— Written in collaboration with Dr. Zulfiya Tursunova, Gulnoza Ishanova, and Gerry Lor
Earlier this year, NCAAT launched its first-ever cohort for the Asian Solidarity and Action Program (ASAP). ASAP is an initiative to support community-led projects that provide education or resources to community members, uplift community voices and stories, or mobilize community members around relevant issues.
Over the next week, we’ll be sharing a series of blog posts from one of our cohort members — Dr. Zulfiya Tursunova. Zulfiya is an Associate Professor and a Chairperson in the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at Guilford College, N.C., where she serves as one of the leading experts on community-based peacebuilding practices.
Zulfiya’s ASAP project was titled “Food Story Collective,” where different Asian American community members would share a recipe from a favorite cultural dish in an at-home cooking series. Alongside their recipe, community members shared personal and cultural stories. Food Storytelling Collective aims to inspire conversations on traditional dishes and their rich legacies. In total, she led 4 cooking events alongside community members, which can be viewed on our youtube channel. In this blog post, we will be sharing the first of the four total recipes. Scroll down to watch the full first event.
We’re excited to kick off this 4-part series with a recipe for Plov, which is a traditional Uzbek dish! The recipe was shared by Gulnoza Ishanova and Rano Ziyadullaeva. Gulnoza Ishanova is originally from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and currently lives in Morrisville with her son and spouse. Ishanova works for American Airlines and manages her own AirBnB rental. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking traditional Uzbek dishes, including the Plov recipe listed below. Gulnoza’s mother is Rano Ziyadullaeva who is retired. Rano loves cooking and cooks almost every day.
- 2 lbs of red meat (beef or lamb)
- 1 lb of rice
- 1 1/2 lbs of yellow carrots
- 1 cup of olive oil
- 1 large white onion
- 2 whole garlic heads
- 1 can of chickpeas
- Salt, pepper, cumin, and turmeric for seasoning
- Water as needed
- Trim excess fat and sinews from the beef. Pat dry and cut into pieces that are ½ by ¾ inches.
- Heat your pot or dutch oven on high heat. Add the oil. Once it is hot, add the beef or lamb and saute uncovered until the meat is brown, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the onion. Cook until the onion is softened, then add the carrots and seasonings. Cook until the carrots are softened.
- Add about 1 ¾ cups of water and simmer until the meat is tender, about 45 minutes. Add the chickpeas and stir.
- Once the rice has been rinsed, add it uncooked to the pot and add an additional 4 cups of water. Do not stir the rice in. Bring the pot to a boil then reduce to low, letting the rice cook uncovered until most of the water has been absorbed (about 10 minutes).
- Slice the base off the garlic heads, exposing the cloves, and place them cut side down on top of the rice.
- Poke 7-10 holes in the surface of the rice to allow steam to escape, then cover the pot and cook for an additional 15 minutes until the rice is fully cooked. Remove the garlic, stir everything together and serve.
This series is organized by the Food Storytelling Collective, which is here to inspire conversations on traditional dishes and their rich legacies. Together, we’ll learn how to make traditional dishes, learn more about our food systems, and celebrate the resilience of different communities through family stories. This project is run by Dr. Zulfiya Tursunova, associate professor at Guilford College, and is sponsored by NCAAT. You can reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.