I often ask myself this question and wonder if I would survive as a vegan in Tajikistan. I start counting all the naturally vegan or possibly vegetarian foods that could be converted into a vegan food. Guess what?! I think I absolutely would survive, I have a food genius sister who creates amazing meals in seconds, whether it be vegan or non-vegan. I often call her for food advice.
I grew up eating lots of fruits, (I mean fresh, organic fruits from the garden) and vegetables. If you visit a Tajik house the first thing they would do is to invite you for a cup of tea and a slice of homemade bread, and later that cup of tea and a slice of bread turns into a whole feast. To show your respect to the host you must say yes to this invitation. On your host’s table you might see different kinds of dried fruits, green tea (a must), homemade bread and a traditional, and very light soup. Everything on that table is usually vegan, meaning no dairy and no meat, except the soup. Vegetarian soups are very rare, but they do exist. However, you do not have to say yes to a non vegan or non-vegetarian food, they would respect your that.
If you travel to Central Asia you will be amazed to see some similarities in culture and food. Here is a map of Central Asia to give you an idea of the countries in Central Asia.
Here is a list of foods that you can have if you travel to Central Asia as a vegetarian or vegan.
- Manty with greens or pumpkin
- Shakarob. (Vegan)
- Sambusa can be found vegetarian but not vegan because of the egg they add on top of it to give it the glow, also sometimes an animal fat inside. Must always check. (Can be vegan)
- Salads cold/warm (vegan)
- Buckwheat meal (Vegan unless made with butter instead of oil)
- Homemade Fries (Vegan)
- Lentil Soup (Vegan)
- Soup with Vegetables (Vegan)
- Pilav -usually not vegan, but you can make a vegan version for yourself. (Can be Vegan)
- Borsh (Vegan)
(Pictures are not owned by me).