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Pilaf: history of origin and pilaf recipes

And every time I was amazed at the unusual excited state that encompassed all those present when a huge sooty cauldron was carried out to the courtyard. The presentation began … And the finale was not so important in it (although, of course, taste, aftertaste, a feeling of satiety also mattered), as well as the very fact of your presence, blissful anticipation … Pilaf is a slow and unhurried affair.

Every self-respecting culinary amateur will say that he can cook this dish. At least he himself is absolutely sure of this, and it is useless to argue with him.


Yes, because in Soviet times few people thought about what plov is, naively believing that it was some kind of porridge from "cooked rice in a special way".

AND "The book about tasty and healthy food" recommended to workers domestic canned food "Eastern Pilaf" as a product "consisting of good lamb meat, rice, onions, carrots, raisins, salt, red pepper"which can only be heated and eaten.

Then, when culinary historians (including Pokhlebkin) finally took up this issue, it was decided to divide the pilaf into "Uzbek" (rice is cooked with meat) and "Azerbaijani" (separately).

Although in different countries you can find a lot of variations that combine both methods.

No wonder the Turkish saying says that there are so many types of pilaf, as many cities in the Muslim world. In Russia, a couple of centuries ago, a standard recipe was adopted, close to the Uzbek, or the so-called Ferghana, variant. Close — no more.

We will not go into details, because even the most accurate description (and there are a lot of them in the culinary books) will not help us — for the correct Uzbek pilaf, an Uzbek is needed first and foremost.

So, what is plov, and where did it come from in Russia?

In the culinary dictionary of Vasily Levshin, published at the end of the XVIII century, there is no such thing yet, however, this book was rather "oriented" to the west.

But the gourmet Derzhavina meets: "There is a glorious Westphalian ham, / There are links of Astrakhan fish, / There pilaf and pies stand"… Finally, Dahl is already trying to explain this term: "Pilaf, melt, pilaf (Tatar and Turkish dish) — rice porridge with raisins, steep, crumbly and watered with baked butter; sometimes with lamb, chicken, stained saffron".

The etymological dictionary of the Russian language M. Vasmera gives a simplified version: "Pilaf — from Turkish "pilaf" — cool rice porridge".

Actually the word "pilaf" came to the Russian language from the Türks through the Tatars and comes from the Turkish "pilaf"which was borrowed by many European languages: English — pilaw, pilau; German — Pilaw and French — pilaf, pilau.

No wonder the count of Monte Cristo tried pilaf in Constantinople, and Dumas father, as you know, knew a lot about cooking.

And even in the Spanish paella there is something from the Turkish "pilawa".

It turns out that plov is first of all rice, everything else is from evil: in Turkish cookbooks and restaurant menus a section "Rice dishes" called Pilavlar. It would seem that everything is simple.

Not really: in this section "default" usually include and … pasta. Even such a respected publication as the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedia informed readers that plov is "food in the Caucasus, prepared from different cereals: Saracin millet, wheat and semi-branded cereals, as well as noodles"…

It turns out that rice (in ancient times in Russia it was called Sarachin millet) is not necessary for modern pilaf-pilav!

Now it’s clear why the Catalan fishermen prepare their version of paella, falling asleep into a paeller, not rice, but thin vermicelli, keeping everything else unchanged, including seafood and cooking technology (although the name of the dish turns into fideua).

However, they argue that pasta is much better than rice emphasize the taste and aroma "sea ​​reptiles"… In Greece and Cyprus plov is made from crushed bulgur-wheat (and is often called "wedding"), and in Iraq, a lentil version of this dish with a difficult to pronounce name — mejedrah. Even pilaf is cooked from peas and corn … Why are there pasta and bulgur! AT "Cooking Guide for Military Units and Institutions of the Soviet Army and Navy", published in 1964, two recipes are given, and both recommend frying lamb or pork pieces, pour them with hot water, salt, put a browned tomato, bring to a boil, and then "add enumerated, washed and pre-soaked in cold water for 1.5–2 hours … pearl barley".

Mix well and bring to readiness.

So much for plov!

Differences in methods of cooking pilaf are also associated with flavoring additives: Indians, for example, add cinnamon or sandalwood fried in vegetable oil to their pilau, Azerbaijanis add saffron, Greeks and Cypriots like onions, spices and tomatoes, and Tatars can cook a pilaf with fish.

The French in their favorite version of pilaf — pilaff de crevettes, obviously borrowed from the Spanish neighbors, put shrimp, although they can put snails, and in Louisiana "french" for some reason they call pilaf with poultry meat.

In the end, I would not hesitate to call "plov" Louisiana Jambalaya — Creole-Cajun dish of rice, chicken (pork), smoked sausages, tomatoes, shrimps, crabs and even oysters.

Finally, the Turks themselves, who can easily make pilaf from Bulgur wheat and "kushkush" — small balls of egg dough, cook it "rice versions" — with cinnamon raisins, nuts and cinnamon.

For example, a pilaf named after the formidable Ali Pasha, the ruler of 1.5 million citizens, is golden crumbly rice with pine nuts and small juicy meatballs (made from lamb with the addition of pine nuts, soaked in water, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper).

Let’s stop at this. I was in France — well, they do not know how to make pilaf there! I have been to Turkey, tried Ali Pasha’s pilaf — tasty, but not "smoothly".

Both versions are prepared in the Azerbaijani way (rice separately, stuffing separately), and I love Uzbek, more precisely Bukhara.

And I was lucky.

You don’t have to go far behind him — in the town of Primorsk on the coast of the Gulf of Finland, just 130 km from St. Petersburg, now my friend Kokandets lives, whose pilaf is divine and absolutely classical. He prepares it only in the yard (try to siphon cotton oil with bone and fat tail fat in a tiny kitchen), in an inconceivable cauldron (a lot of people come), exclusively on firewood and with a huge amount of carrots … He once told me about it :

"Pilau is not rice or lamb, pilaf is carrot, and the correct one".

And he dumped on the table from the bag a pile of yellow, Central Asian, as he said, "morkvy". I adore garlic in his swim (he sticks his heads into freshly filled rice — they get everything to me later) and this delicious Uzbek slowness. And where to rush when such a wonderful company has gathered … In fact, this is a good job to cook pilaf.

Correct. And, of course, male …

Plov recipes

No wonder the Turkish saying says that there are so many types of pilaf, as many cities in the Muslim world.

In Russia, a couple of centuries ago, a certain one was adopted.

See below.

Pilaf is a slow and unhurried affair.

For proper Uzbek pilaf, an Uzbek is needed first and foremost.

Catalan fishermen are preparing their version of the paella, falling asleep in the paeller is not rice, but thin vermicelli.

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