Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
Palov is Uzbekistan‘s signature dish also known as plov, osh or pilaf. It’s a main course typically made with rice, meat, thin slices of carrots and onions. It is usually cooked in a special heavy metal pot called a kazan over an open fire; additional ingredients such as chickpeas & raisins may be added in different variations of Osh.
Palov is always prepared for guests and on special occasions such as weddings. These days though for Uzbeks who are living in the west it can be difficult to cook it over an open fire let alone have the facilities to cater for 100′s of guests at a wedding
In Uzbekistan there is a special osh master chef, who cooks this national dish over an open flame properly, sometimes serving up to 1,000 people from a single big pot and the taste is apparently to die for! I say apparently because I have yet to taste it in that way
Note: Carrots have to be sliced long and thin, graters tend to slice too thin and small ;(, I managed to find a thicker one that works better & have attached pics of it to show you. If you do decide to use an average grater, use the biggest size and then do not add your carrots until after you have added the buckwheat, that way they will not dissolve and melt too much.
Today we are making “Grechka palov” which is one of the many varieties of Uzbek pilafs, but the method of cooking it is very similar to the ordinary pilaf, but instead of using rice, we will use buckwheat instead ;)
Buckwheat is gluten free, this confused me at first because I thought how can a source of wheat be gluten free?
But apparently buckwheat is not actually a wheat at all so the name can cause confusion!
I have used beef on this occasion but if you have lamb or mutton that can be very tasty too.
- 100g of vegetable oil -
- 300g meat -
- 150g sliced onion -
- 200g carrot - peeled and either thickly grated or cut into very thin strips
- 300 gr of buckwheat -
- 1 - 2 tsp Salt - to taste
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper - to taste
- 1 tbsp of ground coriander -
- 1 tsp ground Cumin -
- 1 tablespoon Cumin seeds - crushed
- 1 whole head of Garlic - to add as it is without breaking or peeling
- First heat the oil and begin to fry the meat on a high heat until it is dark brown. Making sure that the meat is completely dark brown is very important as it will give an extraordinary flavor to the dish.
- Then add the onions and shredded or finely sliced carrots, throw in the spices and the whole garlic head followed by 200 ml of water then simmer on a low heat.
- It should cook for about 40 min. Wash the buckwheat really well by rinsing it a few times with cold water.
- Now add the buckwheat on top of the fried meat and vegetables. At this point you add just enough boiled water to cover the buckwheat. (to check the right amount of water, run a spoon inside of the pot, if it runs freely, then that is enough.) Buckwheat becomes soft very quickly and we want to make sure it isn't over done.
- Bring to a boil on a high heat, and double check the salt before covering the pot and lowering the heat again.
- Cook until all the water evaporates and the buckwheat is soft.
- If you feel the buckwheat is ready but see some water remaining, then take off the lid, and cook over a high heat until it evaporates.