UZBEK PLOV (Uzbek Meat Pilaf)

Recipe taken from The International Table: Recipes from the Seattle Sister Cities

This easy one-pot rice and meat dish is very popular in Uzbekistan and often served at weddings. Serves 4–6.



½ cup vegetable oil or olive oil

2 onions, sliced

1 ½ lbs lamb or beef, cubed

1 lb carrots, cut into matchsticks

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

1 head of garlic (optional)

water, enough to cover the meat

2 cups basmati or long-grain rice



Heat oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, preferably cast-iron. Fry the onions until browned. Add the meat and cook for about 10 minutes, until golden brown. Add the carrots and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.

Add spices, salt, and ground black pepper. Slice off the top of the head of garlic to expose the cloves and add to the pot (optional). Add enough water to just cover the meat. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer on low for about an hour or until meat is tender.

Rinse and drain rice several times, until the water runs mostly clear. This keeps the rice from getting sticky when cooked. Layer it on top of the carrots and meat in the pan. Add hot water to cover the rice by about 1". Bring to a boil again, cover, and simmer on very low heat for about 20 minutes, until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed.

To serve, first spoon out the rice onto a plate, then add carrots and meat on top. Serve garlic on the side.