This is my another variation on how to make a traditional Central Asian Pilov. I already posted a different recipe of Pilov which I made with Buffalo and Dry Apricots and this was my adapted recipe specifically for Buffalo meat. As a reminder Pilov is a dish made with rice and meat which traditionally is cooked for special events and also could be served as a everyday meal. It is better if Pilov is cooked in cast iron pot this way the thick walls of the pot will hold the heat longer and rice will be cooked evenly. This dish can be also cooked on an open fire and could be a perfect for people who like camping.
For about 8 servings you will need:
• 2 cups of dry rice (Jasmine white long grains)
• 1 pound of beef filet
• 1 large onion
• 3 medium size carrots
• 1 garlic head
• 1 can garbanzo beans
• 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
• about 3 1/2 -4 cups of boiling water
Place rice into the bowl and pour cold water into it covering it about 4-5″ inches with water. Let rice soak in the water for about 40-60 minutes. Now prepare vegetables. Slice onion into thin rings, slice carrots to a long stick shape pieces and clean garlic head from the out skin and roots. Cube beef into 2″ inches chunks and set it aside.
In cast iron pot heat oil until very hot then add onion and cook it until it will become slightly brown but not burned.
Add beef chunks and cook them until they are brown as well. Then add carrots, cook them for about 5 minutes and then add cumin seeds and cover it with 1 cup of boiling water. This process calls “making a zirback” . Place garlic head in the middle of the pot and cook it with meat and water until halve of the water evaporates and it will be almost red in color.
Drain water from the rice and place rice on top of the meat and level it with spatula. Add drained garbanzo beans on top of the rice then pour rest of the water over the rice and beans covering about 1″ inch above it. Cook on high heat until it will boils hard then turn heat to medium and continue cooking until all water will evaporate.
Taste few rice curds from the middle and if they are cooked (if not cooked add more water and cook the rice until it is done) using wooden spoon or spatula move rice to the middle creating a dome. Then with round end of the spoon make a hole in the middle of the rice for the extra liquid to evaporate, turn the heat off and cover pot with the lid. To retain the heat cover pot with old kitchen towel or old blanket and let it to sit for 30-35 minutes.
After this time has passed open the lid and serve Uzbek Pilov on the big serving plate. Garnish Pilov with green onion and parsley if desire. Enjoy!