Hünkar Pilaf or Sultan’s Pilaf


Here comes another excellent recipe! It is one of the gorgeous pilafs in Ottoman history, Sultan’s pilaf – Hünkar pilavı in Turkish. It’s a shame that i’ve never tried this before. It just seems so “Ottomanish”, harmonizing all these various types of spices and tastes. Here is the recipe:


  • 300 gr boneless lamb meat (cut into small cubes
  • 2 cups of ricePİLAFF
  • 3.5 cups of water
  • a handful of pistachio nuts (shells removed)
  • a handful of blackcurrants
  • a dash of powdered clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon of blackpepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cardamom seeds (hulled &ground)
  • 100 g butter
  • 2 teaspoons of salt


Bring the water to boil, add the meats and cook for 15 minutes. Then remove the meat pieces and keep the broth for a later use.

Put the butter in a non-stick pan and melt it then add the meat pieces and roast them until they get slightly brown. Add pistachios and roast for a few min more and then add clove, cardamom,cinnamon,blackpepper and allspice. Stir a few times.

Continue by adding blackcurrants and broth and then boil it. After boiling add rice and salt. The water should be about 1 cm over the rice. Stir 1-2 times.

Cover and cook on the low heat until the rice absorbs all water. There will be many small holes on the surface and then remove from the heat. (after it is cooked, do not stir)

Wrap the pan with a towel (with the lid on) and let it rest for 30 min.

PS. stir gently before serving.

Afiyet olsun! / Bon appetit!


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