Oshi pilav (pilaf) is a traditional dish of Tajikis and Uzbkes recognized as a part of their cultural heritage. The 'King of meals' is based on a recipe using vegetables, rice, meat, and spices. Actually, pilav is a highly-fat dish because of "dumba"-sheep fat. With us, you can learn how to cook a healthy pilav
Pilav Uzbekistan, Food Uzbekistan
500g chicken fillet
500 g medium grain rice (basmati type)
200-250 ml olive oil
500 g carrot (preferably not young)
2 small-size onions
1-1.5 tbsp cumin (Zira)
2-3 whole heads of garlic, the younger the better (optional)
1-2 long hot chilies (optional)
salt to taste
2 liter heavy cast-iron cattle (dutch oven) or bigger, preferably round-bottom or Wok Pan
1 cup chickpeas
1. Wash the rice under the tap until clear. Cover with cold water and let it soak for a while. Cut the chicken fillet into small pieces. Cut the carrots into 0.5 x 0.5 cm thick sticks. Slice onions into thin rings or half-rings. Clean heads of garlic from the remains of the roots and dirt.
2. Heat oil in the cattle or dutch oven on a very high flame, deep-fry meat until golden-brown, in 3-4 batches. Fry the onions until golden, stir well to prevent the onion from burning. Add carrot, stir from time to time, until it starts to wilt and browns a little (15 - 20 mins). Add 2/3 of the cumin, - rub it in your palms a little to release flavor, add Kukurma for the color, stir gently to keep carrot from breaking.
Pilav, Uzbek Food, Tashkent
3. Lower gas to moderate, pour hot water just to cover all the goods, add salt, chickpeas, and let it simmer for 40 mins to 1.5 hours until almost all water evaporates and the meat, chickpeas become tender. Do not stir.
4. Turn gas to the max. Drain rice well, place it on top of the meat and vegetables in one layer, stick the garlic and whole chilies in it, and carefully pour boiling water over it (place a spoon or ladle on top of the rice to keep the rice layer from wash away). Cover the rice with about 2 cm of water, let it boil. Add salt to make the water a bit over-salted. When water will go down the rice, reduce the gas a bit, keeping it boiled rapidly. Check when it will evaporate and absorb into rice completely - the rice should remain rather al dente. Make holes in the rice to the bottom of a vessel to check the water level.
5. Reduce gas to absolute min, cover tightly with the lid, and let it steam 20 minutes. Turn of the heat, remove the garlic and chilies on the separate plate. Carefully, mix rice with meat and carrots, if the rice tastes a bit bland add some salt, mix and let it stand for 5 minutes. Pile the plov on a big warm plate and serve with garlic, chilies, and thinly sliced tomato-sweet onions-chili-salt salad.
THE MAIN SECRET OF PILAV
Naturally, the carrots are sweet. For the last decade, fruits and vegetables lost their sweetness because of the uncontrolled usage of pesticides. I recommend you to add a tablespoon of Honey during the cooking process. It will make the dish savory -full of flavor and sweet-salty. The best rice for plov is Basmati.
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