All About Uzbek Pilaf

Uzbek pilaf is the pride of the Uzbek people, which became a symbol and a distinctive hallmark of Uzbekistan.

What is pilaf?

It is a rice-based dish cooked with meat, fish, vegetables, dried fruits or nuts. This method of cooking rice is widespread across the globe and found in many typical recipes in the Middle East, Latin America and Asia.

Uzbek pilaf: mystery of each letter

Uzbek pilaf differs from other preparations in that the rice is stewed in a broth of lamb meat and vegetables called zirvak until the liquid evaporates. The Uzbek recipe includes 7 prime ingredients: piyoz (onion), ayoz (carrots), lahm (meat), olie (fat), vet (salt), ob (water) and shaly (rice).

History of Uzbek pilaf: a dish of genius Avicenna

One of the earliest references of pilaf dates back to the time of Alexander the Great in the 3rd century BC. When he visited the province of Bactria (Eastern Iran), he was served pilaf at a royal banquet. It is said that his soldiers brought the recipe of pilaf to Macedonia, and this method then spread throughout Greece.

The first person who documented the modern method of pilaf preparation was a Persian scholar Abu Ali Ibn Sina (Avicenna). He used to include recipes in his medical books in the tenth century AD. Uzbeks and Tajiks consider Ibn Sina the father of modern pilaf. 

Since then, rice pilaf has spread throughout the Middle East and has been adapted by Persians, Arabs, Turks and Armenians. It was introduced in Israel by Bukhara and Persian Jews.

Anyone who has tasted a real Uzbek pilaf will never forget its taste and aroma.

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