Plov (Uzbek Pilaf)

Plov (Uzbek Pilaf)

Plov (Uzbek Pilaf)

Plov originated from Uzbekistan and has become a popular dish across Central Asia and beyond. This comforting, savoury dish combines rice, tender meat, and vegetables, all cooked with a blend of spices that infuse every bite with flavour. Plov is often a main course during family gatherings or celebrations, and its warm, inviting aroma has made it a favourite in any home.


  • 2 cups long-grain rice (preferably Basmati)
  • 1 lb (450g) beef or lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish


  1. Rinse the rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the meat and cook until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  3. In the same pot, add the chopped onions and cook until softened and lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the julienned carrots and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Return the meat to the pot and stir in the cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, black pepper, and salt. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  5. Add the rice to the pot and gently stir to coat the grains with the oil and spices. Pour the boiling water and carefully nestle the garlic cloves into the rice.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and the liquid is absorbed.
  7. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and gently fold in the optional raisins if desired.
  8. Serve the plov in a large dish garnished with fresh cilantro or parsley.

Nutrition (per serving, assuming 6 servings):

  • Calories: 510
  • Protein: 22g
  • Carbohydrates: 61g
  • Fat: 21g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 40mg
  • Sodium: 200mg (may vary depending on added salt)
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 5g (if using raisins)