This is How To Make Traditional Uzbek Plov in a Kazan over a fire. Watch how to make this authentic rice and beef dish with a step-by-step tutorial and learn all the tips to make Plov like a pro!
Plov is a rice pilaf dish huge in the Eastern Europe region which is why I have two stovetop versions like this Plov Recipe and this Plov (Russian Rice Pilaf Recipe). If you love mushrooms this Mushroom Pilaf is super easy to make.
When my mom gifted me a 12-liter Kazan, I was only left to learn how to make Uzbek Plov the Authentic way. That’s right real authentic Uzbek Plov is made in a Giant Wok (Kazan) over the fire. After trying the difference I was missing out on real Plov all this time! Cooking over the fire makes amazing rice pilaf with great flavor. Kind of like smoking BBQ ribs, it’s not the same without a smoker.
You may be thinking who makes Plov in a Kazan and Why? Plov is the Ethnic rice dish of Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and other South Asian Countries. We cook it for gatherings, weddings, camping trips, and church events because it’s a one-pot dish to feed large crowds. When I have important guests coming over, this Uzbek Plov is on the top list to entertain and host guests outdoors.
Preparing Uzbek Plov is pretty basic and calls for simple ingredients. I was a total beginner at cooking in a Kazan and now I got the hang of it pretty quickly. Thankfully, I watched my mom make this Uzbek Plov multiple times over the fire to share a legit recipe, and believe me I was writing everything down from the water to the oil! Now, I pretty much have the concept memorized. My mom learned how to make this Plov recipe in a Kazan from a Master Chef who makes Plov for weddings and special events. So, you know it’s good!
Real Uzbek Plov is best with Shakarob salad which is basically a tomato and onion salad in a vinegar dressing. Add some Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread and you have a complete dinner feast!
What is Uzbek Plov?
Plov is a rice pilaf dish popular in Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and other Middle Eastern Countries. Depending on what region you are from, pilaf can look different and have various add-ins. It’s a popular Uzbek Dish referred to as Palov or Pilaf and is incredibly delicious–which is why master chefs don’t mind making Plov in a Kazan over a fire.
Furthermore, to be more exact Uzbek Plov is a one-pot rice and meat dish typically made with long grain rice (like basmati or Jasmine), lamb (or beef), carrots, Barbaris spice (usually found in Plov seasoning), cumin (Zira) onions, and garlic. The secret to making Uzbek Plov over the fire is to simmer the meat in water (Zervak) for over an hour for fall-off-the-bone meat. The spices are what make this dish Authentic and a lot of times you’ll see raisins or chickpeas in the mix.
Uzbekistan is a small Central Asian nation that’s surrounded by Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan. It used to be part of the Soviet Republic and is known for the Silk Road Ancient Trade route between China and the Mediterranean. Can you imagine how many Countries make this Historic Plov dish?
For Authentic Uzbek Plov, make the rice in a cauldron or Kazan. A dutch oven can work for a drastically smaller portion.
What Goes in Plov? basmati rice, beef or lamb (and some bones), carrots, bulbs of garlic, oil, water, Plov seasoning, onions, cumin, and cumin seeds. Uzbek plov can sometimes have raisins and chickpeas. I like to use dark raisins.
Ingredients For Plov:
The ingredients for Plov are super basic! To make this recipe you will need rice, water, meat, a few staple veggies, and spices like cumin and cumin seeds.
- Meat- traditional plov is made with lamb and part bones. Many also use beef, and my mother even uses part lamb chops and part beef loin chunks. My husband caught wild game so when I have an abundance of wild hog or pork, I’ll use that. I will add part bones to my Plov too because bones add flavor to the whole dish.
- Rice- long-grain brown rice, jasmine, or basmati rice are all great choices to make a plov recipe! I do not recommend short-grain whole grain rice which cooks drastically differently and turns into mush.
- Carrots- cut carrots into strips or matchsticks for traditional plov.
- Onions- I usually dice my onions. 2-3 onions are good for Kazan Plov.
- Garlic- insert 2-3 whole heads of garlic for a pretty presentation. The cloves can be easily squeezed out to eat.
- Water- flavor the Zervak (water) using part bones for the pilaf.
