Uzbek pilaf is a beautiful and unpretentious dish that is loved and cooked in other countries. There are even legends about it. One of them is as follows:
Once the son of a Bukhara ruler fell madly in love with a beauty from a poor family, but because of class differences he could not marry her. The young man began to wither, lived in seclusion, refused from food, and as a result his well-being deteriorated sharply. His inquiries about the causes of the disease gave no results: the patient simply did not want to talk about anything. Then Ibn Sina decided to determine the disease by pulse diagnosis. He was an incomparable master of determining any disease by the pulse. Ibn Sina ordered a man to be brought to him who knew the names of all the quarters of the city. When he was brought, Ibn Sina began to observe the pulse of the patient, and the connoisseur of the city began to call loudly the names of the quarters. At the Pronunciation of ( one of them the young man's pulse quickened Then a man was found who ' knew by name all the tenants 1 the named quarter. When one craftsman's name was uttered the young man became very excited. This artisan was brought in and asked to give the names of his children. When he said his daughter's name, the scholar noticed a strong heartbeat in the patient. Finding out that the young man was in love with the craftsman's daughter, Ibn Sina prescribed a treatment: to give the emaciated groom once a week "palov-osh". Until the strength is restored, and then play a wedding.
According to a popular etymology the name of the dish "palov-osh" consists of the initial letters of all products included in it:
P - piyoz — (onions);
A - ayoz — (carrots);
L - lakhm — (meat);
O - olio — (fat);
V - vet — (salt);
O - ob — (water) and
Sh - shaly — (rice).
Palov is one of the achievements of Uzbek cookery and the most favorite dish of our people. Today, like in the past, pilaf is cooked for holidays and weddings; guests are welcomed with pilaf. Holiday pilaf is a pilaf that has gathered all the possible toppings and additions: peas, raisins, dolma, quince, garlic and many others. In the past, pilaf was the food of wealthy people. The general population cooked it only as a festive dish and for receiving guests, and in poor families pilov was a very rare dish. To this day, pilaf is like a mirror of wealth and prosperity, the social status of the owner.
The decoration and serving of the dish are a very important detail. In Ferghana valley pilaf is served as ‘pile on one big dish and on top there are pieces of meat, quince, garlic, dolma, meatballs and other products used for cooking pilaf and sprinkled with chopped green onions, vinegar, sliced radish, radish, pomegranate seeds, fresh tomato, cucumber and onion Salads (Achchik chuk) are served separately. After the pilaf is served thickly brewed green tea and in Tashkent - black tea. It is not recommended to eat pilaf in full, but not to finish it, then only it will be good for you. In 2016, the culture and traditions of pilaf cooking were included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Rice, carrot, mutton and fat of sheep's tail are the main components of pilaf. As any oriental dish, pilaf needs spices and spices: zira, sesame raisins, black pepper, peas and shines for color. Without these spices, Uzbek pilaf loses its flavor qualities. However, experienced cooks say that the taste of the dish depends primarily on the rice. As you know, spices give the dish not only a taste, but also a peculiar flavor. It is impossible to cook pilaf without loving it and it is impossible not to love it. This calorie-dense meal gives you strength and boosts your mood.
According to culinary experts, even during the cooking of pilaf the aroma lifts your spirits. Every male Uzbek is obliged to know how to cook this dish, and this art is still a source of pride and competition. Competitions in cooking pilaf are held in Choyhonas (Choyhona - Teahouse), accompanying the leisure time in the circle of friends. To date, scientists and ethnographers have established about sixty varieties of pilaf, although, according to connoisseurs, the range of this honorable dish exceeds a hundred. One of the main classic variants of pilaf, Kavurma palov (pilaf with frying), is widely spread in Tashkent and Fergana Valley. They say that if you try Andijan pilaf once, all the others will not seem fine enough. It is cooked in teahouses, when there is a competition in its preparation between men. Another name for it is Choyhona pilaf. Choyhona pilaf is a favorite dish of the indigenous population.