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Jan 16, 2013

is very good! I made some today and I want to share the joy.

Basically it's rice stewed in a spicy meat broth, but in a fun way!

Pilaf is a staple dish of middle Asian cuisine. Every lovely little middle Asian nation has its own way of making pilaf; the discussions on what's the best pilaf recipe are still pretty heated and sometimes involve curvy daggers. Also, every lovely little middle Asian nation has its own idea on how curvy a dagger should be. Those discussions get pretty lively too and more often than not involve firearms. Middle Asia is a cool place.

Anyways, I cook my pilaf the Uzbek way, Uzbek pilaf is superior pilaf imo.

Note: what follows is by no means true Uzbek pilaf. The Uzbek are extremely picky, so true pilaf has to be prepared in the exact kind of pot, on the open fire, with the exact kinds of oil, rice and vegetables; it's just not worth the trouble in my unwashed foreigner opinion. It's still close to the real deal and, what's more important, it's loving delicious.

More notes: it takes about 2 and a half hours to prepare, requires some attention and is made in large batches. Cooking pilaf in small amounts is just Not Done so if you go for it, be ready for about 15 servings of the stuff.

Ok, first things first, the pot. Traditionally pliaf is prepared in a kazan, which is this thing:

Realistically, any kind of a thick walled pan would do. I use my mom's stewing pot:

This kind of pot is called Latka, apparently. It's for cooking duck.
Fun fact: proper Uzbek chiefs don't wash their kazans. The more grime it accumulates, the more character it gives to the food.
Don't do that, it's gross.

Now, the supplies.

You will need:

*about a kilo of mutton. Shoulder cut is the best, neck or leg works too. Some people use chicken or beef. Those people don't know what they're doing.

This is a bit more than a kilo but no such thing as too much meat, right?

*a kilo of rice. Devzira is considered true but honestly who cares, any long-grain rice will do. Basmati is good. I use jasmine because that's what I got.

*a kilo of carrots, four onions, 2-3 hot peppers, 2-4 heads of garlic. Traditional recipe calls for 2 heads but garlic is sooo good in pilaf, so I use 4.

*a tablespoon of cumin and cilantro each; a teaspoon of barberry and salt each. I'm lazy so I just use a premade mix.

*about 300ml of oil. Traditionally cotton or sesame oils are used but regular sunflower oil works just fine.

Debone meat, cut into small to medium chunks. Carrots are cut into thick strips, 3 onions - into thin rings (one is left alone), garlic is peeled a little but not separated into cloves (I hosed that part up)

Rice is rinced and dried up as many times as it takes for water to get completely clean.

Set your oven to very hot, heat up the pot, put the oil in. Be ready for oil drops flying. Heat the oil till it starts to give off tiny white wisps of smoke then put the whole onion in.

Ok, now burn it till it's black, then throw it away.
I'm not sure what this part is for but I've been told it's very important. It's also very cool to do, so

you can go even blacker, that's fine.

Now put the rest of the onion in and brown it till it's, well, brown. Takes about 7 minutes:

Add meat:

Stir-fry until it develops a tiny bit of crust:

Now, put carrot strips in.

Let it sit for 3 minutes, then stir it and stir-fry for 10 more minutes:

Crush cumin and cilantro a little with your palm, add them along with salt and barberry. Set the fire to medium, stir it all up then cook some more until carrots go soft, about 7-10 more minutes.

Also, this is the right time to add cum, if you're into that sort of thing.

Now, top your brew off with boiling water, about 2cm deep will do. Add hot peppers, set your fire to low then stew for about an hour.



Fun fact: pilaf sans rice is called zirvak. Anyways, zirvak is just about ready, now for the tricky part.

Rince the rice once more, dry it up, put it in the pot, smooth it up a bit:

Blast the fire back to high then pour more boiling hot water on top of rice. Slowly. Through a skimmer:

It should cover the rice about 3cm deep

I've almost ran out of pot there. Lucky!

The more careful you were at pouring, the cleaner your rice is at this stage. Best case scenario is you get a pool of clear water with tiny fat-and-carrot-juice geysers farting through. It's not really important but looks cool as gently caress. You can see I wasn't that careful.

Now wait till the rice soaks up most of the water, then shove the garlic in:

No, all the way in, hide it all up in the rice:

Set your fire to medium then let it sit till the rice is cooked. Depends on the rice I guess, mine took about 30 minutes:

Now take your skimmer and hit the rice! Not too strong, just kinda slap it, it should make a nice ringing noise. If it sounds more dull than ringy then it means you hosed it up and have to fix it. Take a thin stick, like a pencil, then make a bunch of holes in the rice, all the way down. No pictures here because I haven't hosed it up because I'm good at it actually!

Almost done, just put a lid on your pot, set your fire to very low then make it simmer for 30 more minutes:

Aaand all done!

this is from the curvy edge of the pot so the rice/meat ratio is a bit off.

Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoy stuffing my face with the stuff right now, thank you very much and God bless Uzbekistan!


Jan 10, 2009

I really want to post goatse. I wish I had 10bux

That looks good as gently caress and this is a cool loving thread. I assume a Dutch oven would work for a pot as well? Also, do you end up eating the garlic cloves by like, squeezing them out of the skins?

Jan 16, 2013

Kenning posted:

That looks good as gently caress and this is a cool loving thread. I assume a Dutch oven would work for a pot as well? Also, do you end up eating the garlic cloves by like, squeezing them out of the skins?

Dutch oven is perfect as long as it is big enough, also yeah you squeeze them out and they are delicious.

Jul 23, 2003
Resident BOFH

Oh poo poo a плов argument(maybe) on SA too? Anyway, love it, been making it for at least 20+ years.
IMHO: use at least double the cumin and whole, not ground (adding some with the meat makes the whole dish fragrant) and shove whole unpeeled heads of garlic in there - 3-5 without splitting - that way you pick it out, squeeze out the juicy cooked pulp and YUM.

Apr 22, 2007

Mmmmm Donuts...

This owns. Where the hell do I find mutton?

Jul 24, 2007

Doh004 posted:

This owns. Where the hell do I find mutton?

ask your butcher. its sheep that is over 2 years old when its slaughtered so if they don't have it they can probably tell you where to get it

Marta Velasquez
Mar 9, 2013

Good thing I was feeling suicidal this morning...

Fallen Rib

That pilaf looks amazing!


Jan 10, 2009

I really want to post goatse. I wish I had 10bux

Another question: by "cilantro" do you mean coriander? Because in my part of the world cilantro only refers to the fresh green herb appropriate for topping tacos. I guess there's dried cilantro but that's gross as gently caress. A coriander/cumin mix, on the other hand, sounds great.

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