This is a traditional dish of Lezgians, ethnic group living predominantly in southern Dagestan and northeastern Azerbaijan. It’s not an everyday dish (at least in our family), instead, it is cooked on a special occasion such as birthday, wedding, etc.
Thanks to my mum’s friend Zarema for the recipe!
Tips: use white raisins so rice has not coloured. Use slightly sour dried apricots.
- 2 handful dried sour apricots
- 1 handful dried sweet apricots
- 2 handfuls golden raisins
- 1 handful prunes
- 600-700 g beef steak, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 400-500 g white round grain rice, thoroughly washed
- 8 tbsp + 4 tbsp sunflower oil
- Soak dried fruits in cold water for 30 minutes (in separate bowls).
- Place dried sour apricots in a pan over low heat, cover with fresh water, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Add the sweet soft apricots and raisins to the pan, simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Add dried prunes, and sugar. Let the sugar melt without stirring. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is thickened.
- Meanwhile, place meat in a saucepan, pour over cold water, bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat. Simmer until liquid has evaporated and meat is tender. Season with salt and black pepper, set aside.
- In a separate pan, pour 8 tbsp oil and fry onions over low-medium heat until golden.
- Add to the meat.
- Meanwhile, in a large pan, bring plenty of water to boil, add salt and place the rice.
- Reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is cooked. Drain.
- Put half of the rice on a large shallow dish. Pour over 2 tbsp sunflower oil, then top with the remaining rice and pour over another 2 tbsp oil. Fluff up the rice with a fork.
- Pour the syrup over the rice, and sprinkle over the dried fruits, then top with the meat.