Posted by - ziggy h -
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As Wikipedia asserts, the English term pilaf is borrowed directly from the Turkish pilav, which in turn comes from Persian polow (پلو), Hindi pulāo, from Sanskrit pulāka (meaning "a ball of rice"), which in turn, is probably of Dravidian origin. It is a staple food and a national dish in Afghan, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Bangladeshi, Balochi, Bukharan Jewish, Cretan, Indian, Iranian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Kurdish, Pakistani, Swahili (Kenyan, and Tanzanian-Zanzibari), Uyghur, Uzbek, Tajik and Turkish cuisines.
There are many outstanding recipes of pilaf out there. Yet, basically it’s a meat or fish cooked with rice, carrots, onions and herbs.
Presumably, this recipe originally came from Uzbekistan, though my recipe is not really a canonical one, because I used pork, but not lamb as it’s done originally.
• ½ kg of pork (I used pork neck), or lamb (canonical) or even chicken breasts;
• ½ kg of rice;
• 100-150 ml (½-¾ of a glass) of sunflower or any vegetable oil (amount depends on how much fat meat you have);
• ½ kg of carrots;
• 3-5 onions;
• 1 whole unpeeled head of garlic plus 1-2 cloves of garlic additionally;
• salt to taste;
• heavy cast iron stew pan/pot, or similar pan with thick bottom.
Cumin, turmeric, red sweet pepper, black pepper, barberries (just a little, ½ of a teaspoon of each, except barberries).
Optionally for even better taste (not in priority order):
Saffron, paprika, coriander, cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, fenugreek, dry bay leaves, parsley, dill, ginger, chili, white mustard… - just a little bit of all these
Usually I’m in fact buying a ready-mix of all the spices and herbs from local bazaar for all purposes.
Rinse the rice thoroughly, put into a bowl, add warm water and let it soak for at least half an hour.
Meanwhile cut the meat into medium pieces.
Grate the carrots coarsely (this was contributed by @richkid).
Heat oil in the stew pan on a high flame and put there a garlic clove cut in halves, add an onion and a piece of meat, preferably with a bone. Stir well to prevent from burning. Fry until golden.
Take out garlic and onion, add meat and stew it (cover it for an hour) .
Slice onions into half-rings.
Add carrots, onions, stir and stew some more (around 10 minutes).
Add herbs, stir well.
Put rice into the pan to cover the meat and carefully pour hot water to cover all at 2 cm above.
In around 20 minutes, when water evaporates, drown in the head of garlic, and cover it hermetically until rice done (another 15-20 minutes).
Serve while hot with whatever garnish you prefer.
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