Tatar Cuisine

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Tatar Cuisine is of particular interest because of the geographical location of Tatarstan, formerly part of the Soviet Union and now a semi-autonomous state within the Russian Federation. With its capital, Kazan, lying about 500 miles directly east of Moscow, it is the northernmost Muslim community. The Kazan Tatars (so called to distinguish them from several smaller Tatar groups) prepare many familiar Near Eastern dishes such as pilafs and kebabs using cold-climate ingredients, beef or goose often replacing lamb and chicken. They are known for their substantial meat pies, including the large, rectangular belish, the small, round peremech, and the large, round gubadia. Peremech has a distinctive appearance; there is a little circular ‘window’ on the filling, around which the dough is neatly pleated. It is often served with a topping of thick onion soup and a spoonful of yoghurt.