Eat like a Turk: flavourful recipes for pilav and imam bayildi

07 April 2019 - 00:00 By staff reporter

During the long Ottoman reign, palace cuisine was perfected in the imperial kitchens of what is now Turkey.
There was an abundance of ingredients that, through a combination of soil and climate, grow bigger, brighter and more flavourful than almost anywhere else.
All these conditions gave rise to a cuisine both intricate and simple, regionally varied but based on solid artistic principles.
To make your own, an easy one to start with is the traditional rice accompaniment, pilav. The rice is sautéed in butter and then absorbs stock, which sounds like Italian risotto but isn't: pilav has grains that are fluffy and separate rather than sticky and creamy. It is often served with imambayildi. This means "the Imam swoons" or faints with delight.
Serves: 6
2 cups long-grain or wild rice (do not use Basmati)
45ml butter
2 tomatoes, chopped
750ml boiling water
5ml salt

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