- Plov Seasoning- can be found in most European Markets or Turkish Stores. It has Barbaris in the seasoning which is an Authentic spice to making this Ancient dish.
- Cumin- both cumin seeds and ground cumin is required.
How To Make Traditional Uzbek Plov in a Kazan Over Fire?
To make Uzbek Plov you will need a Kazan with a Wood Fire Stove Stand. Furthermore, depending on how quickly you want to regulate your stove there are propane-style stoves available too.
- To begin, heat the Kazan over high heat. This can be made over a propane cooking stove. Fry the meat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want to cut the meat into large chunks.
- Add the onions and fry for about 10 minutes until translucent. Using a slotted spoon stir in part of the carrots and fry for about 5 minutes (if you throw all in, it will mush towards the end.)
- Add the water, cumin, salt, half the raisins, 2 Tbsp of Plov Seasoning, and 1 whole bulb of garlic. Simmer this over med-low heat for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Be sure to regulate the fire during this time.
- After the Zervak has simmered over an hour, bring the water to a rapid boil and add the remaining carrots, raisins, bulb of garlic, rice, 1 liter of water, and 1 Tbsp of cumin. Keep boiling scraping the rice off the sides of the Kazan towards the center. Allow water to evaporate halfway. Do not mix the rice with the meat you only want to scrape the sides towards the center, so the rice doesn’t stick.
- Cover Plov with the lid and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Allow the fire to die out and don’t open the Kazan.
- Serve with Shakarob (a tomato and onion salad.)
Chef’s Tip: Season the beef overnight with salt and pepper to tenderize the meat.
What Rice Is Best to Use For Making Uzbek Plov?
The best rice to use for plov is jasmine or basmati rice. However, long-grain brown rice like Uncle Ben’s rice can be used too, just adjust the water accordingly as brown rice calls for more water. Uncle Ben’s long grain rice has a “fall-apart” texture which doesn’t stick together, and some people like that. Jasmine rice will give you the stickier consistency that I prefer in plov. The rice in the photo was from Basmati rice.
Choose long-grain rice as short-grain rice can get mushy for a rice dish like Plov.
What Cuts of Meat should I use in Plov?
Plov is traditionally made with lamb, but beef can interchangeably be used. Cuts of meat that have a good amount of fat and bone in them give the best flavor, such as chuck roast, ribs, or shanks. Lamb chops are pricier and can be mixed and matched with beef for fantastic results. Some other cuts to consider in lamb selections are bone-in shoulder, bone-in leg, sirloin chops, or shanks. You can even throw some bald marrow bones for additional flavor and remove them afterward.
Beef tenderloin can be used, but I’d mix it with some bone-in cuts like beef chuck, roast, rib eye, short ribs, or steaks.
How Long Should I Cook Plov?
From start to finish, the whole process takes about 4-5 hours of cooking time depending on how the fire is regulated, so, plan ahead of time. If you are using a propane stove stand the heat will take much quicker to regulate throughout the whole cooking process.
It is important to simmer the meat in the water (Zervak) for over an hour for fall-off-the-bone meat.
What Size Kazan?
A [eafl id="18729" name="12-Liter Kazan" text="12-liter Kazan"] serves up to 20 people. It makes enough for a heaping liter of rice (2 kg) and 5 pounds of beef. If you are hosting a wedding event or a camping trip with more than 50 people you may want to invest in a 22-liter Kazan.
Is Beef Pilaf Healthy?
Absolutely! Rice, meat, and veggies are full of protein to give you strength and keep you going! Use healthy oils or animal fat when sauteing.
Is Rice Gluten-Free?
How Much Does Uzbek Plov Serve?
A heaping liter (2kg) of uncooked rice will serve up to 20 people. Uzbek Plov is perfect for hosting a big dinner gathering or event and leftovers serve lunch. Since everything is made in one pot clean-up is easy.
What Sides Go With Russian Plov?
How To Store Plov?
Leftover Plov stores well in the refrigerator and freezes very well.
Storing: Keep refrigerated for up to 4-6 days in an airtight container.
To reheat: heat in a 350°F oven covered, until hot and heated thoroughly. Plov can also be microwaved in 2-minute intervals with a splash of water to re-hydrate the rice. You can also fry leftovers in a lightly greased non-stick skillet until heated thoroughly.
Can you Freeze Plov?
