Delicious hand: 13 questions to the master pilaf cook

A connoisseur of oriental cuisine, chef Khakim Ganiev became a man early. He cooked his first pilaf when he was eight

Tasty hand: 13 questions to the pilaf master

Delicious hand: 13 questions for a master pilaf cook

Khakim Ganiev

Born on October 8, 1959 in Uzbekistan, in the Fergana region.
Received an economic education.
Cook, builder of tandoors for the capital's cafes, author of gastronomic books, including “Encyclopedia of Oriental Cuisine” and “Plov – a delicate matter” from the series “Oriental Feast with Khakim Ganiev”.

Honorary Member of the Association of Chefs of Uzbekistan .

Hakim, is it true that pilaf is the most famous Uzbek dish in the world?

You are right! If someone talks about pilaf, he immediately remembers an Uzbek, and if he talks to an Uzbek, he remembers pilaf. Although it is prepared from the Mediterranean to Indochina, and everywhere in its own way. It’s just that the basis of rice pilaf is the best cereal, neutral, it is good in any dishes. Even sweets are obtained from rice – remember puffed rice.

But it is in Uzbekistan that there is a cult of rice. We have a saying, which, translated into Russian, will probably seem strange: “Rice is the teeth of the Prophet.” This is a sacred cereal for Uzbeks. There is a belief: if you find 11 more rice grains on the table after a meal and eat them, your dreams will come true. And so, after dinner with pilaf, all the tablecloths are clean.

When does an Uzbek eat pilaf for the first time?

In early childhood. I don't remember when I tried it for the first time. But I remember how I really felt the taste of pilaf: when I spoiled it while trying to cook it. The occasion was a wedding.


Mine. For boys in Uzbekistan, the most important wedding is not marriage, but circumcision (this is called a “small wedding”). They do it in five or six years. A boy who is circumcised is considered a man. And any Uzbek man should be able to cook plov. And the feeling that I was already an adult prompted me to make pilaf on my own.

Delicious hand: 13 questions for a master pilaf cook

Where did you get the recipe from?

From life & nbsp; – pilaf is constantly cooked in Uzbekistan. Three times a month, one of the neighbors arranges a big holiday. And you help: you bring something, take it away – and look. But it's one thing to watch, and another thing to cook. I did everything seems to be correct, but I forgot to pour water into the cauldron. Mom came, I solemnly brought the dish. And when we started to eat, everything became clear by the characteristic crunch. But my mother was not upset: she said that we would add water and cook the rice. And the next day I went to our teahouse and immediately to the teahousekeeper: “Uncle Arif, teach me how to make plov!”

Why did you go to the teahouse with such a request?< /em>

Teahouse in Uzbekistan is a special place. Our city territory is divided into mahallas (quarters). Each mahalla has a chairman, an elder and a teahouse. You came home from work, changed into something comfortable and went to the tea house for the whole evening: rest, eat pilaf …

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