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A great one dish meal that has it's origins in Uzbekistan, but is modified. You can substitute veal, beef or dark meat chicken (I like baby chicken) instead of the lamb, but traditionally, lamb is used, and produces the most intense and delicious flavor!
- 1 lb lamb, with bones, cubed (can substitute as above, cooking times will vary)
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 3 small-medium carrots, grated
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed (don't use ground)
- 1⁄2 tablespoon paprika
- 1⁄2 tablespoon parsley, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon canola oil or 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- kosher salt
- 1 cup rice
- 2 cups water (+ more)
- In a cast iron pot, or dutch oven (any heavy pot that's moderately sized, not large), heat oil and sautee the onion until translucent.
- Add meat with bones, and sear on all sides.
- Add little bit of water, and braise. Don't let it dry out, add more water as you need to continue braising (if you don't have time and prefer stewing, it's OK, but you can't let the meat drown in water and at the same time you can't let it dry out. Be gentle.)
- Add the paprika and garlic. Braise it for total of 45min, or until meat is soft.
- Some cuts will require longer braising times (no shortcuts, meat has to be tender, and a little bit of brown sauce needs to develop).
- Stir and stir, don't let anything stick, just add some more water to make sure you're getting a sauce. Remember, we're working with very little oil here.
- Add the cumin seeds (preferable toasted and crushed).
- Now that the meat is soft, add your parsley, carrots, salt, 1 cup of rice, and 2 cups of water. Mix well, and cover.
- Let cook for about 30-40min on low heat, until all water is absorbed.
- Note: True Uzbekistanian ploff also contains dried apricots and dried cherries.