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Spices

Spices are mostly sold in bulk on the markets and are bagged/ filled in small paper or plastic bags. A wide range of mixtures are among them, which you should test out sometime. Some contain jeera (sira), which one would probably not expect here, as well as diverse herbs, dried paprika or barberries. For instance, in borschtsch or plov or in combination with other stewed meat or even with cooked fish they are very tasty. They form another example for remaining influence of the old trade routes.

Barberries (barbaris): small, dried, black berries with a strong tart aroma. They are cooked - e.g. together with Plov - and are comparable to raisins, but smaller, harder and less/ hardly sweet.

Sachan Daila: small leaflets of a rhododendron species, growing in mountainous areas. They are often used for flavouring of black tea, which gives a fantastic bloomy aroma. According to the package insert, Sachan Daila is good for a variety of little aches and pains ranging from migraine to impotence. But it should never be brewed in pure concentration, as some of the contained substances are toxic in too high concentrations, at least they have a great stimulating effect and already lead to insomnia among the baikal planers…

Wild Thyme (tschapress): it is collected in the steppes all round the Baikal and is used e.g. for making tea. A great tea to cure chills and cough.

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