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Pasta with mince – Suzma khangal

Suzma khangal - Pasta with mince
The term khangal (xəngəl) is used for a variety of dishes made from wheat pasta found across the Caucasus.

An ancient Turkic word, khangal occurs in the medieval Turkic chronicle the Oguzname. The name of the dish suzma khangal (süzmə xəngəl) can be translated literally as “drained pasta”. This is in contrast to the dish sulu khangal, which translates as “wet pasta”, in other words noodle soup. In suzma khangal, square or diamond-shaped pieces of pasta are served with minced lamb. Salty white sheep’s cheese is sometimes added too.

Preparation time: 60 min
Cooking time: 30-35 min
Serves: 2-3


  • For the pasta
  • 125 g/5 oz wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • For the meat
  • 150 g/6 oz minced lamb or mutton
  • 2 onions
  • 25 g/1 oz clarified butter
  • 1/2 tspn cinnamon
  • a few threads of saffron
  • salt & pepper
  • 25 g/1 oz sheep cheese (optional)
  • 50 g/2 oz yoghurt (optional)
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic (optional)


  • Make a light dough from the flour, water, salt and egg.
  • Divide the dough into four large balls. Place the balls on a tea towel and cover with clingfilm. Leave to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough to a thickness of 2-3 mm. Traditionally, a thin, light rolling pin is used. Add flour when rolling out if the dough is too sticky.
  • Cut the rolled dough into broad strips and then into squares or diamonds. Lay out on a tea towel. Leave for 24 hours to dry.
  • Any leftover pasta can be kept in a dry place for future use.
  • Put the threads of saffron in a cup and add boiling water. Cover and leave to infuse.
  • Put the pasta in a pan of boiling, salted water. Cook at a rolling boil until ready, approximately 10 minutes.
  • Chop the onions and fry in the clarified butter. Add the minced lamb, salt and pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and saffron infusion and fry until cooked (approximately 20 minutes), stirring frequently to make sure the mince doesn’t burn.
  • Strain the pasta and place on a large serving dish. Scatter the mince and onions over the pasta. Add butter.
  • Sheep’s cheese can be crumbled over the khangal or served separately. Yoghurt with crushed garlic is another popular accompaniment to khangal.

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