Uzbek plov
Member recipe

Uzbek plov

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(5 ratings)

Member recipe by


Serves 10

Almost authentic rice and lamb dish for a party from the heart of Middle Asia. Easy and delicious.

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  • 1 kg moderately fat lamb, shoulder or ribs
  • 1 kg medium grain rice (paella type)
  • 200-250 ml vegetable frying oil
  • 1 kg carrot (preferably not young)
  • 2-3 medium size onions
  • 1-1.5 tbsp cumin
  • 2-3 whole heads of garlic, the younger the better (optional)
  • 1-2 long hot chillies (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • 5 liter heavy cast-iron cattle (dutch oven) or bigger, preferably round-bottomed


    1. Wash the rice under the tap until clear, cover with cold water and let it soaks for a while. Cut the meat with bones into match-box pieces. Cut the carrots into 0.5x0.5 cm thick sticks. Slice onions into thin rings or half-rings. Clean heads of garlic from the remains of 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, add meat to the cattle, stir well to prevent onion from burning. Add carrot, stir from time to time, until it starts to wilt and browns a little (15-20 min). Add 2/3 of the cumin - rub it in your palms a little to release flavor, stir gentliy to keep carrot from broking.
    3. Lower gas to moderate, pour hot water just to cover all the goods, add salt and let it simmer for 40 min to 1.5 hours until almost all water evaporate and meat became tender and juicy. Do not stir.
    4. Turn gas to max. Drain rice well, place it on top the meat and vegs in one layer, stick the garlic and whole chillies 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 washaway). 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 boils rapidly. Check when it will evaporate and absorb into rice completely - rice should remain rather al dente. Make a 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 chillies on the separate plate. Carefully mix rice with meat and carrots, if the rice tastes a bit blind add some salt, mix and let it stand for 5 minutes. Pile the plov on a big warmed plate and serve with garlic, chilies and plain thinly sliced tomato-sweet onions-chili-salt salad.

Comments, questions and tips

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Timothy Bever's picture
Timothy Bever
25th Nov, 2019
Kettle! 'Cattle' is a homonym of kettle, a big round cast iron pot. Found this recipe on BBC and can't wait to to try it because it sounds so delicious.
3rd Jul, 2012
It's amazing dish, but can you kindly let us know which region plov this is? I would of loved to keep the meat nice and big, not cut. Anyway it's a great dish and it's always the winner!
Isabel Hinther's picture
Isabel Hinther
10th Aug, 2018
My Mum always made this for my bday cos it’s my favourite dish. She made it with a whole leg of lamb in the oven but not with these spices - lots of celery, carrots, onion and plenty of black pepper. The rice has to end up nice and sticky! She was from Ukraine. My Paternal grandmother made it with beef but lamb’s best!
12th May, 2012
Tastes just like plov! It was easy to cook too...
Arentweallbusy's picture
29th Jul, 2018
What do I do with the oil after frying the meat off? Do I just continue to fry carrots and onions in it and then the whole amount of oil ends up in the dish, or do I drain it off after frying off the meat? Thanks!
24th Sep, 2014
Hi. This looks good - I am very fond of Plov, and recommend this to people. I just had an excellent Plov at one of Tashkent's favourite Plov restaurants (and have had it in others), so people might like to try adding a few additional ingredients that seem to be common here, such as raisins and sultanas, and chickpeas. They add a wonderful slightly sweet richness to the dish. It is also common here (at least in the restaurants) to add a slice or two of horse meat sausage on top - (though I don't know where you would buy that in London?)