International Pilaf Festival due in Azerbaijan

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Baku, November 3, AZERTAC

Azerbaijan will host the Second International Pilaf Festival. The Festival will be organized by the National Cuisine Centre and Azerbaijan’s National Culinary Association in December. It will highlight a variety of Azerbaijani cuisine and its crown dish pilaf, as well as similar rice dishes of different countries.

Pilaf is a dish in which rice is cooked in a seasoned broth. In some cases, the rice may also attain its brown color by being stirred with pieces of cooked onion, as well as a mix of spices. Depending on the local cuisine, it may also contain meat, fish, vegetables, pasta, and dried fruits. It is also known as pilav, pilau, pilafi, pulao, palaw, palavu, plov, polov, polo, and polu. Pilaf and similar dishes are common to Balkan, Middle Eastern, Caucasian, Central and South Asian, East African, Latin American and Caribbean cuisines. It is a staple food and a national dish in Azerbaijani, Bangladeshi, Balochi, Bukharan Jewish, Cretan, Kyrgyz, Kurdish, Iranian, Pakistani, Swahili (Kenyan, and Tanzanian-Zanzibari), Uyghur, Uzbek, Tajik and Turkis cuisines.

Azerbaijani cuisine includes more than 40 different pilaf recipes. One of the most reputed dishes is pilaf from saffron-covered rice, served with various herbs and greens, a combination totally distinctive from Uzbek plovs. Traditional Azerbaijani pilaf consists of three distinct components, served simultaneously but on separate platters: rice (warm, never hot), gara (fried meat, dried fruits, eggs, or fish prepared as an accompaniment to rice), and aromatic herbs. Rice is not mixed with the other components even when eating pilaf.

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