Easy Plov for Easy People – Russian cuisine for idiots

1 Nov

Why do Manchester boys love plov so much?”

International correspondant – TIP

Fancy a plov? Do it yourself - speedy plov for adventurous foreigners




Every visit to an ex-soviet republic with a Brit inevitably concludes with them choosing Plov over anything else. Now the TIP team has only ever had plov twice – once was out of a fridge at the local Ashan, a very big disappointment indeed, chewy meat with a distinct odour – and once more, made by a Russian friend of the TIP family, who omitted to inform them that, indeed, they were eating the famous “plov” these Muscovite rookies had heard so much about.

Between to jobs this afternoon and with too much time on their hands – the TIP Gourmet team resisted procrastination’s eyelash fluttering and bought some in-season vegetables. Whilst wandering around the shop, they also decided to buy some plov spices – fully intent on looking up the recipe to make a plov to be remembered.

As per usual, the TIP staff’s inability to do an honest day’s work and a good job dissuaded them from recipe research… and the inevitable disappointment, upon opening the cupboards and fridge, to discover how many ingredients they didn’t have. Armed with unshakeable confidence in their gastronomical talents and an innate sense of self importance, our resourceful team of misfits ventured down the unknown road into culinary fireworks history.

Notes from the TIP Gourmet Kommanda’s diary:

This recipe is entirely IMPROVISED and engineered to make EASY AUTUMN PLOV.


1/2 glass (tumbler) of rice

2 teaspoons of plov spices

1/2 chicken stock cube


Optional but recommended:


– seasonal vegetables

500gr squash or pumpkin, peeled and chopped into dice size cubes (otherwise known as diced)

1 medium tomato, diced

1 red (or green or yellow) pepper, diced

1 small leek, cut lengthwise and chopped roughly


– meat (reduce portion of squash to 250g lest your frying pan overflow)

500gr  lamb, diced,

Bearing in mind, this plov is all about you so go ahead, replace the lamb by Russian hard cheese (it is nearly impossible to melt), or tofu for vegetarians, beef, chicken … potentially even shrimp, like ouzbek paella, fish appears to be the most unlikely ingredient/


How to:

1 -Prepare all ingredients and lump them into a frying pan (non stick, no oil) all together.

2 -Crumble the stock cube over the mixture.

3- Add the 2 heaped teaspoons of plov spices on top of that .

4- Pour on water (hot water make it cook faster): fill approximately 2/3 of the frying pan. Mix everything around until roughly homogeneous, this is mainly to get the spices and rice mixed in properly.

5- Cover with a suitable lid or large plate. Put on medium heat until boiling, move to lower heat and simmer for 30min, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick and so that the rice gets a chance to cook. When finished, there should be no obvious liquid in the pan.  Leave covered for another ten minutes OR eat as soon as the right temperature.


Recommended toppings for autumn English/Russian comfort food:

1 big dollop of smetana

1 tsp of adjika for those who like it spicy

Cover in grated cheese

Finely chopped fresh parsley

Dill – of course, didn’t you know this yet, dill goes with everything.




Here is a link to a real Plov recipe, should you dare to compare one day:




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