Yes! Like fried rice, plov freezes well. Cool and freeze prepared plov in freezer bags. Keep frozen for up to 6 months.
Plov is a very freezer-friendly meal! Make a big portion and put some in the freezer for a busy day when you don’t have time to cook.
To Reheat Frozen Plov in the Oven: bake in a pre-heated 350°F oven for around 1 1/2 hours.
For Heating Instructions In The Skillet: Cook frozen plov in a skillet with a splash of water to re-hydrate the rice and cook covered until hot.
Do You Rinse Rice For Plov?
I do rinse the rice for Kazan Plov and soak my rice in water and 1 heaping Tablespoon of salt while the other ingredients are being prepped. Rinsing the rice removes excess starch, which yields better texture in the Uzbek Pilaf.
Handy Tools To Make Plov:
- Slotted Spoon– skimmer spoon to cook Plov with. Very handy to stir the meat and rice
- 12-Liter Kazan– serves up to 20 people
- Wood Fire Stove Stand– compatible for a Kazan
- Plov Seasoning– recommended as it has Barbaris spice
- Cumin Seeds– authentic Plov has cumin seeds
- Sharp Knife– to cut the carrots (there are lots of carrots to chop for Uzbek Plov)
- Large Plastic Tray– to carry all the ingredients outdoor
- Gallon Pitcher– for adding water to the Kazan
- Outdoor Propane Stove– a great option if you don’t want to deal with a fire stove.
Tips To Make The BEST Uzbek Plov:
- Simmer the meat (Zervak) over an hour for fall-off-the-bone meat!
- Use cumin seeds and ground cumin for savory and delicious Plov.
- Invest in a Kazan for entertaining guests!
- Look for Plov Seasonings found online or in Russian Markets, they will enhance the rice pilaf!
- Rinse the rice well to remove any excess starch. You don’t want mushy rice.
- Use a whole bulb of garlic for a beautiful presentation and savory flavor.
More Rice Recipes To Make:
- Fried Rice Recipe
- Teriyaki Chicken Fried Rice Recipe
- One-Pot Mushroom Rice Recipe
- Creamy Spinach Rice
- Baked Rice Pudding Recipe
How To Make Uzbek Plov in a Kazan:
How To Make Uzbek Plov in Kazan
- 12-Liter Kazan
- slotted spoon
- Large bowls
- 2 1/2 cups sunflower oil
- 5 lbs beef (bone-in chunks and tenderloin cut into big chunks)
- 5 lbs rice (heaping Liter rinsed and soaked in 1 Tbsp of salt)
- 3 small onions (halved and thinly sliced)
- 4 lbs carrots (cut into matchsticks)
- 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 4 Tbsp salt (divided)
- 2 cups raisins
- 14 cups water (divided)
- 2 Tbsp Plov Seasoning
- 2 garlic heads (lightly cleaned)
How To Cook Plov in a Kazan:
- Heat the oil in a Kazan over high heat (this can be made over a propane cooking stove.)
- Fry the meat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onions and fry for about 10 minutes or until translucent.
- Using a slotted spoon stir in part of the carrots and fry for about 5 minutes (if you throw them all in, it will mush towards the end.)
- Add 10 cups of water, 1 tsp ground cumin, 3 Tbsp salt, half the raisins, 2 heaping Tbsp of Plov Seasoning, and 1 whole bulb of garlic. Simmer this covered, over med-low heat for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Be sure to regulate the fire during this time. You want a slow simmer.
- After an hour, bring the water back to a rapid boil and add the remaining carrots, raisins, the other garlic bulb, drained rice, 1 Tbsp of cumin seeds, and 1 liter of water. Boil over high until half of the liquid evaporates scrapping the sides towards the center to make a hill so the rice doesn't stick to the sides, (about 20 minutes, DO NOT STIR.)
- Place a dinner plate over the top and Cover the Kazan with the lid. Simmer over low for 45 minutes. Allow the fire to die out and don't open the Kazan. Serve with Shakarob (a tomato and onion salad.)
- Shakarob Salad: Toss 5 large beefsteak tomatoes (cut in half then thinly sliced), 2 onions (cut the same way), 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 3 Tbsp vinegar, 3 Tbsp oil, and 1 tsp sugar together.