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Bukharian brings traditional Jewish cuisine to Rego Park restaurant

Siyanov Bakhur came to the United States from the central Asian Republic of Tajikistan in 1990 armed with a collection of traditional Bukharian Jewish recipes he learned from his mother and father.

After working for a limousine company and as a waiter, Bakhur landed a job as a cook at Salute, a kosher restaurant on 108th Street in Rego Park, when it opened six years ago. He prepared dishes like lagman, a tasty noodle soup with beef and vegetables, and cheburekes, a fried pastry filled with ground beef.

Then last year, Bakhur, who worked in the restaurant business for 30 years in Tajikistan, achieved a dream when he bought the Rego Park restaurant from his former boss.

But entrepreneurship did not dissipate his passion for cooking. With help from his wife, Lydiya, Bakhur still spends his time cooking up hearty servings of lagman and cheburekes for the multiethnic clientele that flocks to Salute.

He also serves up a variety of kebabs, including the ever-popular lula-kebab, which is made of ground glatt kosher meat cooked on a charcoal grill. Freshly baked breads, including leeychka, the national bread of Tajikistan, can be dipped in a special homemade sauce called Tkemali.

“It’s like barbecue sauce, but it’s much better,” said Bakhur.

A house specialty is the spicy Korean carrot salad, which according to a young woman who ordered it last Thursday afternoon, gets its name because it is actually a Korean dish.

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