Perfect Plov Recipe
- 20 October, 2016
- by nargiscafe
Uzbek cuisine is influenced by local agriculture, as in most nations. There is a great deal of grain farming in Uzbekistan, so breads and noodles are of importance, and Uzbek cuisine has been characterized as "noodle-rich". Mutton is a popular variety of meat due to the abundance of sheep in the country and it is a part of various Uzbek dishes. Uzbekistan's signature dish is palov (plov or osh or "pilaf"), a main course typically made with rice, pieces of meat, grated carrots and onions. It is usually cooked in a kazan (or deghi) over an open fire; chickpeas, raisins, barberries, or fruit may be added for variation. Although often prepared at home for family and guests by the head of household or the housewife, palov is made on special occasions by the oshpaz, or the osh master chef, who cooks the national dish over an open flame, sometimes serving up to 1,000 people from a single cauldron on holidays or occasions such as weddings. Oshi nahor, or "morning plov", is served in the early morning (between 6 and 9 am) to large gatherings of guests, typically as part of an ongoing wedding celebration.
You will need following ingredients:
- 1 kg moderately fat lamb, shoulder or ribs
- 1 kg medium grain rice (paella type)
- 200-250 ml vegetable frying oil
- 1 kg carrot (preferably not young)
- 2-3 medium size onions
- 1-1.5 tbsp cumin
- 2-3 whole heads of garlic, the younger the better (optional)
- 1-2 long hot chilies (optional)
- 5 liter heavy cast-iron cattle (dutch oven) or bigger, preferably round-bottomed
Amount of servings – 10
- Wash the rice in the water until its clean, then cover it with cold water and let it soaks for a bit. Cut the meat into pieces, approximately of the size of a match-box. Cut the carrots into 0.5×0.5 cm thick sticks. Slice onions into thin rings. Clean heads of garlic.
- Heat oil in the cattle or dutch oven on a very high flame, deep-fry meat until golden-brown, in 3-4 batches. Fry the onions until golden, add meat to the cattle, stir well to prevent onion from burning. Add carrot, stir from time to time, until it starts to wilt and browns a little (15-20 min). Add 2/3 of the cumin – rub it in your palms a little to release flavor, stir gently to keep carrot from brooking.
- Lower gas to moderate, pour hot water just to cover all the goods, add salt and let it simmer for 40 min to 1.5 hours until almost all water evaporate and meat became tender and juicy. Do not stir.
- Turn gas to max. Drain rice well, place it on top the meat and vegies in one layer, stick the garlic and whole chilies in it, and carefully pour boiling water over it (place a spoon or ladle on top of the rice to keep the rice layer from wash away). Cover the rice with about 2 cm of water, let it boil. Add salt to make the water a bit over-salted. When water will go down the rice, reduce the gas a bit, keeping it boils rapidly. Check when it will evaporate and absorb into rice completely – rice should remain rather al dente. Make a holes in the rice to the bottom of a vessel to check the water level.
- Reduce gas to absolute min, cover tightly with the lid and let it steam 20 minutes. Turn of the heat, remove the garlic and chilies on the separate plate. Carefully mix rice with meat and carrots, if the rice tastes a bit blind add some salt, mix and let it stand for 5 minutes. Pile the plov on a big warmed plate and serve with garlic, chilies and plain thinly sliced tomato-sweet onions-chili-salt salad.