Uzbek Rice Pilaf (Плов)

This recipe is FANTASTIC. The meat falls off the bone, the rice smells like heaven... I highly recommend trying this one out! It's great as dinner party entree, a fancy night in, or hearty meal that will leave leftovers for the rest of the week (if you're strong-willed)!

Some beautiful images of traditional Uzbek pilaf, or plov, to get you in the mood for food:

You Will Need...

- 2 cups rice (we used Jasmine Rice)

- about 2 lbs of meat. The recipe recommends cuts from lamb shoulder. It's better if there's fat (we just used some lamb steak from Whole Foods... whatever we could find! As long as there are bones!) you can also do pork, chicken, or duck (but it's SOOO much better with lamb)

- 3 medium/large onions

- 4 large carrots

- 1 head of garlic

- 1/2 cup oil (this recipe used sunflower, but any oil works... except olive oil)

- 1 tbsp salt

- 2 tsp cumin (we used cumin seeds and ground cumin and mixed it)

- 1 tsp coriander (can be ground or mash seeds)

- 1 tsp ground black pepper

- Optional: cayenne pepper

- 1-2 tsp turmeric (to taste)

- about 1 liter of boiling hot water


1) A few hours before cooking (preferably in the morning), wash rice 10 times until the water runs clear. Pour warm water (3x the amount of rice) and let soak.

2) Clean meat from chewy pieces and other icky stuff. Cut 2 x 2 inch pieces, leaving the bones in.

3) Slice onions into thin half circles

4) Slice carrots into thin strips, about three/four inches long (slicing is all done by hand)

5) Peel off the outer layer of the garlic head without disturbing the shape