According to Wikipedia, pilaf or pilau is a rice dish, and the technique of cooking it, to some extent is of West Asian origin and partially South Asian. The rice is cooked in stock, with spices, and other ingredients such as vegetables, meat and dried fruit. Some ingredients can be mixed after cooking, if need to maintain single grains seperate from clumping.
Pilaf or pilau is a main course dish, originated from West Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, Balkans, East Africa and the Caribean. The rice is served hot, and its main ingredients are: rice, spices, meat, vegetables and dried fruits.
It mentions in Wikipedia that the ancient Hindu text Mahabharata, from the Indian Subcontinent states, rice and meat are cooked together, and “pollao” or “pulao” is a word referring to the dish in ancient Sanskrit works, for example the Yajnavalkya Smrti.
Alexandra the Great was served pilaf at the royal banquet, after his capture of Sogdian capital of Marakanda, now known as the modern Samarkand.
The tenth-century Persian scholar Avicena (ibn Sina), discovered the receipe of pilaf, and devoted a chapter on how to make various pilafs, in his books of medical sciences. He also gave explanations on the benefits and downsides of each ingredient used in preparing the dishes. It also states in Wikipedia, Persians believe Ibn Sina is the “father” of current pilaf.
In the Middle East and Transcaucasia pilau became quality food over the years with alterations and changes made by the Persians, Turks, Arabs and Armenians. Bukharan and Persian Jews introduced it to Isreal.
Throughout the time of Soviet Union, the Central Asian types of the dish mushroomed throughout all Soviet republics, that it grew part of the popular Soviet Cuisine.