Rosh Hashanah Plov with Barberries, Pomegranate, and Quince

Caroline Eden Recipe By and Eleanor Ford
  • Cooking and Prep: 1.5 h
  • Serves: 6
  • No Allergens

A festival in Central Asia demands a large gathering—and of course a large plov. This recipe is celebratory, studded with fruits and spices. For Bukharan Jews, the autumn festival of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) is a perfect occasion to use glorious quinces and pomegranate at the height of their season.

 

Plov should be eaten from one large dish placed on the table to share, each diner digging in their fork.  It is said people form mutual love from a communal plate and the joy of eating plov.

 

(Image is illustrative.)

Ingredients (20)

Main ingredients

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Prepare the Plov

  1. Put the rinsed rice into a large bowl of cold water to soak while you start the recipe. Season the beef with salt and pepper.

  2. Heat the oil in the kazan (see note below) until hot and foaming.

  3. Brown the beef over medium–high heat, in batches if necessary, then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon leaving the oil behind. Lower the heat to medium and add the onions, cumin, and allspice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden.

  4. Return the beef to the pan with any collected juices, the bay leaves, quinces, and a small cupful of water. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down very low, cover the pan, and gently simmer for one hour until the meat is tender.

  5. Spread over the carrot matchsticks, but don’t stir as you want to keep the layers separate. Scatter with the spices and cover and cook for another 10 minutes.

  6. Drain the rice and layer it on top of the carrots. Poke the whole garlic cloves and cinnamon sticks into the rice and flatten the top with the back of a spoon. Scatter over dried barberries or currants. Season very generously with salt and slowly pour in enough boiling water to just cover the top of the rice. Increase the heat and leave the pan uncovered so that the water starts to boil away.

  7. When the liquid has cooked off, make six holes in the rice using the handle of a wooden spoon to help the steam escape. Cover the pan and cook at a low simmer for five minutes. Turn off the heat without removing the lid and leave the dish to steam undisturbed for another 10 minutes. If the rice isn’t cooked, add a splash more boiling water and cover again.

  8. Serve the layers in reverse, first spooning the rice onto the platter, then the carrots, and finally the tender chunks of meat on the top. Rain fresh pomegranate seeds over the top.

Note:

You’ll need a good, heavy-bottomed pan with a tight-fitting lid to make plov. In Uzbekistan, a cast-iron kazan is used; a large cast-iron casserole makes the perfect substitute.

About

Reproduced from Samarkand: Recipes & Stories from Central Asia & The Caucasus with kind permission from the publisher.

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