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Bowl of kesme 2.jpg
A bowl of kesme in broth
Alternative names Kespe
Type Noodle
Main ingredients Flour, water, salt, an egg
Cookbook: Kesme  Media: Kesme

Kesme (Kyrgyz: кесме, [kesmé]) or kespe (Kazakh: кеспе, [ki̯ɘspi̯ɘ́]), Azerbaijani: əriştə, Persian: رشته‎‎, Turkish: erişte or kesme[1]) is a traditional Central Asian noodle dish made by the Kyrgyz and the Kazakhs. The word itself is a nominalisation of the verb to cut or to slice, referring to the slicing of the dough involved in preparing the noodles. The term may refer to the noodles themselves, or the prepared dish made with them. Kesme is primarily a home-made dish, and not often found at restaurants or cafés.

Reshte(h) (Persian: رشته‎‎) are Persian style noodles used in soups, mixed with rice in pilaf or made into desserts like faloodeh, similar to capellini (angel hair pasta). However, it generally means a fresh (as opposed to dry) ribbon shaped egg noodle. Traditionally the noodle would be a homemade and cut item. "Reshteh" was the only word used to denote noodles in Arab cookbooks of the 13th and 14th centuries. Special symbolism is given to dishes that contain noodles when a decision of importance or change is to occur; the noodles or "reins" of one's life are to be taken in hand. A traditional dish in Iran is reshteh polow or pilaf, which is served during the Persian new year with the noodles representing the threads of life and family intertwined. Noodles are used for special occasion dishes in giving thanks and for journeys especially to Mecca. Typical preparation is for the noodles to broken into parts, fried or grilled brown and then added to rice.

The reshteh used currently in the Iranian cuisine is actually a thicker type of noodle, used in reshteh polow and in ash reshteh.

In Turkey, kesme is known as "erişte", and eaten generally in winter.[2] It is made from flour, egg, water, salt and milk. These ingredients are worked into a dough, which is rolled out, cut, and dried in the sun or an oven after dried for a day.[3]


The dough for kesme usually consists of flour, water, salt, and an egg. The dough is rolled out into a large thin circle, and left to dry for a while. It is then lightly floured, folded over several times accordion-style, and sliced into strips, which are then separated. The process has been illustrated, step by step.[4] The kesme may be boiled immediately in a broth often containing ingredients such as potatoes, meat, carrots, peppers, and tomatoes, or left to harden and stored. Kesme is often made in a kazan.


See also[edit]


Davidson, Alan. Oxford Companion to Food (1999), "Reshteh", pp. 659–660.