Uzbek Plov (Lamb and Rice Pilaf) Recipe
Spiced lamb is simmered with rice and whole heads of garlic in this Central Asia-inspired dish.
I used beef, since it was the only meat I had at the time, as well as generous amount of olive oil. I also used pre-mixed spices for plov that I bought in a Russian store. BTW, you can find dried barberries there as well for cheap. This is a good recipe!
You can use pomegranate seeds instead of barberries, add them when you serving in each plate on top.
This is pretty close to some original recipes I used before. May be with a few adjustments: First, I wouldn't recommend using hot water for washing rice. The purpose of washing is to remove the starch and gluten without breaking the delicate cellular structure of the grain. This allows the grain to absorb flavor from the liquid while it cooks. Washing away the starch makes the rice cook in separate grains. Otherwise starch and gluten form a glue-like substance that cobble grains together. Besides, it brakes the cellular structure of the grain making the rice mushy. Although using hot water accelerates washing away the starch, it can damage the grain. Be patient and wash it several times in cold water until water drained from the rice becomes transparent. Second, the carrots should be cut into strings with a very sharp knife. Grating carrots will make them too thin and short. Cumin seeds and coriander are essential ingredients for this dish.
Very close to the true uzbek recipe (I'm originally from Uzbekistan). Agree with previous reviewers abour julienned carrots. Another thing we do differently: put raw garlic on top the rice (squeeze it in the rice in the center) before covering everything with water. Pour water over a tablespoon or wooden spatula to ensure even distribution over rice (to avoid making large holes in the rice). Cover, and when it starts boiling remove the cover to let water evaporate. Then cover again until rice is ready. Cook on slow heat. Also, we use round rice rather than long rice but in any case avoid sticky rice. The main key to the true uzbek plov: spices. In addition to what you already mention you need turmerick (it gives plov its golden colour), carum seeds (or caraway seeds), cumin can be used regular and black cumin for more flavor, some use paprika. Comment to other reviews: Cranberries is a poor substitute to barberries - you need something very sour. There is no butter in the plov. Serve with shikarop: a salad w
I made it for the first time last night, and my husband said they definitely need to be julienned carrots. I also didn't use barberries (which is my own fault) but tried raisins instead. I personally really liked the sweetness of the raisins, but my husband said that it's never made this way. I agree with another reviewer about the cooking time, as well. I'm so glad I kept a close eye on it while it was cooking because it definitely would've been burned if I stuck to the times listed in this recipe...especially if you are planning on reheating it at some point. Overall, I think it turned pretty well. I can only be critical because my husband knows how true Uzbek plov tastes. I will be trying this recipe again with some adjustments--and maybe some tips from my mother-in-law! ;-)
I found that the ratio of rice:water was not quite right. Needed to add more water after the first 20 minutes and continue simmering for an additional 15 minutes. Probably needed to use 3.5 cups of water the first time around. I will make Plov again, but I might shop around for other recipes. Used lamb shoulder.
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