Turkish rice is fluffy, buttery, rich and very tasty, perfect with roasted meats and vegetables dishes.
Turkish rice is a wonderful fluffy rice with a slightly nutty flavour. It absorbs flavours well making it a perfect accompaniment for meats, stews, vegetables (including stuffed vegetables), salads and alongside Turkish yogurt, cacik.
It is very easy to make, requiring the same amount of time to cook as basmati rice.
We love this rice because it is so tasty and has a very satisfying texture.
Selecting the right rice
So what kind of rice should you use?
In Turkey, pilav is most commonly made using Baldo rice. This is a plump short grain rice, similar to the Italian Arborio or risotto rice, but with a shorter cooking time.
If you cannot find Baldo, Arborio rice will work just as well. It holds its shape well when cooked – also making it ideal stirred into soup.
Sauté rice in butter
Many years ago I found a tatty old Turkish cookbook which suggested sautéing the rice first in butter. It creates a wonderful nutty aroma and the grains remain fluffy without sticking together.
I have been using this technique ever since and it makes a perfect bowl of rice every time!
How to cook baldo rice
Baldo rice absorbs more water than basmati, so use double the amount of water to rice. Use the ratio of 1:2 rice to water.
For 1 cup Baldo rice, use 2 cups water
Turkish rice should not be sticky so rinse the rice till the water runs clear to remove the starch. This will prevent it from becoming sticky.
How to prepare it
This recipe uses Orzo pasta, but you could use small strand vermicelli (be careful as they brown quickly).
- Brown the orzo in the butter taking care not to let it burn, then add the drained rice.
- Sauté the rice till it changes colour and the grains are coated in butter, then add hot water and salt.
- Mix together, cover and simmer on a low flame for 10 minutes. Once the lid is on, do not stir.
- Remove from the heat, keeping the lid on so it continues to steam for another 5-10 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork before serving.
Serve warm with Turkish Kuru Kofte meatballs, or this tasty Lamb and Eggplant dish.
Turkish rice will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Stir into soup, mix with salads or serve warm with meat or vegetable dishes.
⭐️ Are you making this Turkish Rice recipe? Do let me know how it turned out in the comments! And please give it a star rating below!
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Turkish Rice – Sehriyeli Pilav
- 1 tablespoon butter Add ½ tablespoon more if you like it very buttery.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 50 grams orzo pasta ¼ cup
- 400 grams baldo rice 2 cups, or Arborio rice, rinsed and drained
- 950 millilitres water 2 cups, freshly boiled or chicken stock
- salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter, 50 grams orzo pasta, 1 teaspoon olive oilOn low-medium heat, melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add the oil. Stir in the orzo and cook for 1 minute, till it changes colour (be careful not to let it burn).
- 400 grams baldo riceAdd the baldo rice and continue to stir till it changes colour and all the rice is coated in butter.
- 950 millilitres water, saltPour in the hot water or liquid, add salt and stir. Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes. Do not stir during this time.
- Remove from heat, and keeping the lid on, allow to stand for 5 mins. Fluff with a fork and serve.
The ingredients here on EOTF are set out in grams & milliliters and in US cups & spoons.
can you use a rice cooker for this recipe?
Yes Turkish rice can be made in a rice cooker.
My go to rice recipie for most Mediterranean recipies now esp Turkish Greek or serve with Ratatouille. Brilliant!
Thanks so much for your lovely comment, that’s so nice to hear!
soak rise in salted boiled water for about 20 minutes .1 tea soon salt good amount. baldo rise 1 cup rise 1 /2 boiled water . also when you cook first 4 minute high heat ,than 4 minute medium heat ,than 10 munity very low heat .rest 20 minute. other wise I like your recipe. WELL DONE
We absolutely love this rice and my kids always order extra whenever we go out to Turkish restaurants. It’s simply delish. Great to have the recipe to make it the right way at home now.
Thanks Ramona, it’s so tasty and has a great texture. I hope you find Baldo rice near you.
This really sounds delicious! I’m going to try out this Turkish rice recipe for sure!
Thanks Lesli, I hope you like it
Love how easy to follow this recipe is! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Amanda, so easy and really tasty!
My rice always ends up extremely sticky and soggy. I have tried making it on several occasions. I use Baldo rice that I bought, and for 2 cups rice I used 3 cups hot water. I sauted the rice in butter and did everything to the T but for some reason I just have really bad luck 🙁
I’m sorry to hear that Sasha. I notice you use 2 cups of rice to 3 water. I use a 1:2 ratio of rice to water/stock, as Baldo rice tends to absorb more water than a rice like Basmati. After adding the liquid, I only stir it once and then cover and leave it to cook for 10 minutes on a medium-low heat. By this stage it might still be slightly moist so allowing it to rest for a further 5 minutes gives a fluffy rice. Let me know how you get on.
I’ve had something similar to this, if not this dish itself, from local food trucks and agree it’s a tasty base to your main. Must see if I can find any Baldo rice!
Thanks Caroline, it absorbs flavours of accompanying dishes so well. I hope you manage to find some Baldo rice.
Rice is one of my favorite side dishes! This rice looks extra fluffy!
Yup, fluffy with a really satisfying texture, so good!