We welcome you to join us, the Hotamovs family, for a meal in our home in the crossroads of the Silk Road - Samarkand, Uzbekistan . We have four people in our family, Pardaboy, Sobira, Bunyod, and Ozod. Pardaboy and Sobira are teachers, and Bunyod and Ozod are both students. We can’t wait to welcome you into our home, and show you how to make the food we love to cook, such as palov , manti , barak , dimlama , sashlik , halva , pahlava , and kazan kebab. If none of that makes sense to you, never fear! All will be revealed…
This tour is a part of the Urban Adventures Home Cooked series and aims to give you one of the richest travelling experiences you can ever have – the opportunity to enjoy a meal with a family in a local home.
As part of the price of the tour, you will have a translator who speaks English well and will help facilitate the conversation with the rest of the family. The aim is for you to experience life in Uzbekistan exactly how it is. This experience will be no different to the Hotamovs family having any of their local friends or relatives around. It is the chance to hang out in the kitchen (customs and space willing!) and chat about your life and their life, the affairs of the day that are impacting and bringing joy into their lives, and to feel for a few hours just how the locals really live.
To kick of this Samarkand food tour, you will be met at the meeting point by one of the family who speaks English, and no doubt swing by the market or shops on the way home to pick up some last minute ingredients, which will be a chance for you to take a glimpse into daily life of the locals in Samarkand.
On arrival at your local family’s home, and after the introductions, we’ll get to some cooking. You’re invited to take part in this as much or as little as you like. Feel free to lend a hand with chopping produce, or if you want to learn the recipes for the dishes being cooked, Pardaboy will be happy to show you the ropes! Just follow their lead.
We’ll cook up all kinds of treasures for you on the Samarkand food experience. You’ll have the chance to make and taste some palov, which is the national dish of Uzbekistan, made from mutton, rice, vegetables, and spices. Other meat and vegetable dishes include shurpa and mastava, made from delicious cuts of mutton, usually, and samsa and manti, which is dough or dumplings stuffed with all kinds of deliciousness. With a local family to help you out, you’ll learn how to makes these in no time. You’ll also be treated to a special dessert, of course!
When the food is ready you will all sit down together and share the meal prepared, enjoy the conversation, perhaps look at each other’s photographs, and maybe even take some more all together!
This experience is real. Our families come from all walks of life. Some are probably very similar to you and some are from very rural backgrounds. We encourage you to check out the photos here of the Hotamovs family to make sure your expectations are correctly set about the family you will be sharing a meal with and where they live. The beauty is that everyone involved in our Home Cooked Series is the kind of person that wants to meet people from all over the world, and share in human connections and cultural exchanges. Takes this opportunity to break bread with a local, and you’ll come out with much more than just some cooking tips, that’s for sure!