Uzbek Plov (or Pilaf as it’s called here)
- 1 lb meat, cut into 1 inch cubes (any kind you like – lamb, beef, pork. I use lamb, it’s traditional and I like its special flavor)
- 4 cups rice (any kind, long grain is nice)
- 3-4 carrots, peeled and shredded
- 3 onions, peeled, halved and thinly cut
- 1 head of garlic, upper skin shelled off.
- 1 tbsp of dried barberries (you can find them in European or Middle-eastern stores) (Optional)
- 1 tbsp of spice (mix of coriander, cumin, black and red peppers, dill seeds) (Optional)
- Salt, pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
First wash rice a few times in cold water and let it sit for 30 min in a pot filled with cold water. Meanwhile brown meat in hot olive oil until it’s half done, for about 20-30 min. Add onions, carrots and spices and cook it all together for a few minutes. Add rice and barberries to the pot, add salty water so it would cover the rice by 1/2 inch. At this point you can either leave it as is – with rice on top, for a classic plov version, or you can mix it all together (that’s what I do), cover the pot, turn the heat down after the water starts boiling, and let it cook. When the water evaporates a little, and rice is exposed, place a head of garlic on top of the rice, cover the pot again and let it cook until done (for about 1 hour all together).
It’s best served with sauerkraut on the side. That cooked head of garlic is not bad either, try it. Enjoy.