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The Food of the Nomads
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Chanasan Makh - Чанасан Мах

Boiled meat and boiled innards.


This is the most traditional, simplest, and ubiquitous dish of the mongolian nomads. The meat of an animal (usually mutton) is cut into handy chunks together with the bones, and boiled in salted water until ready. Originally, this was the full meal, today some vegetables or a condiment like Ketchup are usually added. The meat is eaten with the fingers, using a sharp knife.

The head of the family or the guest of honor gets the first and largest portion, then the others may help themselves. A strengthening meal like this is considered mandatory especially before departing on a journey. An early morning departure turns this specific dish into a breakfast, which may take some getting used to for foreign visitors.



When a sheep is slaughtered, all of the innards are removed and prepared for eating. The blood of the animal is collected and filled into the carefully cleaned intestines. The result are blood sausages (black pudding), liver, lungs, and other goodies in a large bowl, which will be well received by all family members. The neighbours also get a plate full of selected pieces.

The cold remains won't taste quite as well the next day, and are usually reheated on or in the stove for eating. On the picture, the anticipation is clearly visible in the face of the gourmand, as well as the open stove door to the right.