Uzbek Plov (Pilaf)


This post was in draft for some days. Due to internet issues i couldnt post this. This is a famous national food of Uzbekistan. They make this for all the special occasions, like we make biriyani in India. Initially, the taste and flavour of food we get here – especially uzbek/russian cuisine was not so appealing to me. Whenever we go out, i used to fill my self with salads and uzbek bread called lipiyoshka and black tea. But now i am in love with uzbek food. Here as wedding celebration, there is a tradition of serving the plov to guests, that too early morning starts around 5 ‘O clock. I was wondering  when i heard this first time. I never been for such function, but i still wonder how people can have such a heavy meal early morning.

This plov first i had from Karshi (a city in uzbekistan) my hubby’s one of colleague made it for us. At that time i felt its not so bad. Then again we bought from a plov centre here in tashkent, which was also tasty, but very heavy. Then i came to know that they use animal fats instead of oil to make the food rich and tasty, thats why it is very heavy. Here uzbek people are meat and fat lovers.

Uzbek plov vary in its style of making across the region. But i couldnt find much differences in taste. When i made this first time, i kept a back up plan, if at all it dint come out well 😜….dont wanna take  risk. But believe me…it was more tastier than the restaurant one and easier than our indian biriyani. I felt proud myself…Yes i made uzbek plov 😋….

Now enough of talking, lets see how its made.

Health Tips :-

  • Mutton is a great source of both zinc and iron. Iron is very important for redblood cells formation and zinc is vital for growth,healing and acquiring healthy immune system.
  • It is also a good source of high quality protein.
  • Mutton contain more unsaturated fats, thus it helps to reduce blood cholesterol, the arteriosclerosis risk and other cardiovascular issues. So it can be included in healthy heart diet in moderation.

Measurement : – 1 cup = 250 ml         Serves = 2 adults


Ingredients :-

  1. Rice  – 1 cup (basmathi/par boiled long grain rice)
  2. Meat – 250 g (mutton/beef)
  3. Onion – 1 medium
  4. Carrots – 2 medium
  5. Garlic  – 2 (whole headed)
  6. Bay leaf – 1 or 2
  7. Cumin seeds – 2 -3tsp
  8. Pepper powder – 2 tsp
  9. Paprika powder – 1 tsp
  10. Oil – 2 – 3 table spoon
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Water – 1 1/2 cup for braising the meat and 1 1/2 cup for cooking rice



Direction :-

  1. Wash the rice thoroughly, untill water clears around 6 to 7 times by changing water. (This is so important, otherwise rice will be sticky after cooking) and soak for 20 to 30 mins.
  2. Cut the meat into one and a half inch square, wash and pat dry with towel and keep aside.
  3. Now pour oil in a thick bottom deep pan and heat untill you get smoke, put the meat and fry it till it get brown color.
  4. Now chop the onion saute untill onion get golden brown color.
  5. Add the julin cut carrot, cumin seeds, pepper powder,bay leaves and enough salt and saute well.
  6. Now add the water and cook the meat on medium high flame. Adjust the water as required. (Cooking time and water may varry as per meat).
  7. Now spread the rice on top of the meat masala (dont mix, just spread on top – as shown in pic)
  8. Now pour the water on the rice evenly without disturbing the layer and put enough salt for the rice.
  9. Then inser the whole garlic to the rice (As shown in pic) and then make 2 or 3 holes with the back of the spatula to get the steam upward and cook evenly.
  10. After cooking the rice just mix the meat masala and rice, then cover the pot with aluminium foil and close the lid. Keep it in a lowest flame for 10 to 15 mins for dum by keeping aluminium disk under the pot.
  11. Serve the plov with cucumber,tomato and onion salad with pepper salt seasoning.
  12. Also serve the whole cooked garlic with the rice.

Tips and Tricks :-

  • You can use chickpea also. I forgot to soak ahead of time. If adding chick pea, soak it over night or for 8 hours min, and add after adding the water to cook the meat. If you add directly to the oil, it tends to get hard.
  • You can also add green chilli, just make small slit and insert as you did garlic.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. can we do the same with Chicken? If yes let me know, so as I can ask my daughter to try the same… being a vegetarian it is difficult to taste but the foto looks good….


    1. nadishaf says:

      Thanks for stopping by…..
      Yes ofcourse, you can do with chicken as well….

      Liked by 1 person

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