of dishes can be continued for a long time.

Travellers should definitely try meat and fish delicacies: govurdak, govurma, kelle bash ayak, chekdirme, baked lamb or dainty dishes from sturgeon! Those who have tried dograma cooked according to the local recipes in Turkmenistan would never forget its indescribable taste.

The favourite drink in Turkmenistan is tea. At any season, the Turkmen people drink a lot of green tea. The Turkmen drink called ‘chal’ (camel milk) is in great demand in summer.

Dried melons twisted in bundles and white salty ‘candies’ from dried syuzme (sour milk) called ‘gurt’ are really exotic for foreign guests. There is an abundance of vegetables, fruits, watermelons, melons, pumpkins and grapes, orchards and vegetable gardens in Turkmenistan.

Moreover, bread (in Turkmen ‘chorek’) is a symbol of hospitality, unity, honour, diligence, prosperity, and gratitude. It is of primary importance in the Turkmen dastarkhan (the traditional space where food is eaten). The Turkmen people bake bread of different types (petir, gyry chorek, suytli kulche). The ancient recipes have many modern variations. It has nothing to do with the ingredients that determine softness, splendour, and taste of the dough. It is the matter of a special ritual for its preparation, especially for a festive meal.

Turkmenistan, the country cherishing the unique traditions of national cuisine, is waiting for fans of culinary tourism and travellers from all over the world, who are ready for discoveries and delicious impressions.

camel milking
Camel milking
clay oven
Clay Oven
Ashgabat Restaurants