Circassian Rice

Çerkez pilavı

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

In Turkey fresh coriander is used only in the cuisine of the Çerkez (Circassians). With the addition of coconut, called hindustan cevizi (meaning ‗Indian walnut‘), the flavours evoke tastes associated with India. This dish can he made with rice or bulgur, and makes a refreshing accompaniment to the numerous köfte, kehah and grilled fish dishes.


  • 8 oz/225 g long-grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons clarified or ordinary butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
  • small bunch of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 pint/600 ml stock or water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Wash the rice and soak if necessary. Drain well.
  • Brown the onion and garlic with the sugar in the butter. Stir in the coconut, rice and most of the coriander. Pour over the stock, season with salt, and bring the liquid to the boil for 1-2 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat, cover with a dry dish-towel, and press the lid on tightly. Leave to steam for 15-20 minutes. Using a fork, toss the remaining fresh coriander in the rice and serve.