Are you looking for a way to add flare to Tuesday night chicken, or spice up your menu for guests this weekend? Then try replacing your plain white rice with a side dish of Turkish-style rice pilaf.
Rice is a staple in Turkey and pilaf is eaten at almost every meal. Long-cooking large grain rice is always at the top of the shopping list.
For more common Turkish ingredients, read The Top 10 Ingredients in Turkish Cuisine.
Did you know that there is more than one kind of pilaf? Pilaf, or 'pilav,' is actually a general term for all rice and bulgur dishes prepared with oil, butter, chicken stock and spices.
Pilaf often contains pieces of pasta, chick peas, vegetables, fruits and even bits of meat, making it a delicious and colorful addition to any menu. Different variations of pilaf can be found all over the country, spicier in the East and more fruity and nutty in the West.
For more on Turkish regional cooking, check out Regional Variations in Turkish Cuisine.
Believe it or not, all versions of pilaf are actually very easy to prepare using the same basic method.
As a general rule, the grains of rice are worked through the melted butter or oil in the bottom of the saucepan, then the liquid and other ingredients are added and the rice is cooked on very low heat until the liquid is absorbed.
Try your hand at Turkish-style rice pilaf and you'll never go back to plain boiled rice.
More rice pilaf recipes: