Uyghur Muslims and Their Polu Dish

Uyghur Muslims are the Turkic ethnic group living mostly in the northwestern Chinese province of Xinjiang. Historically, however,Uyghur Muslims have lived throughout the Central Asian regions.

Identifying themselves as Muslims with their own unique culture, traditions, language, and food, the Uyghur Muslims have received heavy persecution from the Chinese authorities because they are seen as separatists and extremists.

But despite all the dreadful human rights abuses that the Chinese authorities have given them, the Uyghur community has continued to be steadfast in their strong commitment to spread awareness regarding their plight andlatch on to their unique and ancient traditions and culture at the same time.

In the spirit of solidarity, polu is one of the favorite recipes of the Uyghur Muslims with ingredients that you will probably find in a Muslim supermarket Los Angeles.


The traditional Uyghur rice dish can be found all over Central Asia. It is a mixture of lamb, spices, and carrots. The poludish holds both cultural as well as historical significance. Signifying the best of the Silk Road as well as its immense influence on the scattering of spices, ingredients, flavors, and foods, it is a must-try dish for being one of the finest examples of the diversity of the Muslim community.


  • Peeled and either chopped or sliced about 1 pound of carrots or  according to your liking
  • 5 dried chili peppers
  • 1 tsp of cumin powder
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 3 small pieces of peeled ginger
  • cut into small pieces lamb ribs
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 2 chopped and cut onions
  • 2 cups of rice
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of Sichuan peppercorn
  • 1 tsp of sugar


  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan or large wok. Add in ginger and garlic and fry until fragrant.
  2. Start adding in lamb ribs one at a time and then add one teaspoon of salt. Cook and stir until the ribs become golden brown, approximately 3 minutes.
  3. Add the onion then mix well before adding the carrots and cook for up to 3 minutes.
  4. Pour three cups of water and then wait until the whole mixture boils. When it boils, add in the chili peppers, cumin powder, Sichuan peppercorns, and sugar.
  5. Turn to low heat and then cover the pan. Cook for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, maintaining it at low simmer.
  6. Add one more teaspoon of salt halfway through. Add more water as needed.
  7. After the lamb is cooked through, you can make room in the center of the wok where you can pour in the rice in. See to it thewater is still enough for completely covering the rice. Cover the whole mixture with both the rice and lamb again and cook for up to 5 minutes while retaining medium heat.
  8. After boiling for 5 minutes, let it simmer and cook for another 20 minutes, or until the rice has been fully cooked through. Serve hot when the dish is ready with no more water in the rice.