Aubergine Pilaf

Patlıcanlı pilav


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

Also known as Sultan Reşat pilavi, this is a magnificent rice dish made extra delectable with meaty morsels of fried aubergine. Variations include mixtures of rice and vermicelli, rice and kuskus (couscous), or rice and bulgur. Some of the best patlicanli pilav is to he found in a handful of restaurants in Istanbul.


  • 2 aubergines, peeled in zebra stripes, cut in quarters lengthways and sliced
  • sunflower oil for deep-frying
  • 12 oz/350 g long-grain rice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tomato purée
  • pints/900 ml water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Soak the aubergine slices in salted water for 1 hour.
  • Wash the rice and soak if necessary. Drain well.
  • Soften the onion and garlic in the butter or olive oil. Stir in the sugar, coriander and cumin seeds and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the tomato purée and tomatoes, and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Add the rice and pour in the water, season with salt and pepper and bring the liquid to the boil for 1-2 minutes. Simmer gently until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat, cover with a dish-towel, then press the lid down tightly on top. Leave to steam for 15-20 minutes.
  • Heat a thick layer of sunflower oil in a shallow pan. Drain the aubergines, squeeze them dry, and fry in the oil until golden-brown. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper.
  • Turn the rice mixture on to a serving dish. Fluff up with a fork, tossing the aubergine in it. Serve hot or cold.