Thursday, 27th September 2018 – Recipes (Uzbek Plov)
Following on from recent posts about food in Kiev and Ukraine, here’s a pair of recipes for plov. Both will probably easily serves 10 people, or possibly more, depending on hunger levels.
Uzbek Plov – Recipe 1
- 1 kg moderately fat lamb
- 1 kg medium grain rice (paella type)
- 200-250 ml vegetable frying oil
- 1 kg carrot (preferably not young)
- 2-3 medium size onions
- 1-1.5 tbsp cumin
- 2-3 whole heads of garlic, the younger the better (optional)
- 1-2 chillies (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 5 litre casserole or similar, preferably round-bottomed
- Wash the rice under the tap until clear, cover with cold water and let it soak for a while.
- Cut the meat into small pieces.
- Cut the carrots into 1/2 cm thick batons.
- Slice onions into thin rings or half-rings.
- Clean heads of garlic of any dirt.
- Heat oil in the casserole on a very high flame, and deep-fry the meat in batches until it is golden-brown. Remove it from the pan and set it aside.
- Fry the onions until golden, then add the meat and stir well to prevent the onion from burning.
- Add the carrots, and stir from time to time, until it they start to soften and brown a little (15-20 min).
- Add 2/3rds of the cumin – rub it in your palms a little to release the flavour, then stir gently to avoid breaking the carrots.
- Lower the heat to moderate, and pour in enough hot water to cover all the ingredients, add salt and let it simmer for 40 min to 1.5 hours until almost all the water has evaporated and the meat is tender. Do not stir.
- Turn the heat to high, drain the rice well and place it on top of the meat and vegetables along with the remaining cumin seeds. Stick the garlic and whole chillies in the mix and carefully pour boiling water over it (place a spoon or ladle on top of the rice to keep the rice layer from washing away).
- Cover the rice with about 2 cm of water, add salt, and bring it to the boil. Once the water disappears into the rice, reduce the heat but keep the pan boiling rapidly. Once the water has evaporated, poke holes in the rice to check the water level.
- Reduce the heat to the absolute minimum, cover tightly and leave it to steam for 20 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, remove the garlic and chillies and carefully mix the rice with meat and carrots.
- Season to taste and let it stand for 5 minutes.
- Pile the plov on a big pre-warmed plate and serve with the garlic, chilies and plain thinly sliced tomato, sweet onion and chili salt salad.
Uzbek Plov – Recipe 2
- 750g Basmati rice, rinsed
- 1kg Lamb or Beef diced
- 200ml oil/clarified butter
- 5 onions, roughly chopped
- 3 large carrots
- 3 large parsnips
- 12 quails eggs or 6 hens eggs
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon of cumin, paprika, caraway seeds, cayenne,
- 1 bulb of garlic (cloves peeled gently crushed)
- 8 cardamon pods
- A big heavy pan with a tight fitting lid
- Salt and pepper the meat, then brown it in foaming butter or hot oil.
- Remove the meat from the pan leaving behind any oil/butter and residue.
- Add the onions with some paprika and salt and pepper and fry until golden brown.
- Return the meat to the pan and add the bay leaves and a cup and a half of water (no more than 300ml). Turn the heat down and simmer for at least an hour. You can add a couple of cardamon pods at this point.
- After an hour layer the carrots chopped into thin matchsticks over the meat and sprinkle on half the spices and then cover with the parsnips similarly chopped and seasoned this time with the caraway seeds too.
- Put the lid back on and simmer the whole lot for another 10 -15 minutes. Don’t stir.
- Put the rice on top, poke the garlic in and season generously. You can grind a couple of strands of saffron in by mixing it with a splash of milk and pouring it on top.
- Top everything with boiling water, and leave to simmer with the lid off. Once the water has come back to the boil, poke holes in the top of the rice with the end of a wooden spoon and steam for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Boil the eggs, shell and halve them.
- Serve the meal in layers on a platter with the rice in the middle and the eggs round the edges.