139. Mongolia: Boortsog (Fried Cookies)

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Mongolia, a rough country with a tumultuous history squeezed between Russia and China. Mongolia’s founding father is the legendary and once feared Genghis Khan. He came to power by merging several nomadic tribes. In 25 years he conquered more land surface than the Romans did in 4 centuries. Quite an impressive dude right? In the 13th century, the Silk Roads became an important economic route in Asia. Salesmen like Marco Polo traveled all the way from Europe to gain access to luxury goods like diamonds, pearls, rubies, silk, porcelain, paper, peaches, rhubarb, elephants, and horses. Modern-day Mongolia is not what I expected. In the capital city, Ulaanbaatar cars and pedestrians commingle with livestock. Nearly 60% of Mongolia 1,4 million people have moved to the city, where they seek a more luxurious lifestyle. The result is the Ulaanbaatar has become the most polluted capital in the world. It has gotten so bad that in the winter months when the smog is at its worst doctors advise couples to avoid conceiving children.

Things you didn’t know about Mongolia:

  • Mongolia is home to a lot of endangered animals like snow leopards and the twohumped Bactrian camel
  • More than one-quarter of the population live as nomads.
  • There is a theory that Mongolian horsemen first invented the ice cream. They would take animal intestines on long journeys. The combination of freezing and being jolted around on the horse produced an ice-cream like substance. This then made its way to China, Marco Polo, then Italy!
  • Mongolian native horses are the last truly wild horses left on the planet. They have 66 chromosomes, one or twom more than the average horse. 
  • The Gobi desert is Asia’s biggest desert. It is like no other in the world. The Gobi Desert is also regarded as the world’s biggest dinosaur fossil reserve.

These cookies are really good and so easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup warm water +/-
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • oil for frying can be mutton fat but vegetable oil is also used
  1. Desolve the sugar and salt into the warm water
  2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, water mixture, and butter and knead extensively to a tough, dense dough, add flour or water as necessary.
  3. Let rest for about 30 minutes and knead again to remove any air bubbles.
  4. Roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness and cut into rectangles about 2 x4
  5. Cut a slit in the middle and pull one end through making sort of a knot shape.
  6. Heat up you oil in a frying pan and deep fry until golden brown on each side.

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