Chickpea Pilaf

Nohutlu pilav


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

Every Friday when Mahmut Pasha, the famous Grand Vizier of Mehmet the Conqueror, invited his ministers to lunch he would serve an intriguing mound of rice and chickpea pilaf as the climax to the meal. Intriguing, because dispersed amongst the chickpeas would he solid gold halls, moulded hy his goldsmiths to resemble chickpeas, which would bring good fortune to the guests lucky enough to procure them in their spoons. Finely chopped leek or spinach can he added to this pilaf.


  • 2 oz/60 g chickpeas, soaked for 6 hours or overnight
  • 6 oz/175 g long-grain rice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons kuyrukyağı (sheep’s tail fat), clarified or ordinary butter
  • 1 pint/600 ml water or chicken or beef stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Drain the chickpeas and cook in fresh water for about 45 minutes, until tender. Drain well. Wash the rice and soak if necessary.
  • Soften the onion in the fat. Stir in the chickpeas and the drained rice. Pour in the stock, season with the salt and pepper and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat, cover with a dry dish-towel, and press the lid down tightly on top. Leave to steam for 15-20 minutes.
  • Fluff gently with a fork and serve.