Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Dear Oleńka,

One of the things that surprised me when I first started shopping at Central Asian bazaars was the large number of roving food merchants peddling an impressive array of snacks. They are especially noticeable at the bigger bazaars, like Almaty’s Barakholka or Bishkek’s Dordoi, massive wholesale and retail markets that sell just about anything you can imagine being produced in China. Small carts navigate the rows of shipping containers that serve as storefronts, selling drinks and snacks to the throngs of shoppers. But even at the smaller, more produce-oriented markets like Zelenyi Bazar in Almaty or Osh Bazaar in Bishkek, you see people meandering between stalls, hawking corn on the cob, samsa (savory pastries filled with meat or cheese), doughnuts, tea, and even ice cream. One of the first things that greets you when you approach Zelenyi Bazaar is the sound of young women calling out, “Doughnuts! Warm, fresh doughnuts!”

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Posted on April 1, 2015 .