Recipe for Plov, the most known Uzbekh dish. Central Asia kitchen
One of the dishes that cannot miss on the table of all the Central Asia’s regions is the plov; a pilaf rice made with mutton, carrots and onions. Originally from Uzbekistan, it can be found in several variations, cooked in the traditional cast-iron pot and served from autumn to spring combined by a light tomato and onion salad.
During my stay in Kazakhstan, I saw how the locals cook plov several times. Therefore I report their version, with some personal suggestions. To get a result similar to the original, do not miss the spices and all the ingredients. You can substitute the ram, whose shoulder and ribs are used, with the beef; used as an alternative also in Central Asia.
Ingredients for 4 people
400 grams of mutton or beef (more available)
500 grams of short grain rice
4 large carrots
3 cloves of garlic
50 gr. of boiled chickpeas
20 gr. of raisins
1 teaspoon of cumin powder, 1 teaspoon of red pepper, 1 teaspoon of coriander powder, sunflower oil, salt and pepper
For meat you can proceed in two variants. In the first, fry the beef or mutton cut into cubes in a pan with sunflower oil. In the second, which I suggest, boil the meat separately with a stalk of celery, carrots and an onion; in other words prepare the beef or mutton as if it were a boiled meat. I prefer this variant because it gives you the way to cook the meat making it tender before adding the rice and having a good broth. In addition, housewives in Kazakhstan boil meat for hours in order to eliminate any bacteria present; since meat refrigeration is problematic here.
Ready the beef or mutton, remove it from the pan if you decided to proceed with the first variant. Cut the onion into slices. Cut the carrots at the julienne way. Add the sunflower oil in the pan and add a teaspoon of cumin, red pepper and coriander powder. Fry first the onions and then the carrots.
Soften the carrots, add the rice making it lightly brown. Cover with boiled broth or, failing that, with water. Once inflated add the meat and stir. Halfway through the cooking of the rice, add the boiled chickpeas and raisins. When the rice is ready, place the three cloves of garlic on top and cover with a lid. The garlic will give a more substantial flavor to the dish.
Serve warm and enjoy your meal.
For other recipe in Central Asia, click here.