4.5 from 6 votes
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 10 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
Uzbek plov differs from other preparations in that rice is simmered in a broth of meat and vegetables called zirvak until the liquid evaporates.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Uzbek
Servings: 8 people
Author: Mike Benayoun
  • 2 lb leg of lamb (boneless ), cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 heads garlic (whole)
  • 2 large onions , thinly sliced
  • 4 large carrots , cut into thin matchsticks
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • ½ cup barberry (zereshk)
  • 2 cups boiling water (or vegetable broth)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  1. Place the basmati rice in a large bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside.
  2. Wash the garlic heads. Cut the top of the heads (¼ inch). Set aside.
  3. Toast cumin, coriander seeds and peppercorns in a pan for a few minutes.
  4. Grind in a mortar or spice grinder. Set aside.
  5. Heat oil in a pan over high heat. Add the lamb, turning occasionally until the lamb is evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove the lamb pieces and set aside.
  6. Stir in onions and cook, until onion is soft and golden, about 10 minutes.
  7. Stir in carrots and cook, until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.
  8. Add the lamb and mix.
  9. Sprinkle the mixture of cumin, coriander, peppercorns and add the barberries.
  10. Add the whole garlic heads, stirring to distribute the ingredients. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  11. Wash and drain the basmati rice in hot water. Pour the rice over the lamb mixture in an even layer.
  12. Slowly pour the boiling water (or vegetable broth). The rice should be covered with about ½ inch of water. Do not stir.
  13. Season with salt and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  14. Mix the ingredients as you serve the dish on a platter. Garnish with the garlic heads.