Friday, 7 June 2013

Mom's Plov (Lamb Rice Pilaf)

I started studying again around the middle of May. That makes it a struggle to take care of supper every night. Although Ralph is more than capable, I like taking care of us, and I don't want that to fall away because I have to study. So, I'm trying to make meals on Sundays that can last us for at least Monday and Tuesday nights.

Plov is lovely because it has a mild but meaty flavour. I'm not a huge fan of lamb, but the flavour dissipates throughout the rice, and becomes gentle and wholesome and filling. It doesn't take long to make- about an hour, and can last the whole week.

It's one more thing that brings the feeling of family into our house, and for that I love it. For a minute I get that feeling of closeness with my brother, who is in another country, my mom and dad, who are in another city, and of course my gran, who is no longer around.

Lamb Rice Pilaf
From my mom

approximately 700 g deboned leg of lamb
2 cups Basmati rice
3 medium carrots
2 onions
1 tsp paprika

1) Place the rice in a bowl, add water and stir it in. It will turn milky which is when you carefully discard it. Repeat until it stays relatively clear. Soak the rice for 2 - 3 hours.
2) Clean the lamb, removing most of the fat, and cut into pieces roughly 1 - 1.5 cm.
3) Dice the onion, and jullienne the carrots (this just means cutting them into thin, short sticks).
4) Pour about 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a large cast iron pot. Add the lamb, and fry until browned and slightly caramelised. Season generously with salt and pepper.
5) Take the meat out and add the onions and carrots. Braise until carrots are soft and slightly browned. Add paprika.
6) Add the meat, and braise everything together for a few minutes. If things begin to burn, add a bit of hot water.
7) Drain the rice and add it to the meat and level the top, then add water (tap water is fine) until it covers up to about 3 cm above the top of the rice.
8) Bring to the boil. Taste the water- adjust salt and make sure it tastes slightly over-salted, as the rice will absorb a lot of salt. Do not stir.
9) With the wrong end of a wooden spoon, make about 4-5 holes in the rice, right to the bottom. This will keep the rice from burning.
10) Set to a very low heat. Cover with the lid, and cook for 20 minutes completely covered.
11) Uncover, stir and serve immediately.


  1. The cumin, you need to add the cumin...
    And lamb fat before you fry.

  2. And your "katriulya" is real nice!

  3. I love my Le Creuset 'kastriulya'!!

    I'll try your recipe sometime soon- yes with the Cumin :-).