MONGOLIA

тавтай морилно уу

Welcome

Mongolia, historically Outer Mongolia (different than Inner Mongolia which locates within China) country located in north-central Asia. It is roughly oval in shape, measuring 1,486 miles (2,392 km) from west to east and, at its maximum, 782 miles (1,259 km) from north to south. Mongolia’s land area is roughly equivalent to that of the countries of western and central Europe, and it lies in a similar latitude range. The national capital, Ulaanbaatar (Mongolian: Ulan Bator) is in the north-central part of the country.

Landlocked Mongolia is located between Russia to the north and China to the south, deep within the interior of eastern Asia far from any ocean. The country has a marked continental climate, with long cold winters and short cool-to-hot summers. Its remarkable variety of scenery consists largely of upland steppes, semideserts, and deserts, although in the west and north forested high mountain ranges alternate with lake-dotted basins. Mongolia is largely a plateau, with an average elevation of about 5,180 feet (1,580 metres) above sea level. The highest peaks are in the Mongolian Altai Mountains (Mongol Altain Nuruu) in the southwest, a branch of the Altai Mountains system.

Some three-fourths of Mongolia’s area consists of pasturelands, which support the immense herds of grazing livestock for which the country is known. The remaining area is about equally divided between forests and barren deserts, with only a tiny fraction of the land under crops. With a total population of fewer than three million, Mongolia has one of the lowest average population densities of any country in the world.

The Mongols have a long prehistory and a most remarkable history. The Huns, a people who lived in Central Asia from the 3rd to the 1st century BCE, may have been their ancestors. A united Mongolian state of nomadic tribes was formed in the early 13th century CE by Genghis Khan, and his successors controlled a vast empire that included much of China, Russia, Central Asia, and the Middle East. The Mongol empire eventually collapsed and split up, and from 1691 northern Mongolia was colonized by Qing (Manchu) China. With the collapse of Qing rule in Mongolia in 1911/12, the Bogd Gegeen (or Javzandamba), Mongolia’s religious leader, was proclaimed Bogd Khan, or head of state. He declared Mongolia’s independence, but only autonomy under China’s suzerainty was achieved. From 1919, nationalist revolutionaries, with Soviet assistance, drove out Chinese troops attempting to reoccupy Mongolia, and in 1921 they expelled the invading White Russian cavalry. July 11, 1921, then became celebrated as the anniversary of the revolution. The Mongolian People’s Republic was proclaimed in November 1924, and the Mongolian capital, centred on the main monastery of the Bogd Gegeen, was renamed Ulaanbaatar (“Red Hero”).

From 1921 until the end of the 1980s, Mongolia was a one-party state closely tied to the Soviet Union. It received technical, economic, and military assistance from the Soviet Union and generally followed Soviet guidance in political and economic matters and in the building of a socialist society. However, beginning in 1990, forces for change in Mongolia ended the monopoly of political power by the communists in favor of free multiparty elections, coalition government, a new constitution, greater cultural and religious freedom with more emphasis on Mongol national traditions, a neutral position in international relations, and a transition to a market economy.

The structure of ger consists of several parts:

Toono (roof) is the top part of the ger also the smoke hole.

Khana (walls) is divided into 4 to 12 sections depending on the ger size.

Uni (rafter) is the central support part that connects khana and toono.

Bagana (pillars) are the 2 supporting pieces of the toono.

Haalga (door) is always on the southern side facing the sun providing more natural light.
 

Shal (floor). In the early centuries, there was no floor (It is said that Mongolians take energy from heaven and land). Nowadays Mongolians use handcrafted felt rugs, carpets or wood.
 

Urkh (felt cover of roof ring) is the sheet covering the toono.

Deever (roof) - After building the ger, the felt roof is put on the uni.

Tuurga (wall cover) -Made of sheep wool.

Setting up the Ger (Yurt)

Ger one of the Mongolian greatest heritage from our ancestors, has a long history tracing from earlier centuries. In this period, obviously Mongolians ger structure gets changed, developed and it is keeping its own features today.

 A Ger (also known as a yurt) is the most suitable dwelling in extreme weather and nomadic way of life of Mongolians. A Ger consists of felt covers, wooden columns, and a round window at the top, thin wooden poles and floor, wall (wooden lattice attached together with animal hide, ropes) and easy to collapse. Accordance with the nomadic lifestyle, gers are portable and they are easy to assemble or disassemble, that makes them the most convenient portable homes in the world.

Most of ger materials are made of animal felt- sheep wool, ropes- camel or

sheep wool, horse or yaks' tail, and of course wood.

Eighty-eight separate wooden poles each measuring around 1.5 meters are used for the ger frame, with just two central columns supporting the entire structure.

ger structure.jpg

Making Traditional Buuz and Huushuur

Dough

  • 1 cup flour

  •  ½ cup water- room temperature

  • Filling: 

  • 300 gr ground beef

  • 2 stocks of green onion

  • ½ onion

  • 3 cloves of garlic

  • 2tbs water (for mixing)

  • 1 ½ tsp salt

  • ½ ground pepper

  • Optional: 1/3 cup beef fat or 

  • 2 tbs veg oil.

Mince onions and garlic. If you're adding beef fat, cut into small cubes.

Mince onions and garlic
Add minced vegetables, salt, pepper and water into ground beef and mix
you can add beef fat into mix if you using some.
You also add coriander or cumin for your taste preference.

Mix flour and water to make a pliable dough. Let it rest for 30 minutes. 

 

Tools you need: rolling pin, knife and cutting board
after 30 min knead the flour once more. 

Buuz Ingredients

Cut the dough into 2 pieces, roll the slices.
Cut the rolls into pieces of 1.5-2 cm  flatten the pieces with a finger.

The pieces of dough are rolled into circles of about 7 cm  diameter, making the center slightly thicker than the edge.
Hold one circle the open hand and place about 1 ½ tsp of the meat in the center.
There are many different shapes of buuz but round one or we call it “ger” buuz is most common.​

To cook the buuz, you will need steamer. Fill the bottom with 1/3 of water and boil.
Oil the inlays of the steamer so buuz would not stick. You can also dip the buuz in oil and place it on inlay. Place the buuz without touching each other.

Once water boils, insert the inlay in the steamer. Cook/steam/ for 20 min. If you cooking frozen buuz cook for 25 min. (you can make the buuz and place it on cookie sheet and freeze them for future)

Once buuz is done take the inlays carefully off of steamer place is on cutting board or plate (that covers the bottom of the inlay) fan for some air to cool down a little.  Serve the buuz with your choice of sides and sauces. Traditionally Mongolians eat buuz with their hands and without any sauces.