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Pilaf (Plov) is a very popular and loved dish in many countries around the world. There are a variety of ways to prepare it. But one of the best variations with extraordinary taste and special aroma belongs to Uzbekistan. Pilaf (Plov) is the symbol of Uzbek food, moreover is a visiting card of Uzbekistan.


  • 1 kg medium grain rice,
  • 1 kg mutton or beef
  • 3 large size yellow or red carrots
  • 2 medium-size onions
  • 2 heads of garlic (optional)
  • 1-2 long hot chillies (optional)
  • 200-250 ml of vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons of salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • cup of barberries (optional)
  • ½ cup of raisins (optional)
  • 1 cup dry beans, soaked in water for at least 3-4 hours
  • Water


  • Rinse the rice in cold water 1hr before cooking.
  • Heat vegetable oil in the cattle (over high heat until smoking)
  • Cut the meat
  • Cut the carrots into 0.5×0.5 cm thick sticks.
  • Slice onions into thin rings or half-rings.
  • Clean heads of garlic from the remains of roots and dirt.
  • Cook meat on high heat until its browns.
  • Toss in the onion, stirring all the time until onions are slightly golden.
  • Toss in carrots (about 10 minutes)
  • Add salt and cumin, black pepper
  • Add beans, garlic, raisins and barberries, and add hot water just to cover all the goods. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Place rice on top the meat, onions and carrots in one layer, stick the garlic and chillies in it, and pour boiling water over it. But do not stir. Cover the rice with about 2 cm of water, let it boil. When water will go down the rice, reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Cover and cook until rice is tender, and the liquid has been absorbed, about 20-30 minutes. Turn of the heat, remove the garlic and chillies on the separate plate, then stir the rice and meat. Serve with the garlic heads on top. Bon Appetit!

There is one romantic legend that tells how the name “Palov osh”, or plov appeared. Once upon a time the son of Bukhara’s ruler fell in love with the daughter of a poor craftsman. Unfortunately, local laws prohibited such a marriage. The Prince lost appetite, sleep and refused food.  No one around him could understand what was happening. After a while, the boy became so exhausted that his family took him to Abu Ali Ibn Sina also known as Avicenna. Since Prince was hiding his worries, Avicenna called a person who knew the city and its people and asked him to start naming all the Bukhara districts. When one district was announced, the Prince’s pulse jumped up. Then Avicenna asked this person to start naming the dwellers of that district. When the girl’s name was pronounced, the boy’s pulse rose so high. Avicenna prescribed treatment: the Prince should eat “palov osh” at least weekly until his strength fully recovered, and then marry his love. Perhaps this is the reason why plov is a must at wedding feasts. So the name “palov osh” is in fact an acronym for its components: p – piyoz (onion), a – ayoz (carrot), l – lakhm (meat), о – olio (fat), v – vet (salt), о – ob (water), sh – shali (rice).

But now Pilof serves not just on wedding, but it can be served on holidays and as a simple daily dish.

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