This is a classic recipe for a loved-by-everyone Uzbek Plov, also called Pilaf. My simple photo instruction will help you cook it to perfection.
Uzbek Plov is popular far beyond the borders of Uzbekistan. Growing up in Ukraine, we cooked it almost every week, and it is also loved by so many other nationalities. Simple, easy to find ingredients and outstanding taste has made this dish popular worldwide. So, thank you, Uzbekistan, for creating such a delicious recipe!
Before we start cooking, I’d like to mention that I always make it with Basmati rice, but other kinds of long-grain rice will work as well, although they may change the cooking time slightly. I am also using lamb, since this is what Uzbek people use, but beef will work as well.
Here is the ingredient list:
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large onions
- 1 1/2 lb. lamb meat
- 1 lb. basmati rice
- 1 lb. carrots
- 1 tbsp. cumin seeds (or powder)
- 1 tsp. coriander powder
- 1 head of garlic
- salt, pepper
Let’s start by prepping the veggies and meat.
1. Peel the onions and cut into half rounds.
2. Peel the carrots and cut into medium sticks.
3. Cut the meat into medium pieces.
4. Heat oil in the dutch oven, or kettle, on a very high flame and add the onions.
5. Cook the onions for 5-7 minutes until they start to brown and add the lamb meat.
6. Cook the meat for 10 minutes on high heat.
7. Add carrots and keep cooking for 10 more minutes.
8. Add cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
9. Peel some of the skin off the garlic head and slice the top off, exposing the garlic cloves.
10. Add the garlic to the meat, reduce heat to medium-low, cover with lid and cook for about 1 hour. Meanwhile wash the rice thoroughly.
11. Taste the liquid for salt and adjust if necessary. Add the rice and spread it out evenly.
12. Add 3 more cups of water, reduce heat to low, cover the dutch oven with lid and cook for 25-30 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, check if the water has been absorbed fully, and, if not, let it cook a little longer. Once ready, let it rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Even though it looks like a lot of work, it is really not hard to cook this delicious Uzbek dinner. There is a reason why this Plov is so beloved all over the world, and I hope you’ll give it a try. Enjoy!