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I've been cooking pilaf for yonks so I gots da feel.

My finger can tell me when there's enough water to cook the rice.

Pilafs are all over Turkish cuisine like a rash. Some made with cracked wheat instead of rice.


One pot. Pretty quick. Simple put together.

As you move further east 'pilaf' gives way to 'polo' so that in Iran the polo is lighter and more delicate and the mix of ingredients more selective.

And the polo is more a side dish.

But moving still further along the Silk Road, 'polo' gives way to 'plov'.

In Uzbekistan, 'plov' is a signature dish -- even an obsession.

"Plov could be considered a pan-Asian dish; whether Uzbek plov, Uyghur polo, Indian pulao, Afghan palaw, Iranian polow, or Turkish pilaf, the basic idea is the same: rice and oil. "

  Plov is the king of Uzbek cuisine, served during a wedding feast, to celebrate the arrival of honorable guests, at the crowded major celebrations as well as within the family circle. Neither a friendly dinner nor funeral repast can do without plov. Dishes made of rice are known in almost in every country of the region, but the Uzbek plov, the recipe for which was created in ancient times, is claimed by locals to be a masterpiece of culinary art. There are many folk parables and legends about the healing and nourishing qualities of plov. Uzbek people believe that the very name for plov - "osh-polov" contain the first letters of the names of the dish basic ingredients: onion, carrot, meat, oil, salt, water and rice. - By Rustam Miszaev

Of your options, the simplicity of the plov convergence ensures the flavours are layered as each element gets a taste guernsay.

Onion, Rice, Water, Lamb or Beef or Chicken,Garlic Bulbs, Carrot, Crushed Cumin Seeds.


Heres a great run through on the DIY. LINK

If you prefer a different method follow the links in the text. The text is excellent.

As for my own POV: always soak your rice (one half hour here in SEQ) and rinse it.Get used to your finger as a measure: knuckle by knuckle depth.

For a quick over view and a recipe full of short cuts, this vid is a good introduction to plov cooking.

Plov is served with salads (esp onion based), yogurt, &/or pickles. I find a serving of kimchi on offer suits the enjoyment of plov wonderfully.

You may ask, 'Meat and carrots? Where's the exotic thrill in that?"

I say, "You'll be surprised."

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Do you use brown rice, Dave? I use Biodynamic brown rice, grown in northern NSW without irrigation. It's very satisfying to eat once cooked in the pressure cooker. Pre-soaked and rinsed does help cooking time. Though I don't get the separate grains I get when using really long-grain white rice. I can live with that. Sounds like a good bunch of recipes to get familiar with.

Kabsa from Saudi Arabia is a bit similar.  So too I think Paella and albeit wetter, Risotto. 

The problem with brown rice is that it takes longer to cook so your veges would mash -- unless you adjusted time sequences. Indeed, cracked wheat (burghal) pilaf cooks q

Yes kabsa is a pilaf and pilafs do extend across the Middle East and in Greek cuisine. But in the ME and further east they are indulged in like the similar paella  is among the Spanish. Indeed there are many pilaf type rice dishes in Spain.

Risotto is indeed wetter but it is also more actively cooked and creamed up by the cheese.

However, my original point is that plov is indeed special.

Yeah, I'm going to look at the Plov.  It's not one that I know, so I want to give it a good "sussing."  New dishes rock my world. 

Oh plov is great and I say that after years of cooking pilafs and their kin.

I love the Greek version of Rice with Mussels – Midopilafo -- and a Tex/Mex hybrid  dish we've been eating for 30 years, 'Texas Rice and Beef (or Lamb)' which is based on meat, sweet peppers, toms and olives. Indeed the only time I eat spinach --as spinach -- is is the form of Greek Spinach and Rice – Spanakorizo.

For those into paella -- here's a site dedicated to the unique form: LINK. I always look upon paella as a festival and expensive dish you don't want to muck up.

And who can afford saffron ?

Whereas your everyday pilaf is come as it may as impulse dictates. Risotto takes too much effort at the stove top.

I came back to a rice focus because of recent research about its Resistant Starch content via a cooling and reheating hack. Same thing applies to pasta. See LINK.

Since I'm on a reduced carbohydrate diet I try to keep my starch consumption  down and eating rice and pasta leftovers is a great way to do that. So long, that is, you protect yourself  from Bacillus cereus with any rice reheat.

Th Resistant Starch is a prebiotic when your everyday ferment is a probiotic.

It's my current 'thing'...

[As it is with the CSIRO]

Needless to say, plov reheats up delish.

Note: Earlier post meant to say: "Indeed, cracked wheat (burghal) pilaf cooks quicker than rice."

