Tucked away in the corner of Alay Bazaar is one of the best spots for Uzbek style samosas, also known as somsa, in the city. Cooked at a scorching temperature in a large oven known in Uzbek as a tandir, these tasty pastries come out piping hot and are best sampled in the morning when freshly cooked.
Arrive there early to choose from beef, lamb, potato, or pumpkin-filled somsa. The meaty versions can be ordered plain or spicy and if you get really lucky with the timing you’ll even be offered the elusive chicken somsa. I’m yet to experience this good fortune myself, however.
Uzbek-style samosas are eaten with a mildly spicy thin tomato sauce, which you help yourself to from a separate table. The tomato sauce here is also surprisingly sweet. You can also buy other popular Uzbek meals here, such as the national rice dish plov, meat and vegetable soup mastava, meat skewers shashlik, and noodle dish lagman.
I go there strictly for the somsa and perhaps one day I’ll work out how to eat them without a stream of oily meat and vegetable juice streaming down my hands, face and clothes. Until that day however, I’ll continue to wear my least favourite black t-shirt as I squirt molten liquid around this bazaar.