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Rice pilaf as ethnic specialty

Updated: 2014-03-28
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Once a specialty of Uzbek cuisine, pilaf is a dish made from rice or wheat boiled in a seasoned liquid in which meat or fish has been cooked. Pilaf is called “Po Lao” by local people. Some ethnic groups eat it with their hands. In Chinese, pilaf is called “Zhua Fan”. Han people also learned to use their hands to eat this specialty. And it is a favorite among people of all ethnic groups in Huocheng.

Main ingredients of the dish are rice, carrot, mutton/beef, vegetable oil/mutton fat. Salt, onion (also called Pi Ya Zi among western people of China) as seasoning, plus raisins, dried apricots and sugar, according to the traditional Uzbek pilaf recipe. Normally, pilaf uses mutton or beef. However, chicken, duck, goose, wild chicken and pigeon meat can also be used. Then, mix high quality oil with mutton fat. The proportion of rice to carrot is 1:2, and the proportion of rice to oil is 5:1. Approaches to cook pilaf are similar, and the key is heat control.

Directions: Fry prepared meat to golden yellow in boiling oil and put aside. Then, add salt, onion and carrot slices into the pan, until carrot slices turn soft, adding water and other seasonings. When water is boiled, put rice into the pan using a ladle and lay the fried meats on top. Make several air holes in the rice and place a lid on the pan. Boil over high heat for 10-15 minutes, then turn heat to low for another 30 minutes. Before eating, mix the rice, carrot and oil, and turn out onto a platter or bowl, and add the stewed meat.

Pilaf is a top-grade ethnic food, with good color and taste. At the same time, it is very rich in nutrients.