Uzbek Palov (O’zbek Palovi)

Uzbek rice pilaf—osh palov or, in Russian, plov—has probably had a more meaningful place in my life than any other single dish. For the past quarter century I have spent many hours preparing it, have enacted rituals around it, and have made it the centerpiece of significant gatherings in a way that I have not done with any other food.

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Chanakhi (Georgian lamb stew)

ChanakhiWow!  This is a remarkable dish.  I made it last night for the first time, and it blew me away.  I dream about dishes like this: a slow-braised lamb stew with cubed potatoes and eggplant, and enormous amounts of chopped herbs.  The flavors melt together in a clay pot and create an intensely flavored broth.  Darra Goldstein, in her fantastic cookbook The Georgian Feast, recommends braising in the oven.  But it’s also an ideal recipe for a Crock Pot.  Just make sure that for this recipe, you’re using at least a 6-quart pot.  The 4-quart variety isn’t nearly big enough. Continue reading