Spiced Uzbekistani Plov (Pilaf) With Herbs, Scallions And Peas

By • January 14, 2014 4 Comments

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Author Notes: Plov is a traditional dish of Uzbekistan, but it is loved and cooked in many Middle Eastern countries. Our family loves Plov, especially Uzbek plov, which is just absolutely delicious, very aromatic, beautiful looking and also good for you.

We have made it with lamb, beef, chicken and vegetarian - it is really good no matter how you make it. Although everyone seems to have a slightly different variation, this one (which is also called "Green Plof") is our favorite.


Serves 4

  • • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • • 1/4 cup canola or light olive oil
  • • 1 pound boneless leg of lamb, cut into 2-inches pieces
  • • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • • 2-medium carrots, peeled and julienned
  • • 2 teaspoons of each, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, toasted and crushed
  • • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, crushed
  • • 2 cups of simerring homemade or good quality store-bought beef stock to cover
  • • 1 whole unpeeled garlic head, washed
  • • 1 fat bunch of each: chives or scallion green tops, cilantro or parsley and leaves from 3-4 sprigs of mint finely chopped
  • • 1 cup of fresh or frozen green peas
  1. Place rice in a large bowl and cover with warm water. Set aside. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large skillet over high heat until smoking, and then add lamb. Cook, turning occasionally, until the lamb is evenly browned, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the onions; cook stirring until the onion has softened and browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the carrots; cook stirring until the carrots have softened, about 10 minutes. Add and mix in cumin, coriander, fenugreek and peppercorns. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes.
  3. Wash rice with hot water and drain well. Pour cleaned rice over the lamb mixture in an even layer. Place the raw garlic head on top of the rice and squeeze it into the center before covering everything with stock.
  4. Slowly pour in stock over a large spoon or wooden spatula. This step will ensure even distribution of the stock over the rice. The rice should be covered with about 3/4 to -1- inch of liquid. Do not stir. Season with salt, and reduce heat to medium-low.
  5. Cover, and when it starts boiling remove the cover to let the stock almost evaporate. Then tightly cover again and cook on very low heat until rice is ready, about 20 to 25 more minutes.
  6. When the rice is ready, open the lid, remove the garlic head, sprinkle in the herbs, scallion green tops and peas, cover and let stand for about 10 minutes; then fluff and carefully mix everything together and serve.
  7. It is also very traditional to serve the Plov with Shikarop: a salad with finally sliced (almost shredded) tomatoes, shredded sweet onions, oil, salt, pepper, cilantro, and paprika. Enjoy!

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