Legendary Dishes | Düğün Pilavi / Riz bi Dfeen (rice with chickpeas and meat)

TURKEY LEVANT

Known as ‘wedding rice’ in Konya and Isparta, where it is a traditional dish, rice with chickpeas and meat is one of the oldest dishes in the world.

In the Levant and throughout the Arab countries this dish was made with bulgar long before rice appeared, in some countries bulgur is still preferred. In Turkey some recipes include both bulgur and rice. Onions or shallots are used in the Arab version. Toasted almonds provide a garnish in some versions.

  • 1.2 liters meat broth, hot
  • 500 g beef / lamb / mutton, cubed
  • 250 g Baldo / Osmancik rice
  • 250 g bulgur
  • 250 g currants
  • 250 g chickpeas
  • 120 g shallots, sliced (optional)
  • 60 g butter / fermented butter (samneh)
  • 50 g almonds, skinned, toasted whole (optional)
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g red pepper flakes
  • 5 g salt
  • Cinnamon, large pinch (optional)

When lamb or mutton is required, simmer in sufficient hot water for ten minutes. Put half of the butter in a frying pan, heat and fry the cubed meat until a crust has formed. Meanwhile in a large, deep pot, heat remaining butter over a gentle heat, sauté shallots for ten minutes. Heat the stock. Place the meat in the bottom of the shallot pot followed by the bulgur and rice, then the chickpeas, currants and seasonings. Increase heat, add the broth, bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low. After five minutes, cover and leave to cook for two hours. Dust each serving with cinnamon and toasted almonds.

This wedding rice with a toasted almond garnish is featured in Nurlu in the Kitchen

See Nurlu in the Kitchen for a different version of the recipe.

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… wedding rice photo Nurlu in the Kitchen