Interesting to read that you are on reduced-carb diet, Dave.  Have you recently made that decision.  It is something I have been looking at trying.  More like a ketogenic diet, I would love to see what you think about low carb diet.

Another thing, I did not know that rice contained arsenic.  I love any rice type complete meal e.g. risotta, pilaf or rice with leftovers.

I was on 'low carb' for 5 years then slipped off it for the reasons explained HERE by  Jenny Ruhl --although I've also read her books. Among that I was interested in LCHF -- low carb/high fat.

The problem being with ketogenic diets that if you 'over consume' on occasion you blow your bank account big time.

However, this time around I'm primarily only reducing my starch consumption to around 20 grams of carbs per meal with a focus on good quality carbohydrate.

That works out usually to a give or take 75-100 grams per day of the dense carbs and it's very manageable.Indeed for many conditions -- like diabetes 2 that I have -- it is the maintenance sweet spot.See HERE.

Under ketogenic menu conditions, a bowl of rice would have elevated my blood  sugars sharply.It's like being stalked.  Now I can eat a rice dish and expect to have a reading at least under 8 or 9 mmol,  two hours after.

I also point out that if I eat the cooked rice (or pasta or potato) cold or reheated , the carb impact is much less due to the conversion of some of its carb loading to Resistant Starch so that my blood sugars are less impacted.The food's Glycemic Index also falls sharply.

Win. Win.

The body treats RS's impact like roughage --although the  gut microbes do not -- and it passes thru undigested. Thus the name: 'resistant' to digestion.

Resistant starch is also known as the 3rd type of fibre.

True, I have found that eating cold spuds encourage the good gut bacteria that we need to work our body machine. Didn't realise rice had similar effect. 

I feel that I might try about 50 grams of carbs per day,  with some healthy proteins and fats. Eggs, wild caught fish, coconut food fats, butter are good and leave out the bread, sugars sweets etc.

I can't go without my small amount of oats in the morning and will take onboard the hint of preparing them beforehand. My specialist wants me to rid myself of a kilo a month.

One of the better attributes of a low carb diet is that carbs beget carbs: and reducing them also leads to suppression of appetite. This is why, I believe, low carb diets work beyond the initial fluid loss. You eat less anyway.

Weight loss without hunger! (But can we sustain it--or any diet?)

It is not unusual to skip breakfast on a low carb diet as the hunger isn't there.

Of course if diabetic you need to monitor your blood sugars post meal to make sure you don't go into hypoglycemia. Testing yourself, one to two hours after every meal as you reduce your carbs is a good idea.

That's the best diabetic diet I reckon.

Indeed I think Jenny Ruhl's approach is the best diabetic management system: test after each meal and adjust your menu accordingly without getting caiught up in nutritional angst. After a time you can tell easily what potential  impact is resting on your plate.

What you want -- long term & sustainable  -- is to aim for 'normal' -- like 6-7 mmol 1-2 hrs after each meal.

Of course the other problem is that some diabetic meds encourage weight gain. LINK.

You could have great blood sugars, and eat low carb, but grow bigger nonetheless.

Unfortunately managing diabetes isn't something that is stable  I find so diet is only one aspect that may be more reliable than others.

There are other tricks: certain foods like Resistant Starch, sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes (inulin)...turmeric/pepper and cinnamon...chocolate as in pure cocoa...fermented foods(yogurts and vegetables)...sourdough bread...vinegar (like apple cider vinegar.)...exercise, especially weight training and wine...etc.

No diabetes so far Dave, but it's the first question doctors ask me. I just need to eat healthy food and also reduce hunger thereby controlling what i choose to eat.  You have given me good incentive to carry on.  

But 100 grams of oats (one cup)  will fetch you 66 grams of carbohydrate --so there's your ration for the day before 10am.No room for bread (one slice 14-16 grams carbs) or rice or spuds...and you have to fit in the veges.

That's why the Paleos and Ketogenics gravitate to no grain diets...

En route you also forgo many of the nutritional advantages of grains.

To make up for the caloric shortfall you have to eat either more fats or protein. Thus Low Carb High Fat (LCHF)--as the Swedes would have it -- lots of fat from dairy and oils and fish and meat: instead of carbohydrates.

I'm not bemoaning the physiology, I just think it is preferable to focus  on the reasonable if you want to make it work long term.

If you calculate you current carbohydrate consumption you can get a better picture of where you are at and what you can begin to deduct in order  to reduce your intake and bring it down.

The Australian RDI for carbohydrate consumption  is 230-310g/day.

Ah but I cook the brown rice in the pressure cooker in batches. When cool, bag up and freeze in 2-cup lots. That way the veges only get as much cooking as they need.


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