Delicious Uzbek Pilaf: 5 Main Secrets of a Perfect Dish

Uzbek pilaf is a popular dish of oriental cuisine, which can be easily prepared at home. In order for the pilaf to turn out crumbly, fragrant, and nourishing, it is important to know about some nuances.

Mushy pilaf with meat – the secrets of successful cooking

In order for the crown Uzbek dish to come out on the glory, it is worth to treat responsibly the preparatory stage and correctly choose all the necessary ingredients:

  • Rice – it is better to buy Uzbek rice varieties, rinse them thoroughly, and soak them for 1 hour;
  • meat – use lamb or beef, cut into large pieces, fry, and only before adding it to rice, shred it;
  • vegetables – cut onions in rings or half rings and carrots in large slices;
  • Oil – choose vegetable oil without odor, and, moreover, 200-250 ml of oil should be used for 1 kg of rice;
  • spices – be sure to add garlic (a whole head), hot pepper (whole pod), cumin, barberry, ground black, and red pepper.

If desired, you can also add hope- surely, thyme, coriander, saffron, dried fruits, and other ingredients to your taste.

Take into account that real pilaf can be cooked only in a cast-iron cauldron with thick walls. Rice in such a pot cooks evenly and remains crumbly, and the meat does not stick to the walls.

Classic Uzbek pilaf – recipe

The basic principle of pilaf is simple – you first need to cook zirvak (fry meat and vegetables and only then add rice). As for the proportions, you put meat, carrots, and rice in equal parts, onion, and garlic – 1-2 heads. The cooking technology is as follows:

  • Heat the cauldron well and pour oil into it;
  • Fry sliced meat, then add onions;
  • when meat and onions are fried, add carrots;
  • When ready carrots pour hot water to cover the meat by 1-2 cm;
  • Add garlic, spices, pepper, and other ingredients;
  • salt and cook over moderate heat for 40 minutes until the meat is soft.

At this stage, you can consider that you have made zirvak. Next, you need to add rice. It is better to do this with a slotted spoon, to distribute it evenly. Rice should be drowned in broth and stewed uncovered for 20 minutes. Then turn off the heat, cover the cauldron with a lid, and leave the pilaf to “finish” for 15-20 minutes. From the finished dish you need to take out the garlic and peppers, with which you can then decorate the pilaf, laid on a large plate.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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