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A Russian comfort food, easy to make, one pot rice recipe - Plov (Плов) or Palava

Palava Pilaf Recipe (Плов)

A classic Russian comfort food, with origins in Central Asia. Easy to make one pot rice recipe, packed with flavor and spices. So easy to make, I can eat the leftovers for days - Palava Pilaf Recipe (Плов рецепт)
Course Dinner, Main
Cuisine Russian, Tajikistan, Uzbek
Keyword Palava, Pilaf Recipe, Plov Pilaf
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 1 kg carrots cut in matchsticks
  • 1 kg beef or lamb cut into 1" chunky pieces
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • cups water
  • 3 cups medium grain rice
  • 1 cup raisins
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a frying pan over high heat, add oil and fry the onions until they are caramelized and well done, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside.
  • Add about 1 cup of oil in a frying pan, and fry carrots for about 8-10 minutes. Carrots must be well cooked and caramelized, but not burnt. Set aside.
  • There should be about ½ cup of oil in the frying pan, use the leftover oil from the carrots if it's there, add if necessary. Heat as the frying pan until oil is almost smoking, and fry the cubed beef for about 8-10 minutes. The water from the meat must be released, then cooked out, allowing the beef to be a deep golden brown colour. Add about 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper to the beef only after the water has been released or season to taste.
  • Add the fried onions and fried carrots and the beef to a large stock pot. There should be a generous covering of flavourful oil in the bottom of the pan. Too much oil and the Palava will be oily, too little oil and it will lack flavour.
  • Wash the medium grain rice several times, until all the starch is washed away and the water runs clear. Add the rice to the meat mixture. Using about ½ cup of water, deglaze the frying pan and add to the stock pot.
  • Add 3½ cups of boiling water to the stock pot. Add 1 cup of raisins and 1 - 1 ½ teaspoons of salt to the mix. Bring water to a boil and cook for a few minutes, until the water starts to absorb. Mix it all together, scraping from the bottom for a final mix (some recipes say not to, but it's going to be ok, I promise). Place the lid on the stock pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes until rice is cooked and fluffy. Enjoy with dill pickles and with pickled tomatoes.