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Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Recipe: Parcha-Dosheme Plov

Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Azerbaijan
1 hour

Materials & Procedures


  1. 3 cups long-grain white basmati rice (you can also use long-grain American rice)
  2. 4 T butter, melted
  3. 1 cup peeled chestnuts
  4. ½ cup pitted dried apricots (you can halve them, too, if they are too big)
  5. 1 cup dried sour plums, pitted
  6. ½ cup pitted dates
  7. ½ cup golden raisins
  8. 1 ½ (700g) pounds skinless, boneless chicken* cut into 2-inch (5cm) cubes
  9. 1 medium onion, peeled, cut in half lengthways, then thinly sliced in half-circles
  10. 1/3 tsp. ground saffron threads, dissolved in 3 tablespoons hot water
  11. salt
  12. ground black pepper


  1. Pick over the rice carefully, removing any stones or other extraneous particles. Place the rice on a fine-mesh strainer
  2. While the rice is soaking, prepare fruits and chestnuts. In a medium frying pan, heat two T butter over medium heat.
  3. Add peeled chestnuts and stir-fry for about three minutes.
  4. Add dried apricots, plums, and dates and stir-fry for another three minutes.
  5. Add raisins (add them last because they brown fast and can be easily burned) and stir-fry for one more minute. Remove from heat.
  6. In a large, non-stick saucepan, combine 10 cups of water and two T salt. Bring to a boil.
  7. Drain the soaked rice (do not rinse) and add it, in batches, to the pot.
  8. Boil for about 7 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, to prevent rice grains from sticking to the bottom. Set aside.
  9. Place half of the rice in the pot over the fried onion. Arrange the dried fruits and chestnuts in one layer on top of the rice. Pile the rest of the rice on top of the fruits, mounding the rice nicely in the shape of a pyramid.
  10. Pour 1 tablespoon melted butter over rice.
  11. Place a clean dish towel or 2 layers of paper towel over the pot and cover firmly with a lid to absorb the steam. Lift the corners of the towel over the lid. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes.
  12. Then open the lid and sprinkle the saffron water on top of the rice. Simmer for another 30 minutes.
  13. When ready, meat should be cooked and lightly golden on the bottom. The onion will almost melt into the meat and will not be that visible. Rice grains should be separate and fluffy, and not sticky.
  14. When ready to serve, gently take one spatula full of rice, fruits, and meat at a time, placing it on the large serving platter. This pilaf is delicious served with pickles, vegetable salad, or fresh herbs. Nush Olsun! Enjoy!

About the Author

Gulnara Rahimova

This recipe was submitted to World Wise Schools by Gulnara Rahimova, English Education Program Manager, Peace Corps/Azerbaijan.

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