Pilaf is so ingrained in the culture of the Uzbek people that no event passes without this unique dish. But imagine an extensive event for 200 to 600 people, in which the main dish, so to speak, the star of the event, is pilaf! It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? But you can try to come to Uzbekistan and participate in this celebration, because the doors are always open and anyone can come and taste the delicious pilaf.
There is a very old and important ceremony which is called “Nahor Oshi”, which translated literally means “risotto early in the morning.” Nokhor Osh is held in honor of the birth of a child, on the eve or on the day of the wedding, when reaching the Holy age of the prophet Muhammad (63 years), at circumcision, at commemoration, etc. It is served early in the morning, usually after morning prayer (Bomdot Namozi) and only men come to it, as well as the preparation is done by the stronger sex, while the fair half does not participate in this event. And the day before, the closest ones gather at the house of the person who is going to organize the morning pilaf, and begin preparations for the organization. But a separate place in the cooking process is occupied by slicing carrots, as one of the main ingredients of pilaf, along with meat, onions and rice. Preparation for the morning pilaf begins in advance, because, first, you need to have time to prepare everything for the early morning, and secondly, it is a very positive, filled with joy and fun pastime. During the preparation of pilaf for happy events, the closest relatives sing, dance, play fun music, and as a result-incomparable and most precious memories in the hearts of people.
Of particular importance is the morning pilaf held in honor of the wedding. It is accompanied by special traditions and beautiful rituals that have been preserved for centuries and has its own beauty of conducting and preparing. Since ancient times (and to this day in some families who especially honor traditions) for the morning wedding pilaf, which is held by the bride’s side, the groom’s side sent the bride’s family in bags of rice, onions, carrots, as well as several live sheep and several liters of oil, so that it was enough to cook pilaf in a huge cauldron for 200-600 people. By the way, it is considered that wedding pilaf is the most delicious and grandiose. Even cafes and teahouses sell pilaf, which is called “wedding”, it is very much appreciated by the people of Uzbekistan, but the guests of our Sunny country remain delighted. Make sure for yourself when you come to Uzbekistan and taste the wedding pilaf. Perhaps it’s all about the mood that reigns during cooking. The whole process is filled with a special light, and it is not the light that we light on the ceiling, but the light that we light in our hearts. It is probably thanks to this that the heart of the Uzbek people is so loving and bright as the sun’s rays, it will envelop you with its warmth and hospitality.
There is a certain sequence of serving on the table during the morning pilaf. First they serve tea (you can read about the tea traditions of Uzbekistan here), then tortillas (learn more about these culinary masterpieces here), dried fruits and sweets are served on the table, and then pilaf is served in large lagans. One lyagan is designed for 2 people, a Duo (prayer-blessing) is read and people start eating. Usually people do not sit for a long time, eat quickly and leave, thanking the owner. All men from the bride and groom’s side are present at the wedding plov. On the bride’s side, men usually arrive early and participate in the preparation, and on the groom’s side, men gather together at about the same time and go inside at once, while the closest men on the bride’s side meet them standing at the entrance as a sign of great respect.
Previously, Nohor Oshi was held in homes, and those who have apartment buildings, they were held in courtyards, and neighbors took part in this important event. But today morning pilaf is held in special beautifully designed restaurants, which are called “tuihona”, which means “a place for weddings”. During exciting excursions in Uzbekistan, you will have a unique opportunity to visit and taste the wedding plov, and we promise you will be amazed by the grandiosity and scope of the event!