Recipe: “Pilav” — Turkish-Style Rice Pilaf With Orzo

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Are you tired of plain boiled rice? Add some flair to your meat and poultry menus with this easy and tasty recipe for classic Turkish rice pilaf.

Rice pilaf is famous all over the world. You can eat pilaf in some of the finest restaurants as a side dish to poultry or red meats. In Turkey, pilav (pee-LAHV) is the word used to describe not only one, but a whole array of dishes made with rice.

Turkish rice pilaf is a very common meal of Turkish cuisine
Turkish rice pilaf is a very common meal of Turkish cuisine

So, you can cook this particular pilaf with butter, oil, and orzo. It’s a nice side to serve with grilled meats, stewed dishes, and anywhere you would serve plain rice. Moreover, if you want to transform it into an entree, try a Turkish rice pilaf with chicken and chickpeas.

How Long Will It Take You to Prepare Turkish Rice?

It is hard to believe but 25 minutes in total, you will have an unforgettable taste with this member of Turkish cuisine. With 5-minutes-preparation, cooking pilaf takes you 25 minutes in total. At the end of cooking, you will have 4 servings with the following ingredients. Furthermore, we highly recommend you to prepare the Mediterranean Salad next to pilaf on the table!

Preparing pilaf takes you only 25 minutes for 4 servings.
Preparing pilaf takes you only 25 minutes for 4 servings.

Ingredients of Turkish Style Rice

  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons orzo pasta
  • 1 cup rice (Baldo or Calrose)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)

How To Cook Turkish-Style Rice Pilaf With Orzo

  1. Gather the ingredients.
2. In a shallow saucepan, melt the butter and oil together. Once melted, add the orzo pasta and stir continuously over medium heat until the pasta turns a dark golden colour. However, be careful and keep stirring so the butter and orzo don’t burn.

Butter is the best option to prepare the best Turkish rice.
Butter is the best option to prepare the best Turkish rice.

3. Add the uncooked rice and stir thoroughly until the oil has worked its way through all the grains. And then, add your chicken broth and spices and bring to a boil. If you are using chicken bouillon in place of stock, cut down or omit the salt. But, we do not recommend you to use chicken or meat bouillon. You will have better cuisine if you use natural chicken water mould.

4. Cover and reduce the heat. Let the rice slowly simmer until the liquid disappears.

Continue with Other Steps

5. Without removing the cover, take the pan from the heat and put it aside to cool down. Keep the top on at all times while the rice cools. Note: If too much condensation forms on the inside of the lid, open it and cover the top of the pan with a few paper towels, then close the lid over them. This will absorb excess moisture and allow the rice to continue steaming at an even pace.

You can also cook Turkish rice pilaf in a rice cooker once you have fried up the orzo pasta.
You can also cook Turkish rice pilaf in a rice cooker once you have fried up the orzo pasta.

6. Before serving, open the lid and gently stir the rice to loosen the bottom and separate the grains.

7. You can use a small dessert bowl as a mould to ​give it that signature rice pilaf look. Thus, fill the bowl and pack down the warm rice with the back of a spoon. Invert the bowl onto a serving plate. The pilaf will pop out in the shape of the bowl.
8. Serve and enjoy!

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