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Uzbek Plov Recipe

A cousin of pilaf and pulao, plov is the national dish of Uzbekistan.
Uzbek Plov Recipe

Be sure not to skimp on the fat—the oil at the bottom of the pan is supposed to be an aphrodisiac.

Servings: 4


for the roasted lamb shoulder:

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon chili pepper
26 ounces boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 4 pieces
2 tablespoon olive oil
8 garlic cloves, peeled

4 ounces Arborio or long grain white rice (see note)
2 ounces currants
roasted lamb shoulder (meat, garlic, fat, and jus)
4 ounces onion, thinly sliced
kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground star anise
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground chili pepper
4 ounces peeled carrots (various colors), cut into a julienne
4 ounces chickpeas
10 ounces vegetable stock



1. For the lamb: Mix the salt, cumin, coriander, and chili pepper in a container. Season the lamb with the spice mixture on all sides.

2. In an oven-proof pan over high heat, sauté the meat in the oil until brown on all sides.

3. Add the garlic, cover with a lid, and cook in a 300°F oven for 2 hours.

4. Remove the lid, and cook for another 15 minutes. Take out of the oven, and let rest 10 minutes.

5. Reserve the meat and garlic. Transfer the cooking liquid to a plastic container to separate the fat from the jus.

6. For the plov: Rinse the rice under running water, then place into a bowl and mix with the currants. Reserve.

7. Heat 3/4 ounces of lamb fat in the wok. Add the onions, season with salt, and cook over high heat until brown.

8. Stir in the ground star anise, cumin, coriander, and chili pepper. Add another 3/4 oz of lamb fat and the carrots, and cook until soft and golden brown, stirring regularly.

9. Add the rice and currants, the chickpeas, the lamb jus, and remaining fat. Cook over medium heat without stirring, until the liquid is fully absorbed.

10. Add the vegetable stock, mix with a spatula, turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer until the liquid is almost completely gone, stirring regularly. Taste, rectify the salt, and add stock if necessary. The amount of stock that you'll need depends on the rice variety. The rice should be completely cooked, and the liquid fully absorbed.

11. Arrange the meat and garlic on top of the dish, turn off the heat, cover with a lid, and let stand for about 15 minutes before serving.

NOTE: For the rice, Uzbek markets sing the praise of varieties called "Alanga," "Avangard," or "Super Lazer," typically ranging from medium to long grain. Since I've never seen any of them outside of Central Asia, I would recommend using… whatever you want. Risotto rice will definitely give you better absorption, therefore a more flavorful result. Long grain American rice (not the par-boiled crap, please) will work too.

From In Uzbekistan, A Bowl of Greasy Rice Will Make or Break Your Marriage