What is? Pilav (Pilaf)

rice cart in Istanbul
Pilav refers to a dish of grains (often rice)stewed in a brother, often times with meat of vegetables

Pilav comes in just about every shape and size in Istanbul. From the highest class restaurants, to the lonely street carts, this staple dish reinvents itself in every conceivable way. In general, you start with a grain such as rice or wheat and fry it lightly in butter. Some people add orzo, or şehriye, for flavor and texture. The grains are then boiled in vegetable or meat broth until tender.


In the picture above you can see a street stall selling rice pilav with nohut(chick peas) and an optional topping of boiled chicken breast. This is a delicious and cheap street eat that I highly recommend. In small pilav restaurants, rice is often served on a plate with an optional topping like salad, liver, chicken, beans, or any combination.

Another traditional way to eat pilav is with stewed beans called fasulyeThis dish is readily found at cafeteria style restaurants called Esnaf LokantasFurther to the East, the recipe changes greatly with the addition of dried fruits,nuts, and other spices to the pilav.

Try pilav at Meşhur Tahtakale Pilavcısı in Sirkeci, here is a map:

View Meşhur Tahtakale Pilavcısı in a larger map

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