Enjoying a traditional Uzbek dish called plov

Enjoying a traditional Uzbek dish called plov
By Seamus Kearney

This week we finish our latest series of Postcards by enjoying a traditional Uzbek dinner, with a visit to a top restaurant.

Key facts about Uzbekistan:

  • It’s in Central Asia, with neighbours including Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan & Tajikistan
  • With a population of more than 30 million, the ex-Soviet republic became independent in 1991
  • The total land area is 425,400 km2, with plains covering about four fifths of the territory
  • The average winter temperature is -6 degrees celsius and in summer it rises above 32
  • Almost 80 percent of the population is Uzbek and the main religion is Muslim (88 percent)

Euronews’ Seamus Kearney reported: “The most popular dish here is known as plov, which is the original pilaf of Central Asia. No visit here would be the same without tasting this famous national cuisine.”

In Khodjikent, about 80 kilometres east of the capital, a celebrated plov chef uses the finest ingredients to make this favourite rice and meat dish.

All you need is plov

“Plov has a special place in traditional Uzbek cuisine,” explained plov chef Ikhtiyor Nazarov. “The main ingredients are oil, meat, chick peas, onions, yellow carrots, rice, raisins and spices.”

Plov is served up at major events such as weddings and birthdays, and sometimes one chef can make enough for more than a hundred people.

But it is also very popular in the home and for small gatherings … and the perfect farewell dinner for the Postcards team.