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  • Writer's pictureGehaul Geography

Plov: Azerbaijani symbol of love and support for each other

Azerbaijan's plov, known as pilaf or plov, is a masterpiece of culinary art. Imagine fluffy saffron-infused rice, perfectly cooked and nestled alongside tender lamb chunks, glistening with golden fat. But this is just the beginning. Each bite unravels a tapestry of flavors, textures, and aromas, unique to this vibrant region.

So this national dish reflects the crossroads of cultures this region has been for centuries. The foundation lies in long-grain rice, typically basmati or jazery, cooked to pillowy perfection. Iranian influences shine through in dried fruits and nuts, while Turkish elements are evident in the use of lamb and spices. Local touches emerge through unique ingredients like chestnuts and pomegranates, creating a truly distinct experience.

Gastronomy. Geography game.Gehaul. National dish Azerbaijan. Plov

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 2 cups long-grain rice (such as basmati)

  • 1 pound lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 carrots, chopped

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/4 cup barberries

  • 1/4 cup golden raisins

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Rinse the rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside.

  2. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the lamb and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the lamb from the pot and set aside.

  3. Add the onion and carrots to the pot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

  4. Add the rice, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, and turmeric to the pot and stir to combine.

  5. Add 4 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through.

  6. Stir in the barberries, raisins, and cilantro.

  7. Top with the lamb and serve hot.


  • For a richer flavor, use lamb shoulder or leg meat.

  • If you don't have barberries, you can substitute dried cranberries or cherries.

  • To make a vegetarian version of plov, substitute vegetable broth for the water and use vegetable oil instead of lamb fat.

Savor the taste of Azerbaijan with this authentic Plov recipe. With its vibrant flavors and textures, this dish is sure to become a new favorite. Gather your ingredients, fire up the stove, and embark on a culinary journey to the heart of Azerbaijan!

Gastronomy. Geography game.Gehaul. Azerbaijan flag

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