Recipes for delicious homemade pilaf
Rice and meat
The main mistake that European cooks made was the lack of preparation and the use of traditional ingredients that were completely unusual for Central Asia. At first, it is necessary to pick up the rice of the correct variety, which will allow the pilaf to become crumbly, and will not form dense ugly lumps.
Round grain rice, which usually contains large amounts of starch, is not added to Uzbek pilaf - the following varieties are considered preferable:
- the scald
You can also buy Mexican or Italian rice, designed for cooking paella - it will be perfectly combined with the taste of pork or chicken, if you decide to use these types of meat.
The Uzbek recipe involves the use of a shoulder part with two or three ribs and a small amount of fat in tail. However, you can cook pilaf from pork or even chicken, if you can choose the right parts of the carcass. The best option is a pork neck, which is also often chosen for kebabs, because it contains small patches of fat that make the meat juicy and tender. If you are going to cook chicken pilaf, you need to take the breast, as well as the tail, which is one of the few places of fat accumulation in poultry.
Oil and Spices
To make Uzbek pilaf crumbly, you need to cook it with high-quality oil. If, following the classic recipe, you decide to use chicken fat, no additional ingredients are required, but you can slightly dilute it with vegetable oil, which will eliminate the unpleasant smell and soften the unusual taste typical of Central Asian cuisine.
The best option would be to use a mixture developed by Italian cooks at the end of the XIX century - 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil and one olive oil are added to 70–80 grams of fat tail fat.If you decide to cook an oriental dish in a slow cooker, you do not need to use anything other than refined vegetable oil.
Regardless of whether you prefer dishes from pork or lamb, the following spices are added to the pilaf:
- red hot pepper;
- hops suneli or curry.
As an extra spice, dried barberry berries are often added to the lamb pilaf. Fans of pork and chicken will appreciate the saffron petals, although this spice is very expensive. This Uzbek pilaf is prepared using carrots, although you may not buy this root vegetable - this option is accepted in India and the Caucasus. If you prefer sour tastes, be sure to add a small amount of prunes, dried apricots and raisins to the dish. The peculiarity of the pilaf is that the proportions for it are not very important - however, to achieve optimal taste, it is better to take 200-350 grams of meat per kilogram of rice and 150 grams of vegetables with dried fruits.
To make pilaf crumbly and not burnt, it is necessary to cook it in a special pot - a pot made of cast iron or thick-walled aluminum.If there is no such dish in your kitchen, you can use a duck-plate or a thick-walled glass pan with the possibility of direct heating. Cooking pilaf at home, using dishes with thin walls, will not work. However, there is a recipe for the multicooker, so running to the store behind a cauldron is not necessary.
Central Asian recipe
This Uzbek pilaf needs to start cooking withzirvaka- fragrant broth, which creates a unique taste of the dish, distinguishing it from European rice porridge. The meat is cut into cubes 2 * 2 centimeters - when using pork, it is enough to just rinse, but the mutton must first be cleaned from thin white films.
With chicken, the problem is solved easier - the breast is cut into cubes, and the tail part is put in a whole piece. If desired, the legs can be put in the pilaf, but they will have to be pre-fry in a frying pan. Meat is placed on the bottom of the cauldron and fried in butter until the characteristic pink tint disappears.
If you are preparing a dish not in a slow cooker, but in a cauldron, then after reaching the right moment you will need to throw in finely chopped onions, and in a couple of minutes - carrots cut into strips.After frying the food for two or three minutes, throw the spices and the dried fruits prepared in advance. When all the ingredients have a nice golden hue, reduce the heat to minimum and pour boiling water about 2 centimeters above vegetables and meat. Zirvak is cooked for about 50 minutes under a closed lid in a cauldron, after which it will have to be well salted and left for another 10 minutes.
Now the head of garlic needs to be disassembled into individual cloves, peeled and husked and placed on top of the zirvak. To make pilaf crumbly, sprinkle on top of rice, but in no case do not mix it with previously prepared products. The Uzbek recipe requires pouring water over the top edge of the rice, and then boiling for at least 1.5 hours, gradually adding the liquid as it evaporates. In the end, the water must completely evaporate in order for the pilaf to turn tender and crumbly, but not sticky. In Georgia, the dish is prepared according to an alternative recipe - they pour water on two fingers above the rice and wait for it to evaporate completely.
If you are cooking a dish of pork or chicken, you can try the rice and turn off the fire when it comes to a state of full readiness, but with lamb you can not do that.
The recipe is very similar to the method of cooking in a slow cooker - it also requires a long wait for the result. After cooking, the pilaf must be stirred, covered with a lid and left in the cauldron for 2 hours. To keep it warm, it is better to wrap the dishes with a thick cloth or put them in a thermo bag.
For busy people
As mentioned above, plov can be cooked in a slow cooker - for this you will need similar ingredients. When using pork, the meat must be cooked for 10 minutes in the “roasting” mode, but lamb will require 20 minutes of full frying in oil. After a specified time, you need to open the cover of the multicooker and throw into it the onion, cut into half rings. After another 5-minute cooking, carrots are chopped inside, chopped with medium straws.
It is possible to prepare a zirvak in a slow cooker, but experienced housewives are advised to do it in a small saucepan over low heat. In any case, you will need to pour purified hot water (not boiling water!) Fried ingredients and boil them for about 30-40 minutes.Water should cover meat and vegetables on 2 fingers. Regardless of whether you cook plov from pork or lamb, you should get a broth of a pleasant yellowish hue. 10 minutes before it is ready, it should be well salted, as well as spices and dried fruits.
Then add garlic and rice, and also add water to the top edge of the resulting mass and do not mix anything. You need to set the cooking program for 2 hours, which will allow you to get a good crumbly pilaf, which will not differ much from cooked in a cauldron. The cover in the slow cooker should not be opened during the specified time, so as not to make the dish too hard. If you cook pork pilaf, after a specified time, try one piece of meat - with its excessive rigidity, it is better to add more water and put a similar mode in the slow cooker for another 30 minutes.
The pilaf should be left in a slow cooker for 2 hours to allow it to infuse - at this time it is also advisable not to lift the lid. When using pork or chicken, this time can be reduced to one hour, because the meat will reach the desired condition much faster.Pilaf cooked in a slow cooker will be softer, but its taste will not be as expressive as when using a cauldron.
Regardless of whether you prefer dishes from pork or lamb, they need to be served to the table hot. Since the pilaf will be quite fat, it is served with fresh, lightly salted vegetables or salads based on olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Regardless of whether you are cooking in a slow cooker or a cauldron, you should not serve any sauces to it, as they will aggravate the taste of the pilaf. Remember - if you cook pilaf from fat lamb, it can never be washed down with cold water. Mutton fat hardens rapidly when cooled, which leads to obstruction of the human digestive system.