Disputes about which pilaf recipe is the most “correct", like all similar ones, have no solution.
It is much more reasonable to try all possible options and choose the ones you like.
All national cuisines have their own characteristics and dignity, Azerbaijani - not the exception.
For most hostesses, Azerbaijani plov is preferable due to the specifics of rice cooking, in this case it is easier to cook it to the necessary condition.
The variety of products that are served with rice is such that any gourmet will find a recipe to taste.
Azerbaijani plov - general principles of cooking
• The peculiarity of Azerbaijani pilaf is that rice for them is prepared separately from the other components and does not mix with them even when served.
• The taste of the finished dish depends largely on properly cooked rice, as it is the main part of the pilaf, which occupies more than half of its volume.
• Boiled rice should not become limp during cooking and become sticky as porridge. It should be well cooked while remaining crumbly at the same time.
• To achieve this result, rice should be steamed. When boiling rice in water, grits are put only in boiling water, and boiled only until half cooked. Rice in a cauldron is brought to full readiness, languishing on the minimum fire under a lid for half an hour.
• Before cooking the rice cereal, be sure to rinse well with cold water until it is clear, and then soak in lukewarm water for twenty minutes.
• Boiled rice must be washed with hot water, and some of it is separated in order to color.
• Dyeing rice produces saffron tincture, which is made in melted butter mixed with a teaspoon of boiling water.
• So that the rice does not burn while cooking is ready for the bottom of the dish, pita bread is laid out on the bottom, smeared with butter that has been dissolved, and only then rice is put on it.
• Lavash can be prepared by yourself, but to save time, it is suitable and purchased. • Azerbaijani pilaf cooked with meat, fish, chicken. There is a recipe for the kids - with raisins on milk.
• Meat for pilaf is fried, and then stewed with spices, spices and fruit, or meatballs are prepared from it, which are served with pilau sauce.
Azerbaijani plov with lamb
• 240 grams of rice;
• 400 grams of young lamb, brisket;
• three large onions;
• 160 grams of cherry plum (yellow);
• seedless raisins - 35 grams;
• 150 ml of pomegranate juice;
• 50 grams of butter;
• 0.8 ml saffron tincture.
1. In a large, deep enough pot, pour up to half of boiling water. Cover the top of the pan with gauze, folded in two layers, and tie the pan to the free ends of the gauze so that it does not fall into the water under the weight of the rice. Gauze cloth should not be too stretched, but rather bend a little. Pour well-washed rice on cheesecloth, mash your hands to avoid lumps. On top of the rice, put a piece of butter and cook, covered with a lid, until fully cooked.
2. Cut the brisket of mutton together with the bones into small portions and fry them in a frying pan in your own fat with butter. You need to fry over high heat so that the meat quickly becomes covered with a ruddy crust and does not lose the juice during further preparation.
3. Put chopped onion into a thick-walled cauldron, add washed and slightly dried raisins, cherry plum, pour in pomegranate juice and, adding a little less than a quarter glass of water, simmer, covered with a cauldron for forty minutes, over low heat.
4. Boiled rice and stewed meat is served separately, in different dishes. Greens are put on the table on a separate plate on the table: young garlic, green onion feathers, mint and cress.
Azerbaijani chicken pilaf
• chilled chicken carcass - 900 grams;
• 300 grams of coarse rice;
• 15 grams of almond kernels;
• cherry plum - 150 grams;
• medium sized onion;
• three cloves of garlic, young;
• half a liter of milk;
• 100 grams of butter; • ground cinnamon - 5 grams;
• 100 grams of horse chestnut;
• pomegranate juice - 250 ml;
• half a teaspoon of saffron tincture;
• ground black pepper to taste.
• white wheat flour - 350 grams;
• one egg;
• tablespoon of boiled water;
• 25 grams of butter, 65%, butter;
• fine salt.
1. Beat the egg with salt and water. Add to the flour and knead a fairly thick dough, as for noodles and roll it into a layer, from one to one and a half millimeters thick. Fry the pita bread on both sides in a dry frying pan.
2. Boil rice until half cooked in slightly salted boiling water. While the rice is being cooked, remove foam from the broth surface all the time. When the surface of the seeds is soft, but at the same time inside they will be slightly hard, throw the rice into a colander and rinse it with cold boiled water. Color the rice with saffron.
3. Lubricate the lavash melted on the fire with oil and place it in the cauldron, with the oiled side up. Put one and a half cups of unpainted rice mixed with 50 grams of melted butter on the pita bread, level it. Top with the saffron-colored rice, put the remaining oil on it and stew under a tightly covered lid for half an hour.
4. Well burn chestnuts in a dry frying pan, pour them with boiling water, remove the peel and bring to readiness, boil over low heat in milk.
5. In roasted butter, fry finely chopped onion with chopped garlic to light transparency, add almonds and fry a little more. Add chestnuts, cherry plum, lightly salt and simmer for seven minutes on low heat.
6. Rinse the chicken carcass thoroughly and rub it well from the inside with salt mixed with cinnamon and black pepper. The belly is not necessary to cut.
7. Stuff the carcass with a chestnut mixture and tightly sew with culinary thread.
8. Put stuffed poultry on a baking sheet and bake until cooked in the oven at 200 degrees, systematically pouring it with pomegranate juice.
9. Divide the finished chicken into portions and place them in the center of a flat dish, and place the stuffing stuffed out of it and pour all the pomegranate juice around it. 10. Serve the rice separately from the meat, decorating it with herbs.
Azerbaijani pilaf with beef
• beef (tenderloin) - 600 grams;
• two and a half cups of rice;
• 120 grams of melted butter, butter;
• two large onions;
• ground cloves - a small pinch;
• Cinnamon - on the tip of a knife.
• purchase thin pita bread.
1. Cut onion into small cubes and fry it until browned in a pan in melted butter, seasoned with cinnamon and cloves.
2. In a separate pan, also in butter, fry small pieces of washed and slightly dried beef.
3. Fold the meat in a cauldron or a small thick-walled pan, shifting each layer of it with the onion fried with spices. Pour in a third of a glass of water, add salt to your taste and simmer until ready.
4. Boil well-washed rice in half-salted water until half cooked. Do not pour the rice for cooking with cold water, use only boiling water. Put the seeds in a colander, rinse. When all the moisture is gone, put the rice in a cauldron, the bottom and sides of which are lined with thin oiled lavash, pour the remaining melted butter on top and bring it to readiness.
5. Place the prepared rice on a plate on a plate, place the stew on top, and pour out the juice released during the stewing over the meat.
Azerbaijani plov, dairy
• round grain rice - 0.5 cups;
• 60 grams of dark raisins;
• 70 grams of creamy “Peasant” butter;
• 250 ml of milk;
• boiled water - 400 ml;
• saffron, tincture - half a teaspoon;
• thin pita bread.
1. Dissolve milk in water and boil. In a still non-boiling milk mixture, add salt and pour in rice-washed rice, mix well. Boil quickly and, reducing the heat to medium, cook the rice until fully cooked.
2. Rinse prepared rice in a colander with hot water. When all the water is drained, transfer the rice to a large sieve lined with gauze and leave to drain for a quarter of an hour.
3. The bottom and walls of the cauldron should be richly lubricated with oil, lining them with pita bread, which will also be oiled. 4. Stir the rice with the washed soaked raisins, transfer everything to the cauldron and protome half an hour, turning on the fire at the very minimum. The lid of the cauldron should be tightly closed.
5. On a small fire, melt the butter well, mix it with saffron tincture and pour the rice over the top with this mixture.
Azerbaijani pilaf from fish
• a pound of fresh sea fish;
• one and a half cups of Khazar rice;
• 100 grams of “traditional” butter;
• raisins - 60 grams;
• two large onion heads;
• ground black pepper;
• fine salt;
• Saffron tincture - 1 ml;
• purchased pita thin.
1. Clean the scales and entrails of the fish, remove all fins and cut into small chunks. Fold the fish in a small bowl, sprinkle with salt and black pepper, mix well and leave for ten minutes.
2. Dip the fish pieces in the flour and fry quickly in hot oil on both sides until light redness. Add the onion sprinkled to transparency, raisins soaked with water, saffron and bring the fish to medium heat over medium heat.
3. Boiled until cooked in lightly salted water, rice, rinse, lightly pat dry. One-third of the color of the rice with saffron and transfer all the rice to the cauldron lined with oiled lavash. At the bottom of the cauldron usual rice, and on top painted.
4. In the center of the rice stained with saffron, make a small depression into which the fish stewed with fruit is placed. Cover the tank tightly with a lid and bring the pilaf to readiness on the lowest heat for 8 minutes.
Azerbaijani lamb pilaf with beans
• thin purchased pita bread - 1 sheet;
• 600 grams of mutton (loin);
• 1 cup of basmati rice;
• bitter white onions - 1 large head;
• 80 grams of dry white beans;
• 70 grams of Kishmish raisins;
• 65% butter - 100 grams;
• on a small pinch of cinnamon and black pepper;
• 1 ml saffron tincture;
1. In a well-melted butter, fry chopped onion to a light amber color. Add to the onions pieces of lamb fried to ruddy, add a third of a glass of boiled cold water, salt. Top up with saffron diluted with two tablespoons of water and simmer the meat until fully cooked. 2. Rice, cooked until half cooked, rinse in hot water and dry in a colander.
3. Boil the beans, pre-soaked in water, until soft, strain the water and mix with the dried rice.
4. Rinse the “kishmish”, fill with hot water for ten minutes, then drain the water, and lightly pour the raisins on a small fire.
5. At the bottom of a thick-walled pot or cauldron, lay a thin pita bread, put the butter, add the saffron tincture and quickly bring it to a roast on the stove. Pour the rice mixed with the beans and bring to a readiness with the lid closed.
6. Slide the prepared rice onto a large flat dish. On the one hand, place the stewed meat with spices, and on the other hand, stewed raisins and pita bread laid out from the cauldron.
Azerbaijani plov with meatballs
• 700 grams of brisket (lamb, beef);
• five small onions;
• one and a half cup long-grain rice;
• 120 grams of “Traditional” butter;
• 15 ml of 3% vinegar;
• 1 tbsp. l tomato paste;
• 0.5 tsp. granulated sugar;
• one milliliter of saffron tincture;
• ground black pepper, fine salt.
1. Clean the meat from excess films, rinse it with cold water and, cut into small pieces, twist it twice in a meat grinder, setting a large grate in it. Twisting the meat a second time, skip the two cleaned onions with the meat grinder.
2. Add some salt to the mince, pepper slightly, knead well and clean for half an hour in the cold.
3. From chilled minced meat with wet hands, form small balls and fry them until golden brown in melted butter.
4. In a separate pan, fry chopped onion, add tomato paste, a tablespoon of boiled water, vinegar, granulated sugar, a little salt and a pinch of black pepper. Stir and continue frying, stirring constantly for two minutes.
5. Fill the meatballs with cooked tomato sauce and simmer them in the sauce on low heat for 8 minutes.
6. Pour the soaked rice soaked in boiling water and boil until ready. Drain, rinse the prepared rice with hot water and discard in a colander. 7. When all the water is gone, color the third part of the rice with saffron, and put the remaining white rice on the plate as a slide and pour it with loose hot oil.
8. Put the dyed part of it over the white rice and place the meatballs with the sauce around the pilaf.
Azerbaijani plov - tricks and useful tips
• If you do not have saffron tincture, you can replace it with a small pinch of turmeric.
• Rice, if possible, choose varieties “Osman” or “Khazar”. However, if there is no such product available, follow the simple rules: the rice grains must be large, whole, “bellied”. The color is white, perhaps with a slightly pinkish tinge.
• Boiled rice in Azerbaijani pilaf is never served hot, the temperature should be sufficient to melt the butter, but no more.
• Those who prepare pilaf in melted butter should definitely consider that there is a risk of softening rice grains too much, please do not forget about it.
• Saffron tincture can be prepared by yourself. To do this, a tablespoon of ground saffron pour 200 ml. vodka and insist for a month. After that, shake well and leave again for a week. Carefully pour the finished tincture into a dark, well-closing container so that the precipitate does not fall into it. Cork tightly and store it only in the refrigerator. Such a tincture can be used not only for making Azerbaijani pilaf, it can tint dough or cream.