Inspired by Marco Polo Netflix series.
There are tens of pilaf variations within Silk Road geographical areas.
Shown here is the simplest and most basic recipe with minimum ingredients. Flavorful and truly delicious. Original pilaf comes with the lamb. Instead of lamb pieces any other meat including ground beef can be used. With ground beef cooking time is about 35 mins (add rice to the pot after cooking ground beef for 10 minutes).
Note: original pilaf has to have a lot of meat. The recipe below is a lighter version, only 1/2 pound meat. Divided between four people, this amount of meat is only for taste, not for adding calories.
- 3 Tbps cooking oil
- 1 large onion, cut
- ½ pound meat (lamb, beef or chicken) cut into stew size pieces
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp caraway seeds (optional)
- salt/pepper to taste
- 2 and a half cups of rice (basmati preferred)
- 4 cups of boiled hot water
- 3 cloves garlic
- Rinse rice under warm water in a deep bowl until water is clear
- Pour in cold water to cover rice completely and set aside
- In a thick bottomed heavy pot heat the oil
- Saute onions until golden
- Add carrots and continue frying for 1 minute
- Add meat and stir until it browns a bit
- Add turmeric, paprika, pepper, caraway seeds (optional)
- Pour in hot water 1 inch above the contents
- Salt to your taste
- Simmer over low to medium heat covered, for 30 min
- Drain rice and add to the pot
- Do NOT stir, rice should be covering all contents below
- Add water to the pot until it is ½″ (half an inch) or 2.5 cm above the top of the rice
- Sprinkle a small pinch of salt on top of water which covers rice
- Cover the pot with its lid and simmer pilaf for another 20 min
- Stir pilaf well, mixing up meet, carrots and rice
- Add minced garlic to pilaf and cook for 5 more min in a covered pot
Images of Silk Road pilaf cooking process: