How to cook Kyrgyz-style oromo

How to cook Kyrgyz-style oromo

This version of oromo with garlic chives and egg is a celebration of spring. As a volunteer in Naryn, the winters were six months long and the thawing of the snow to reveal rolling green pastures was highly anticipated.

The availability of juz-ay, a type of onion similar to the Chinese garlic chive, was a signal of spring coming and the beginning of the availability of fresh produce. I would often sit at the kitchen table across from my host mom and practice my Kyrgyz with her as she would lovingly prepare the dough for this recipe. Juz-ay in this recipe can be substituted with regular chives, spring onions or even regular yellow onions.

Oromo is also commonly made with diced pumpkin or meat fillings. The most authentic version of this dish also uses kaimak (clotted cream) instead of the vegetable oil and/or butter. It is often served with laza, a type of chili oil that is similar to the chili oil that you can find in your local Asian grocery store. This recipe yields two oromos, which is about 4 to 6 servings.


For the dough

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200 mL warm water

For the filling

  • 1 large bunch of garlic chives
  • 2 onions
  • 6 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter
  • Neutral oil such as avocado oil or vegetable oil

For serving

  • Chili oil (optional)


For the dough

Dissolve salt in warm water.

Add flour and the egg to a mixing bowl along with the water mixture and knead until the dough is smooth.

Cover the dough bowl with a kitchen towel and leave it to rest for twenty minutes (you can prepare the filling during this time).

For the filling

Dice the onions and chop the chives into half-inch sections.

Heat butter or oil in a pan over medium heat and saute the onions and chives until softened. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

To the same pan, heat butter or oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Beat the eggs lightly (there is no need to beat them too vigorously) and add to the pan. Fry until the eggs are fully cooked and set aside.

To assemble and cook

Cut the dough in half.

Roll out the first half of the dough on a large flat surface until the dough is as thin as it can possibly be without tearing. The thickness should be that of a thick sheet of paper.

Spread half of the filling evenly over the full surface area of the dough. (The filling according to this recipe will be more than what is pictured below.)

Roll the dough into a log shape and then set onto a greased steaming rack of a steamer pot.

Repeat with the second half of the dough.

Fill your steamer pot with 1.5 to 2 inches of water and bring the water to a boil.

Add your oromos to the steamer and steam on low heat for 30 to 40 minutes. Slice, and serve with chili oil.


Thank you so much for reading! Please feel free to leave a comment below to share your story or learn more about how you can contribute to Peace Corps projects.

Megan Stupi

Megan Stupi

Megan Stupi is a K-26 English Teaching Volunteer who served in Kalinin village in the At Bashy region of Naryn. During her Peace Corps service she organized a seminar for local English teachers and implemented a grant to build technological literacy for teachers and students in her village. Her favorite village activity was playing toguuz korgol and chess with her students in between teaching classes. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Middle East Studies from George Washington University. Megan currently lives in San Francisco, California working as a government program specialist. She spends her free time cooking, studying languages and travelling.

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