Uzbekistan: Samarkand – Eating Samarkand Plov

Plov is the quintessential Uzbek dish, with many varieties in every city and town, served around noon and cooked from the early morning. The Samarkand version is quite different from others in that the ingredients are cooked separately in one large kazan bowl, separated by cloth – meat at the bottom, then carrots and spices, then rice. We found the absolutely best place to eat it in Samarkand – the Plov Center – somewhat of an institution where plov preparation is taken to an almost art-like level. We were allowed to witness the last half-hour of the preparation on the kitchen – getting the ingredients out, chopping of the lamb and beef and lamb fat, and plate arrangement – super awesome! We had one lamb and one beef plov with every possible accompaniment imaginable. Delicious doesn’t even begin to describe it!