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Circassian cuisine

File:Old Circassian traditional house.jpg
Traditional Circassian house and cuisine

Circassian Cuisine is an ethnic cuisine, based on the cooking style and traditions of the Circassian People of the North Caucasus. This region lies between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, within European Russia.

Traditional dishes

File:Circassian Cuisine P1150712.JPG
Haliva (Хьэлжъо) and Mataz (Мэтазэ), two of the prominent traditional Adyghe snacks

Adyghe cuisine consists of many different traditional dishes, varying by season.[1][2] The summer time traditional dishes are mainly dairy products and vegetables.[3] In winter and spring, the traditional dishes mostly consist of flour and meat. Traditional dishes include ficcin, seasoned chicken or turkey with sauce, boiled mutton and beef with a seasoning of sour milk along with salt and crushed garlic.

Among the many varieties of cheese in the North Caucasus, Circassian cheese is the most popular one.

Different variants of pasta can be found in Circassia, one such type is the ravioli that is filled with potato or beef.

On holidays, the Adyghe people traditionally make Haliva (Adyghe: хьэлжъо) from toasted millet or wheat flour.

In the Levant, there is a widely–recognized Circassian dish known as Tajen Alsharkaseiah.[4]

Fresh meat dishes (Lisch'em qixasch'ich' shxinighwexer)

  • Circassian goulash (Libzche)
  • Meat goulash (Lits'ik'wlibzche)
  • Lamb boiled in cream (Shateps-ch'e gheva schinel)
  • Liver in fat (Themschighwr schem k'wets'ilhu)
  • Liver sausage (Themsch'ighwnibe)
  • Liver with sheep's-tail fat (Themsch'ighwre ch'apere zesch'ighwu)
  • Thick pancake with liver and eggs (Themschighwre jedich'ere zexelhu)
  • Sheep sausage (Zherume)
  • Fried sheep's tail fat with honey (Ch'ape ghezchare fore)
  • Sheep's tail fat cracklings (Ch'ape libzchaxwe)
  • Sheep's tail fat with honey (Ch'ape daghefo)
  • Shepherd's lamb (Melix'we li ghezchech'e)
  • Boiled mutton (Melil gheva)
  • Thin mutton sausage (Nek'wlh)

Dried and smoked meat dishes (Li gheghwamre gheghwpts'amre qixasch'ich' shxinighwexer)

  • Fried meat (Li teibech'e ghezchawe)
  • Fried meat and potatoes (Lire ch'ert'ofre zesch'elhu ghezchawe)
  • Fried meat with onions (Lim bzchin sch'elhu)
  • Meat and beans broth (Lire jeshre xelhu leps)
  • Meat and noodles (Li xelhu x'inch'el)
  • Meat and potato broth (Lire ch'ert'ofre xelhu leps)
  • Meat roasted on skewers, shashlik (Li dzasech'e ghezchawe)
  • Dried sheep's side (Dzazhe gheghwa)
  • Smoked meat goulash (Lighwpts'a libzche)

Poultry and egg dishes (Jedqazimre jedich'emre qixasch'ich' shxinighwexer)

  • Boiled chicken with garlic (Jed gheva bzchinixw yi ghwsew)
  • Broasted chicken (Jedla)
  • Chicken fried in a brazier (Jed teibech'e ghezchawe)
  • Chicken with new potatoes (Jedisch'ere ch'ert'ofisch'ere zesch'elhu)
  • Chicken and noodles (Jedir x'inch'elim xelhu)
  • Chicken in pepper sauce (Jedlibzche shibzhiy ships sch'etu)
  • Chicken in soured cream sauce, Jadlibja (Jedlibzche)
  • Chicken in walnut sauce (Jed de ships sch'etu)
  • Fried chicken with onion (Jed ghezcha bzchin sch'elhu)
  • Stuffed chicken baked in dough (Thevim k'wets'ighezchihawe jed)
  • Eggs fried in soured cream (Jedich'eneqiyzh)
  • Boiled goose or duck (Qaz, e babisch, gheva)
  • Goose (duck) with noodles (Qaz, e babisch, x'inch'elim xelhu)
  • Baked goose (duck) stuffed with Rice (Qaz, e babisch, ghezcha prunzh k'wets'ilhu)
  • Jadichevinsh (Jedich'evinsh, Schheqwtih)
  • Sweet omelette (Jedich'ezchapx'e 'ef')
  • Pastry straws, twiglets (Jedich'eripsch)
  • Boiled turkey (Gwegwsh gheva)
  • Stuffed turkey (Gwegwsh ghezcha)

