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  • Rashid

Plov recipe on plovism

If you have to Central Aisa, you are well aware of the significance of plov it is a dish cooked for all major celebrations (but also in times of crisis) to feed the large masses of guests, neighbours and passerby. I have said this numerous times already, but it is important to emphasize this each and every time - there is no single recipe for plov. Each province of Uzbekistan takes pride in its own version and each one is magical in its own way. People in Central Asia eat seasonally and this also impacts plov. In the spring, some like to add little dolma made with grape leaves (amazing), I absolutely love this version. In the late fall and winter, people add quinces and tend to make plov on the heavier side, giving each ingredient a bit more colour in response to the greyness outside.

Usually, plov is considered to be a difficult dish to make. Why? The reason is that it incorporates several methods of cooking and all of them are taking place in one pot. First, you fry (onions, meant and carrots), then you stew (all these ingredients + garlic and other additions), then you cook (the rice, allowing to absorb the delicious broth), and finally, you steam (the rice, making it fluffy). Of course, this fact calls for some focus and concentration, but both come with practice.

Too many people hesitate to make plov at home in regular apartment kitchens, claiming that they have no kazan (Central Asian thick-walled pot) or that real plov can only be made over an open fire. I do not buy these arguments. Make plov, no matter what! There is always a way, even if you are far away from your home.

I used a thick-walled wok. It works very well, in fact, almost like a kazan, as its shape is a half-sphere. I used two types of oil, sunflower and olive oil. When you mix oils, plov tends to be tastier. In the Netherlands, I buy Italian arborio rice, usually used for dishes that are relatives of plov (such as risotto), but are also its antipodes, as plov likes to be fluffy and not sticky. To reach the desired fluffiness you need to take 2 steps 1) soak the rice in warm salted water, 2) when rice goes into the zirvak (the stock you make), give it some rapid boiling, this way the excess starch will break away.

Everything else is much more simple than you think. Follow the video. Experiment. Travel to Uzbekistan. Enjoy life!

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