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Sumalak is a spring treat Navruz is a delicious and healthy dish that restores strength and gives cheerfulness lost over the winter. Sumalyak 

It has a centuries-old history and occupies an honorable place on the rich dastarkhan of Navruz. There are several versions of what the word "sumalak" itself means ("sumalak", "sumanak", "sumelek"). "Suma" - in the ancient Turkic dictionary is interpreted as "wheat/barley steamed for malt", and "lax" - "wheat flour". According to another version, the name of the dish means "30 angels" and was invented by a poor woman, who, according to legend, was helped to cook it by the angels themselves.

To date, it is not known for certain when and by whom this amazing ritual dish was first prepared, the basis for which is sprouted wheat grains. Nevertheless, every year on the twentieth of March in all regions of Uzbekistan, one can observe huge cauldrons, around which the sounds of fun and dancing do not stop all day and all night - this is "Sumalyak saili" ("Sumalyak Holiday"), which calls people to friendship, brotherhood and cooperation.

The process of cooking sumalak is an interesting ritual, during which not only a ceremonial delicacy is prepared, but also a sense of mutual assistance and unity is fostered. Traditionally, at this time, the laying of wheat grains in the soil began, some of which people saved for cooking the main dish of Navruz - sumalyak. And each family put their share in the common pot, bringing a handful of sprouted grains to where people cooked sumalak together.

After grinding and squeezing the sprouted wheat grains, a white liquid is obtained, which will subsequently be mixed in boiling oil with flour. But before pouring oil into the cauldron, small stones are placed at the bottom, which are traditionally entrusted to children to collect. The stones will not allow the sumalak to burn, and will also create an optimal temperature regime. However, they also have a mystical purpose. So, a person who got a pebble from a cauldron when handing out sumalak can make a wish and leave this stone as a talisman.

During the cooking process, sumalak must be constantly stirred with a large slotted spoon resembling a shovel. As a rule, women do this, but men are also not forbidden to touch the action. The main condition is that by interfering with sumalak, a person should be freed from unkind thoughts. It is quite difficult to stir the viscous mass for 24 hours, so a fairly large number of people are involved in cooking the dish, replacing each other at the boiler. This explains the tradition of cooking sumalak with the whole mahalla or street.

In addition to the custom of putting pebbles in the cauldron, there are several more that make this process fun and exciting. One of them is the interpretation of the pattern formed under the lid of the cauldron on the surface of the sumalak after the fire is extinguished and it ripens alone. Whatever the drawing is, it is usually interpreted in a positive way.

But the most amazing legend seems to be about a poor woman who lived in a small village on the banks of the Jeyhun River. Her husband died, leaving her poor 

a woman with seven children. In one particularly lean year, the family did not have enough food supplies for the whole winter, and they were forced to starve. The little children were unable to understand why their mother was not feeding them, and they cried and asked to be given something to eat.It was painful and sad for a woman to watch her children grow weak from hunger day by day. When the children were completely exhausted and could not even get up, the poor woman, in order to somehow alleviate their suffering, said that she was just going to cook something delicious. Then she took out the largest cauldron they had, poured water into it and dug up some sprouted wheat in the barn, which she also sent to the cauldron - there was nothing else to put. As she began to stir the brew, she smiled at the children and said that the food was cooking very tasty, and it would be possible to sit down at the table any minute. When any of the children asked her how long they had to wait, she said that there was still some meat left to add and boil it well. As she spoke, she threw pebbles into the cauldron so that the children would think it was meat and continue to wait and fight. This went on all day and all night, and in the morning she fell asleep for a few minutes. When she woke up and opened the cauldron, it was filled to the brim with a warm brown mass, on the surface of which strange patterns were visible, 

resembling wings. The poor woman realized that while she was sleeping, angels visited their house, and because she did not give up and did not let the children go out, they filled her cauldron with unusual food that gives strength and strengthens the spirit. The woman fed her children, and then began to distribute sumalak to neighbors who were also suffering from hunger. Soon everyone began to repeat the actions of the woman, and they also got a delicious sumalak, which they immediately shared with each other, which allowed them to survive that hungry time.

And nowadays, the custom has been preserved to distribute sumalak to neighbors and friends immediately after its preparation. There is also a belief that if you try sumalak from seven cauldrons during the season, you will find happiness. And the fact that most people manage to do this suggests that people continue, as before, to willingly share with their neighbor what they have - to share the happiness of living, seeing their loved ones, rejoicing in the new spring and Nowruz (New Day).

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