Osh / Plov - Uzbek / Central-Asian Rice

Recipe by Ivan Liew




  • Wash the rice. Allow to soak in salted water for 30 minute You can use Thai or basmati rice.
  • Cut the lamb shoulder into cubes. It should have some fat. Bones are optional.
  • Slice the onions thinly and cut the carrots into strips. You should approximately equal amounts of carrots, onions, and lamb.
  • Heat a large cast-iron or metal wok with the oil. Don't use olive oil. Sunflower oil works well. Animal fat tastes richer but is even worse for you and too heavy for many taste buds. While you can get away with any kind of pot, it does taste better if you have an appropriate seasoned instrument.
  • Fry the onions until golden brown.
  • Add chopped garlic and lightly brown. You can alternatively put the whole cloves into the rice when you cook the rice.
  • Add lamb and fry until cubes are lightly browned.
  • Add carrots, salt, pepper, all spices (adjust to your taste), and 2 cups of water. Turn down the fire, mix well, and cover for 5 min to allow carrots to soften.
  • This completes the first step called "zirvak". You are now ready to cook the rice in the second step. Drain your rice which should have been soaking for 30 minute.
  • Push the ingredients to the outer parts of your cooking wok/pot creating a large hole in the centre which will be filled with liquid.
  • Carefully add your rice to the centre of the pot. Do not mix it with the rest of the ingredients. Try to fit most of it in the centre "hole".
  • Add another 1.5 cups of water, cover the pot and allow to simmer until the rice is cooked and water has been dried up. This will take approximately 30 minute.
  • Stir the entire mixture well and serve on a hearty plate or bowl. Top with spring onions. It goes well with a side-serving of salad, tomatoes, and bread. Naan or other type of flat bread would be best.