Ic Pilav – Garnished Rice

On Sunday, we were at my parents’ place. Towards iftar time, my sister was trying real hard to convince to make some ic pilav – garnished rice dish, mainly used as a filling for most stuffed vegetable and meat dishes in Ottoman cuisine. A starving and insisting sister ain’t no good. I gave up and pulled myself together despite the fatigue caused by fasting on such a long day and made her the pilav. She was happy and so was I.  Mom’s garden has the perfect lighting to photograph the food I make.


2 cups of uncooked plain white rice -preferably medium grain not-too-sticky types (Valencia suits well for pilaf, Baldo is good too)

2 liters + 1/4 cup of boiling salted water + chicken stock (optional)

100 g of clarified butter (ghee), if not available, opt for butter

1 tablespoon of olive oil, non-fruity types are better

A handful of pine nuts

2 tablespoons of dried onion flakes, if not available, cook finely-chopped onion in oil instead, on low heat until soft

1 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon

1 teaspoon of all-spice powder

1 teaspoon of ground black pepper

1 tablespoon of sugar, heaped


2 tablespoons of lemon juice

A handful of black currants

1 tablespoon of dried mint flakes

1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

1/4 cup of fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped

Wash and drain the rice. Add chicken stock into the 2 liters of boiling water. Pour the rice into water as well and boil until the grains are a little firmer than al-dente. Drain and wash with lukewarm water. Drain. Meanwhile melt butter in a 10cm-deep wide skillet and add olive oil. Add in pine nuts, when they turn pinkish light brown in color, add the spices, sugar and salt. Let all release their flavors. Add onion flakes, lemon juice, black currants and 1/4 cup of boiling water. Boil for a few minutes. Mix in fresh mint, parsley and dried mint. Pour the cooked rice into the spice mixture. Stir until the flavors are evenly distributed. Cover and wrap with a clean large cotton piece of cloth. Serve warm with meat or chicken.


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