2 pounds boneless lamb leg or shoulder, trimmed of fat, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 pound carrots, peeled and julienned
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon hungarian hot paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric (for color)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
several grinds of fresh pepper
1/2 cup fresh or dried barberries (middle eastern grocers)
3 cups boiling water
Rinse and drain the rice in several washes of warm water, set aside
Wash the whole garlic heads and slice off about 3/4 of an inch from the top of each head, exposing a cross section of the cloves. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a Dutch Oven or heavy casserole over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add lamb pieces (in batches, if necessary, to avoid over-crowding) and brown on all sides, about 7 minutes total (or per batch)
If you have cooked meat in batches, return all meat to the pot and add carrots and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until the vegetables have softened.
Add the next 7 ingredients: cumin seeds, paprika, hot paprika, turmeric, salt, pepper, and barberries. Stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup water, cover pot and turn heat down to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes.
Uncover the pot and using the back of a wooden spoon, flatten the meat and vegetables into the bottom of the casserole. Add the rice, creating a flat even layer with the help of the wooden spoon.
Push the garlic bulbs, exposed side first, down through the rice till only their bottoms are exposed.
Pour the 3 cups of boiling water slowly over the wooden spoon, letting it fall gently into the pot so as not to disturb the rice layer on top. Poke a few holes in the rice layer with the handle of the spoon, cover the pot, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat. Pull out garlic bulbs and stir rice and meat together. Mound the Plov on a serving platter with the garlic heads on top.