Tajikistan : Osh ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฏ

Tajikistan flag

After 18 dishes in the last 10 months, we’ve hit a milestone: A repeat dish.

Great stock fodder.

Great stock fodder.

It was bound to happen, an anticipated side-effect of the project โ€“ a food that transcends borders, something that meanalmost โ€“ but not quite โ€“ the same thing in one place as in another.

There are going to be a few of these, and I’d wondered how I would approach them. Would I tweak the recipe? Make the same thing again?

Osh is the Tajik version of Pilaf, which we first visited in Afghanistan with Qabuli Palao last December. It’s got the same basic ingredients โ€“ meat, rice, carrots โ€“ but from what I gleaned online, some different stuff too: lamb instead of chicken, currants instead of raisins, no pistachios in this meal.

Different meat, different preparation. I was fortunate to have a helpful butcher at New Seasons tell me to go for the lamb shoulder for this recipe โ€“ and to chop it and save the bones, which made great stock flavoring. This was a wonderfully aromatic dish, and I can’t wait to have it againโ€ฆ when we get to Uzbekistan.

Tajik Osh ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฏ

  • 1 lb lamb blade shop, cubed, bones set aside
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 carrots, julienned
  • 2 cups arborio rice 
  • 3 Tb currants
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • canola oil
    Spice pile: Cumin, chili, coriander, anise.

    Spice pile: Cumin, chili, coriander, anise.

  • 1 star anise seed
  • 1 ts cumin
  • 1 ts coriander
  • 1/2 ts chili pepper
  • vegetable bullion cube
  1. Cube the lamb.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy skillet, then cook lamb. Add onions and caramelize.
  3. Add the carrots and salt to taste. Stir continuously until carrots are just on the edge of turning dark. Add spices. Turn down heat.
  4. Add 5 cups of water, lamb bones and bullion cube. Place the garlic bulb on top of the meat pile, then simmer for one hour.
  5. Rinse the rice, add currants and set aside.
  6. Remove the garlic bulb. Add the rice. Do not stir โ€“ distribute the rice evenly.
  7. Put the garlic bulb back in on top, and simmer until rice is finished, about 15 minutes.
Arborio rice, currants, meat, great fresh garden carrotsโ€ฆ a great little warm bowl of autumn-time goodness.

Arborio rice, currants, meat, great fresh garden carrotsโ€ฆ a great little warm bowl of autumn-time goodness.

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