A Vegan Turkish Rice (Pilav) Recipe

A tasty alternative to standard boiled rice is, pilaf. Pilaf, Pilau, Pilav, Palov; a thousand names and variations of pilaf exist all the way from Turkey to Mongolio to India. But, first step is to get this simplest Middle Eastern method of cooking rice right. Think exact opposite of a risotto. The beauty of Turkish pilav is that grains remain light, separate and fluffy.

Serve as a side to your vegetables or as stuffing. Add fruits, vegetables or other grains to make it a whole dish on its own. Below recipe includes a very simple tip for cooking the perfect rice.  


Total Time: 25 m I Prep: 5 m I Cook: 20 m I Difficulty: Easy



(Serves 2 as a side dish) 

  • 1 coffee mug of rice (we use baldo rice)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • A few drops of lemon juice (optional, keeps rice from sticking together)



  • Wash your rice with warm water thoroughly and drain.
  • Heat a saucepan to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the rice. Stir once. 
  • Pour 1 coffee mug of boiled water into the saucepan. Amount of water to rice should always be one to one. Meaning, if you are preparing 2 coffee mugs of rice, add 2 coffee mugs of boiled water. Drizzle few drops of lemon juice. 
  • Cover the lid, bring up to a full boil and then reduce the heat to a very low temperature to simmer. Your pilaf will be ready in roughly about 20 minutes when all the water is absorbed.
  • Try not to open the lid too many times while you are cooking or smush the rice to check if there is any water left. Instead, watch the steam coming out of your saucepan as it will reduce over time. Don't worry, if you slightly over cook it. A golden crust at the bottom of the pan is considered a good thing.