“To wisely live your life, you don’t need to know much

Just remember two main rules for the beginning:

You better starve, than eat whatever

And better be alone, than with whoever.”

Omar Khayyam



The pilaf tends to be surrounded by nervous exclamations promising that a particular recipe is the very perfect pilaf, better than the dish cooked in Samarkand or Bukhara. In fact, there are no hidden depths in the pilaf. The dish is naturally different when made by different cooks, similar to what happens to other foods.  My recipe does not claim to discover the hidden mysteries of the East. This is how the pilaf was cooked in the Urals.

The main ingredient, essential for any pilaf: Indian Basmati Rice


400 g chicken pieces

2-3 carrots

2 onions

4-5 garlic cloves

Bay leaf

Ground black pepper

1 cup of uncooked rice

Parsley leaves

Some oil


Cooking the Pilaf

Take a large heavy-based frying pan or saucepan. Add the oil, chop onions and garlic cloves, start frying them. Peel and chop (or grate) carrots.  Add them to the mixture and continue frying with the onions and garlic. Take a second frying pan and fry the chicken pieces on both sides until golden. Move the chicken pieces onto the large frying pan with the vegetables and cook them, stirring. Add some water and bay leaf, stew for 15-20 minutes. Wash the rice, add it to the meat and vegetables, mix everything up, and pour water to slightly cover the rice.  Add salt to taste. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to the minimum. Simmer for 10 minutes (do whatever you like in the interval, the pilaf will cook by itself). After that, shake the pan to see if the pilaf needs water. Add more water if necessary. A perfect pilaf is a dish of completely cooked and dry rice where each grain is separated from the other.


At the end, add pepper and parsley leaves to taste. Stir the pilaf with a wooden spoon. Season the dish with raisins, dried apricots, and nuts to make it a feast for the eyes.


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