Recipe for Uzbek Soup (Moshhorda)

Following is the recipe for the Uzbek soup our couchsurfer visitors prepared for us last night.  It was beyond wonderful.  Our visitors, biologists from the St. Louis area, were a delightful couple who have traveled extensively throughout Uzbekistan, Khazakstan, Russia, Mongolia, and environs. She is fluent in several languages and is a conservation biologist with a current specialty involving Asian bustards.  He is a post-doctoral researcher whose specialty involves investigations into genetic coding related to birds’ vision.  Absolutely fascinating people!  And can they cook!

Fortunately, we had most of the ingredients except bell peppers and plain yogurt; we did without the bell pepper and substitute Greek yogurt.  I would have happily gone out to buy any missing ingredients, except for the fact that we were iced-in with 3/4 inch of ice on everything, including road surfaces.

The following dish is a very common Uzbek dish. She also gave me a lot of information about breakfast in Uzbekistan, Khazakstan, Russia, and Mongolia for my project involving common breakfasts around the globe.

Moshhorda (a common and hearty Uzbek soup)

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep. and cook time: 1.5 hours


  • 5 oz. beef cut in small cubes
  • 1 cup mung beans
  • ½ cup rice (brown rice can be used)
  • 1 medium onion or shallot (she used shallot…I would, too)
  • 1 tomato
  • ½ green bell pepper
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 large potato
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp salt (add and subtract according to your own salt intake)
  • 8 cups of boiled water (keep boiled water ready in case you will need to add more)
  • extra 3 cups of water to boil mung beans

Make sure beans are clean and washed thoroughly multiple times. On medium heat using a small pot or a sauce pan boil 3 cups of water and mung beans until beans soften and green shell slightly breaks. Drain the water and set aside.

While beans are still boiling you will have time to get your other ingredients ready. Cut the meat, bell pepper, carrot, potato in equal 1″ to 1/2′ cubes. Potatoes need to be put in cold water to keep them from turning darker in color. Tomatoes and onions need to be julienned. Mince garlic cloves.

Heat oil in 5-quart stock pot in medium high heat. Add meat, stir fry it until golden reddish color. Add onions, salt, black pepper and cumin. When onions are golden yellow, add tomatoes and garlic. Stir fry until tomatoes are finely mushed. Add bell pepper, carrots, boiled mung beans. Stir fry for another minute and pour ready boiled water into the stock pot. Once the soup starts boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low. Add potatoes. After 10-15 minutes add washed rice (wash rice thoroughly right before adding to the soup).

Cook until rice is ready. As soon as rice is cooked, take the stock pot from the heat. Soup is well served with cilantro and dills. Also, adding plain yogurt or sour cream is highly recommended.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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