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129 Views· 21 May 2024

Super-tasted Uzbek national pilaf l Unrepetable taste and unique custom

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Daniel Chyi
4,952 Subscribers

Discover the Essence of Uzbek Pilaf

Uzbek national pilaf, known as "plov," is a culinary masterpiece that embodies the rich cultural heritage of Uzbekistan. This hearty dish, made with rice, meat, vegetables, and a blend of aromatic spices, offers an unrepeatable taste and showcases unique customs passed down through generations. Let's delve into the world of Uzbek pilaf and learn how to prepare this super-tasted delicacy at home.

**Ingredients: A Symphony of Flavors**

- **Main Ingredients:**
- 500 grams (1.1 lbs) of lamb or beef, cut into chunks
- 500 grams (1.1 lbs) of long-grain rice (preferably basmati or Uzbek devzira rice)
- 2-3 large carrots, julienned
- 2-3 medium onions, finely sliced
- 1 head of garlic, unpeeled but with the top cut off
- 100 ml (about 1/2 cup) of vegetable oil or lamb fat
- 1-2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
- 1-2 teaspoons of coriander seeds
- 1-2 teaspoons of barberries (optional)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Water (as needed)

- **Optional Ingredients:**
- 1-2 teaspoons of paprika or chili powder for a spicy kick
- Raisins or dried apricots for a sweet twist
- Fresh herbs like dill or parsley for garnish

**Equipment: Traditional Tools for Authentic Taste**

- **Kazán (Large Cast-Iron Pot):** A heavy-bottomed pot is essential for even cooking and authentic flavor.
- **Wooden Spoon:** For stirring the ingredients without breaking the rice grains.
- **Knife and Cutting Board:** For preparing the meat and vegetables.

**Step-by-Step Recipe: Crafting the Perfect Pilaf**

**Step 1: Preparing the Ingredients**

1. **Wash the Rice:**
- Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes, then drain.

2. **Prepare the Vegetables:**
- Julienne the carrots and finely slice the onions. Set aside.

3. **Season the Meat:**
- Season the meat chunks with salt and pepper. Optionally, you can marinate the meat with some cumin and coriander seeds for extra flavor.

**Step 2: Cooking the Meat and Vegetables**

1. **Heat the Oil:**
- Heat the vegetable oil or lamb fat in the kazán over medium-high heat until hot.

2. **Brown the Meat:**
- Add the meat chunks to the kazán and brown them on all sides. Remove the meat and set aside.

3. **Cook the Onions:**
- In the same oil, add the sliced onions and cook until golden brown and caramelized.

4. **Add the Carrots:**
- Add the julienned carrots to the onions and cook until they begin to soften.

**Step 3: Building the Pilaf**

1. **Reintroduce the Meat:**
- Return the browned meat to the kazán, mixing it with the vegetables.

2. **Add Spices and Water:**
- Add cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and barberries (if using) to the mixture. Pour in enough water to cover the meat and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes.

3. **Layer the Rice:**
- Spread the soaked and drained rice evenly over the meat and vegetable mixture. Do not stir. Insert the whole head of garlic, cut side down, into the rice.

4. **Add Water:**
- Carefully pour enough water over the rice to submerge it by about 1 cm (0.4 inches). Increase the heat to bring the water to a boil, then reduce to low and cover the kazán with a tight-fitting lid.

**Step 4: Steaming the Pilaf**

1. **Cook Until Tender:**
- Cook the pilaf on low heat for about 20-30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. Avoid lifting the lid frequently to maintain steam.

2. **Rest the Pilaf:**
- Once the rice is cooked, remove the kazán from heat and let it rest, covered, for another 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

**Step 5: Serving the Pilaf**

1. **Mix Gently:**
- Before serving, gently fluff the rice with a wooden spoon, mixing it with the meat and vegetables.

2. **Plate the Dish:**
- Transfer the pilaf to a large serving platter. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.

3. **Enjoy:**
- Serve the pilaf hot, ensuring each plate gets a portion of meat, vegetables, and rice.

**Conclusion: A Culinary Journey to Uzbekistan**

Uzbek national pilaf is more than just a meal; it’s a celebration of tradition and community. By following this simple guide, you can bring the unrepeatable taste and unique customs of Uzbekistan into your kitchen. Enjoy the rich, hearty flavors of this iconic dish and share the experience with family and friends.

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