Fish dishes (Bdzezchey shxinighwexer)

Dairy product dishes

  • Bajina (Bejine)
  • Baked milk (She sch'eghepschtha)
  • Cheese (Q'wey)
  • Fried cheese (Q'wey ghezcha)
  • Hominy or polenta (Zhemikwe)
  • Kurt (Qwrt)
  • Shkuz (Shxwz) – This kind of milk preserve is not used in contemporary times.[citation needed] It used to be prepared for winter.
  • Sour milk (Shxw)
  • Soured cream sauce with cheese (Q'weyzchapx'e)

Flour, cereals, and haricot bean dishes

  • Lakum (Lequm)
  • Haliva stuffed with entrails (Helive zchenfen delhu)
  • Haliva stuffed with cottage cheese (Helive q'wey lhalhe delhu)
  • Haliva stuffed with potato (Helive ch'ert'of delhu)
  • Haliva stuffed with potato and cheese (Helive ch'ert'ofre q'weyre delhu)
  • Haliva stuffed with haricot beans (Heliva jesh delhu)
  • Haliva stuffed with pears (Helive q'wzch delhu)
  • Potato and cheese pie (Delen ch'ert'ofre q'weyre delhu)
  • Cottage cheese pie (Delen q'wey lhalhe delhu)
  • Cottage cheese and green onions pie (Delen bzchin ts'inere q'wey lhalhere delhu)
  • Lapstaipkha (Lepsteipx'e)
  • Flaky bread (Sch'aq'we zeteiwp'esch'ich')
  • Shalama (Shelame)
  • Tkhurimbey (Tx'wrimbey)
  • Unleavened maize bread (Nartixw chirzhin)
  • Leavened maize bread (Chirzhin gheteja)
  • Maize lakum (Nartixw leqwm)
  • Unleavened maize bread (Nartixw mezhaje)
  • Maize rolls (Hetiq)
  • Maize rolls with fat (Sche zixelh hetiq)
  • Unleavened millet bread (Xw chirzhin)
  • Unleavened millet bread (Xw mezhaje)
  • Miramisa (Miramise)
  • Hakurt, hakut (Heqwrt, heqwt)
  • Boiled corn on the cobs (Nartixwsch'e gheva)
  • Roasted corn on the cobs (Nartixwsch'e ghezcha)
  • Corn flakes (Nartixw ghep'ench'a)
  • Maize halama (Nartixw hel'ame)
  • Millet halama (Xw hel'ame)
  • Kilish (Qilish)
  • Pasta (P'aste)
  • Crumbly pasta (P'aste lhalhe)
  • Maize pasta (Nartixw p'aste)
  • Sok (Sok)
  • Shopransy (Shopransiy)
  • Khubala (Xwbela)
  • Hantkhups, millet soup (Hentx'wps)
  • Haguliva, boiled barley (Hegwlive)
  • Ashira ('eshiri', 'eshire', 'eshri', 'eshre')
  • Khudir (X'wdir)
  • Khudirbalatsa (X'wdirbelatse)
  • Sweet rice pilaw (Prunzh 'ef')
  • Psihaliva, dumplings (Psiheliva)
  • Meat dumplings (Psihelive melil delhu)
  • Chicken dumplings (Psihelive jedil delhu)
  • Haricot bean sauce (Jesh libzche)
  • Haricot bean soup (Jesh leps)
  • Haricot bean soup with potato (Jesh leps ch'ert'of xelhu)

Potato and gourd dishes (Ch'ert'of, qeb shxinighwexer)

  • Baked gourd (Qeb ghezcha)
  • Boiled gourd (Qeb gheva)
  • Gourd sauce (Qeb ships)
  • Potato paste (Ch'ert'of p'aste)
  • Fried potatoes (Ch'ert'of zcherikwey)
  • New potatoes stewed in soured cream (Ch'ert'ofisch'e shatech'e ghezchawe)
  • Potato stewed in soured cream or broth (Ch'ert'ofim ships sch'etu)


  • Kalmyk tea (Qalmiq shey)
  • Makhsima (Maxsime)
  • Maramazey (Meremezchey)

Sweets and desserts

  • Haliwa (Heliwe) – Sweet, dessert in Arabic
  • Marazey (Merezey)
  • Nuts with honey (Dere fore zexelhu)
  • Dried pears (Q'wzch gheghwa)
  • Watermelon honey (X'arbiz fo)
  • Zacharis (Zech'eris)

See also


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