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I’m a fan of one pot meals. Who isn’t?

This is one heck of a one-pot meal from my friend, Jennet (again, she of the Easy Access Cookies fame). Its her vegan version of a traditional dish she grew up with in Turkmenistan. In fact, I love it so much I feel like I grew up with it.

I am jealous that she’s done what I have not been able to bring myself to do – veganize a dish I grew up with. I’m close though. I think my Tempeh Adobo is almost there. Almost. Not quite. But almost. It’s hard to change something you grew up with, and such a seminal dish! Too many memories and high expectations. Its like I don’t want to touch something that is sacred. But I’m getting there. Soon…

Now back to Plov. It starts with caramelized onions.

I should have had you at caramelized onions. But if I hadn’t, maybe the garlic will do it.

I think the best part is burying a whole garlic (or two or three) in the rice, to cook while the dish simmering. As a fan of garlic, getting this as the prize is well worth all my lack of luck at winning at raffles and blackjack tables.

Jennet usually serves this with a beet salad made with, again, lots of garlic (I will definitely post that later). As you can see, we are both obsessed with garlic and we are close enough friends that we don’t mind hanging out even after all this garlic consumption. I, without exaggeration, pig out whenever she makes this combination. It is unbearably good. Especially in this cooling weather!

This dish reminds me a little bit of a heartier mujadarah with the texture of a rissotto. Just writing about it makes me want to make it all over again.

Mmmmm….Plov. Make it this weekend!

Photo from fxcuisine


Chickpea Plov

Extra Virgin Olive oil
3 onions, diced
5-6 carrots thinly sliced or coarsely grated
2 cups prepared chickpeas (either soaked for 24 hours or cooked)
6 cups water or vegetable broth
Sea salt to taste
3 cups uncooked rice

Optional – grind together:
1 tsp peppercorns
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds

1 head of garlic per person, top trimmed
Chopped almonds
Hot chili peppers

1. Coat the bottom of large pot with oil
2. Sauté onions until they start to brown. (Do not skip this caramelization step!)
3. Add spices.
4. Add carrots and sauté for 5-10 minutes
5. Add chickpeas and water/broth with sea salt to taste
6. As soon as the water starts boiling, put rice in, along with garlic if using, and let cook for 20 minutes or until done.
7. Top with a chili pepper or chopped almonds

*Photo above from

Serve in a bowl, with a head of garlic (yes!) and maybe a little hot chili pepper.

13 Responses to “I love Plov”

  1. Christine

    Can I make this an Ornish diet meal, and use reduced veg broth instead of oil for the caramelization? I’m pretty sure I can, but checking. This is going to be a BIG hit in our home! Vegan, no-fat cooking is hard. You make it easy. :)

    • Leah

      Christine — Thank you! I try my best because I do try to follow the Cancer Project diet which is similar to Ornish. if I’m not mistaken, the Ornish diet allows for 5% oil or 10%? You can coat it really lightly. I have not tried to use just broth. If you have a well seasoned cast iron pan, you might want to use that to caramelize and then deglaze the pan with a little broth and pour it all in a pot…

    • Leah

      Oh, I always have napkins right beside me for that. LOL! Peril of reading cookbooks and food blogs…

  2. Lisa D

    how long do you saute the onions? is it a long slow caramelizing?(like 30 minutes?) or a quick starting to brown (5 tp 10)

    • Leah

      Lisa — I usually cut up the onions and start them and then prep the carrots while its cooking — so I would say closer to 15 minutes.

  3. Katy

    If the rice gets a bit dry, is it better to moisten with more stock or to add some more olive oil after it’s done cooking? The rice got done to the right consistency, but used up all the liquid in the process!

    • Leah

      Katy — I find that towards the end, I need to watch the rice and adjust it “rissotto” style– I add more broth or water (not oil) until desired consistency. :)


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