Turkish Rice

Pilav (Pilaf) in Turkey stands for an array of dishes made with rice and is one of the mainstays of the Turkish table. It's generally made of rice, but also of bulgur (cracked wheat), eriste (noodle), tel sehriye (vermicelli) and brown sehriye (orzo). The rice should not be sticky but separate into individual grains and it should be buttery. The pilav may include aubergines, mushrooms, green lentils, chickpeas, beans or peas, either inside or poured over the top in small quantity. There are also versions of pilav with fine carrots or tomatoes in it. You can put yoghurt on the side, too.

There are so many different ways of cooking rice depending on the region, and they all have different names. Besides the ones mentioned above, these are also common rice dishes: Perde pilavi (fried with almonds), Meyhane pilav (cracked wheat with tomatoes), Tavuklu pilav (with chicken), Etli pilav (with finely chopped meat), Ic pilav (with currants and liver), Buhara pilav, Acem pilav, Firik pilav, Ozbek pilav, Muceddere pilav, Hamsi pilav (with Turkish Blacksea anchovy), Divrigi pilav, Karabugday pilav (buckwheat), and so on.

Although pilav is traditionally a course in its own right, in recent years it has appeared as a garnish with meat and chicken dishes at many restaurants especially in the big cities.