Eat like a Uyghur / by Thomas O'Malley

The Uyghur people in Xinjiang province ( once briefly the independent nation of Turkestan) cook up appetizing Muslim food; a marriage of hearty central Asian grub like mutton and bread but cooked with a bit of Chinese gastronomic flare. This is Ban Mian - fresh 'pulled' noodles with lamb, peppers, tomato, aubergine and garlic. 

Another staple - freshly baked 'Nan' breads with barbecued lamb kebabs.

The chickens here are mercifully sold without the head and feet attached, unlike mainland China. Even better - they brown their birds good and proper.

Wash it all down with a sharp hit of freshly squeezed pomegranate juice (wince).

These mini snacks are my personal favorite. Called samsas, they're comparable to little cornish pasties, but filled with mutton, onion and herbs.

Once they're made they go into these vertical ovens.

They get cooked stuck on the side like this.

And this is what comes out. You can pick up a bag of 10 for less than 50p. Actual meat content varies from seller to seller, and the odd bit of gristle creeps in, but who's complaining?