Qurutob is a beloved bread salad but what makes it unique and special are the balls of dried salty cheese called qurut balls. These round hard balls are softened with hot water which then turns into a yogurt type substance. I was really happy to have found them on the internet so I could try the real thing, you can get them here.
I love trying new and unique ingredients. These little dried salted cheese balls were developed centuries ago in Central Asia as a means of preserving dairy products for long journey's for their nomadic lifestyle. They go by many different names but kurt and qurut are common. Fresh qurut is soft and crumbly but dries hard with time. It can last a whopping 7 to 8 years while maintaining its nutritional value.
This Qurutob salad is made also with Tajik bread, you can of course use a ready made naan bread as a substitute but why not make the real thing. You likely won't have a tandoor (clay oven ) that is used in Tajikistan but you can come pretty close with your oven at home.
Did you know that both Tajikistan and Uzbekistan were part of the Silk Road? In fact Uzbekistans Silk Road sites include four of the five UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The fifth is the Then-Shan mountains.
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Qurutob (Bread Salad)
- 1 medium onion, white Sliced thinly
- 1 piece naan bread
- 1 large Tomato Sliced thinly
- 1 cucumber peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 bunch Coriander chopped finely
- 1/4 cup walnuts crushed
- 1 Tbsp oil sunflower
- 3 fresh chili peppers
- salt and pepper to taste
- 300 grams qurut You should order this online or substitute Feta
- 1/4 cup Hot water +/- to pour over qurut balls add enough for desired consisitency.
- toast the naan bread until warm in oven, then tear up into pieces
- Pour the hot water over the qurut balls until you get a yogurt like consistency
- Put some oil in a frying pan fry 1/2 the white onion slices until caramelized.
- In a large bowl or plate place the yogurt mixture on the bottom then add the torn pieces of bread and crushed walnuts
- Add on top the cucumbers, tomatoes, remaining onion and coriander
- Pour over the oil and onions
- top with the chili peppers
- Toss , making sure to get all the qurut mixture at the bottom and serve with extra bread