Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
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Vegetable-Noodle Stew
This hearty stew has been a mainstay of Central Asian cookery for centuries; it is the most commonly eaten dish of the Uighur people. The name evolved from the Chinese words liang mian, "cold dough" (more familiar to many North Americans as lo mein). Lagman can be made with prepared noodles, but is more satisfying and authentic when they're freshly rolled and cut.
Total times: 1-½ hour
Noodle dough
4 cups flour
1-½ tsp. salt
2 eggs
½ cup water
Tudzuk (stew)
½ cup butter
4 cups thinly sliced onions
2 lbs. meat (lamb or beef)
4 cups cubed potatoes
2 cups thinly sliced carrots
4 cups sliced tomatoes
¼ cup minced garlic
2 cups red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
6 cups thinly sliced cabbage
1 tbsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
16 cups (1 gallon) water

To make the dough, stir together the flour and salt, then make a well in the center. Whisk together the water and eggs, then pour this into the center of the flour. Stir the dough until a thick mass is formed, then turn out onto a smooth surface and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and pliable. Divide the dough into two pieces, then cover one of the pieces while you work with the other.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Roll out the dough to ¼" thickness, then cut into thin strips. Boil the noodles for two minutes, then transfer them from the water to a colander. Rinse the noodles with cold water and allow them to drain while you prepare the soup.

In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat, then sauté the onions for ten minutes, until they turn light gold. Add the meat and fry until it gives off its juices. Add the potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, garlic and red bell peppers; mix well and fry, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are half-cooked. Stir in the cabbage, salt and pepper, then cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are cooked through.

Bring another pot of water to a boil and add the noodles, leaving them in the water only long enough to heat them through. Drain the noodles, spoon a layer into each serving plate, and pour the stew on top of them; if you wish, you may add a second layer each of noodles and stew. Serve hot.