Tina’s Trabez

The basic food of Rice is this weeks subject.


White rice comes in short-grain and long-grain varieties. Short-grain rice is very starchy and becomes soft and sticky when you cook it. Short-grain rice is also used in paella and risotto dishes, and sometimes mixed into chilli and stews. Long-grain rice, such as jasmine and basmati, contains less starch, so the cooked grains are drier and don’t clump together. White rice is about 90% carbohydrate, 8% protein and 2% at, White rice is a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, iron, folic acid, thiamine and niacin. It is low in fibre and its fat content is primarily omega-6 fatty acids, which are considered pro-inflammatory.

It is a staple food in the NC diet and the recipe below is the turkish way of cooking rice and it should turn out with separate grains of rice not a big clump!

Turkish Pilav – pure, plain, and perfect.


Ingredients (serves 4):

3 glasses of rice (a normal kitchen glass will do, approx 225 or 250 ml) 3 tablespoons butter (real butter gives the flavour, margarine is not a substitute) 3 glasses of water or stock (chicken stock works particularly well, and helps conjure the authentic taste) 2 teaspoons salt


1: Rinse the rice in a sieve under cold water. Place the rice in a bowl and cover with hot salted water. Let this stand until cool. Wash again thoroughly in cold water (the water should run clear) and drain well.

2: Melt the butter in a saucepan until it just starts to sizzle, before it turns brown. Add the rice and sauté for 2-3 minutes stirring continuously.

3: Pour the stock or water into the pan, bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer on a low heat. Don’t stir the pilav whilst cooking! Cook until the rice has absorbed all the water (10-15 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste.

4: Take the pan off the heat, and remove the lid. Place a clean kitchen towel over the pot, and then replace the lid. Leave to “brew” for 5-10 minutes. Then serve.

If you like your rice extra fluffed, you can use a wooden spoon or fork to stir it up a little before serving.

Some natural yoghurt and chopped spring onions make for a yummy aside.

Variations on a theme

Pilav can be added to and embellished in so many different ways. You can mix in mushrooms (Mantarli pilavı), add in chickpeas (Nohutlu pilavı), or do away with the rice altogether and use cracked wheat instead (bulgur pilavı). You can also add 2 tablespoons vermicelli or 2 tablespoons orzo pasta (Sehriyeli Pilav)

Here’s a couple of other tasty pilav alternatives for once you’ve mastered the basics.

Pilav with peas

Pilav recipe and quantities as above

Extra ingredients: 150 g peas

Boil the peas or sauté them in butter until tender. Follow the recipe for the rice as above until point 3. When you turn down the heat after boiling, add the peas, stir in quickly, and then continue to follow the basic recipe.

Turkish Spinach with Tomatoes and Rice



2 pounds spinach, stemmed and washed in 2 changes water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 can diced tomatoes in juice or, in season, 1 1/4 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 cup chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water

2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (to taste)

3 tablespoons long grain or basmati rice, rinsed in several changes of water, or 1/2 cup cooked brown rice

Salt to taste

2 teaspoons paprika

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¾ to 1 teaspoon sugar (to taste)



Wash the spinach and, working in batches if necessary, steam for about 2 minutes above an inch of boiling water, just until wilted. Remove from the heat and set aside. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, lidded pan or casserole and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until it begins to sizzle and smell fragrant, about 30 seconds, and stir in the tomatoes. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly. Add the stock or water, the lemon juice, rice, salt, paprika, cinnamon, sugar and steamed spinach and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn the heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until the mixture has the consistency of a thick stew, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot or warm

Advance preparation: You can steam the spinach 1 or 2 days ahead.

A sweet one!! This creamy pudding is a perfect treat even plain, but you can turn it into an elegant dessert by adding some extra ingredients like nuts, fresh or dried fruit, lemon zest or orange zest.


Turkish Rice Pudding



½ cup rice

1 kilo milk

¾ cup water

½ cup sugar

½ tbsp grated orange zest, a little extra for topping

2 tbsp raisins


Put water and rice in a pot and boil until rice becomes slightly tender. Pour 1 kilo milk into it and boil until rice is cooked well. Add in sugar when rice is cooked and cook for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. It is done when it becomes creamy. Add in raisins and orange zest and mix with a spoon. Share it into small bowls and let it reach room temperature. Sprinkle some extra orange zest on the top. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour and serve cold.

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