Turkish pilaf with saffron & dried tomato

Turkish pilaf with saffron & dried tomato

Turkish pilaf with saffron
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Rice pilaf with saffron & dried tomato is one of our all-time favorite recipes because of how easy it is to make. On top of that it’s also extremely flexible. The ingredients of this rice dish are something we always have in our pantry. In fact, this is our go-to side for dishes like Turkish Beans Kuru Fasulye, Roasted Chicken with Veggies or Turkish vegetarian dishes like Okra With Tomatoes. 

How do you like Turkish pilaf with saffron in general? It is one of the staples in our pantry. We use it quite often not only when making rice pilaf, but we also love it in Shrimp like Shrimp with Creamy Saffron Sauce Tomato and Salsa like Bruschetta With Saffron & Carrot Salsa. If you like this Kebab as much as we do, you will love this Grilled koobide (minced meat kebab) too.

That being said, Turkish pilaf with saffron & dried tomato is totally optional. If you don’t have saffron on hand or don’t want to use it, you can make this pilaf recipe without saffron following the exact same steps.


The best recipe for your health, packed with brain-boosting nutrients like almond ,cinnamon, and saffron 


  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • generous pinch of saffron
  • 3 tsp rapeseed oil
  • 200g diced skinless turkey thigh
  • 85g wholegrain basmati rice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon
  • 3 celery sticks , finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried goji berries
  • 1 medium onion , halved and very thinly sliced
  • 100g baby spinach leaves
  • 25g flaked almonds


  • STEP 1

Finely chop the garlic and set aside to activate (see tip). Meanwhile, pour 2 tbsp boiling water over the saffron and set aside to infuse. Heat 2 tsp of the oil in a large, non-stick sauté pan with a lid, then add the turkey and fry for 5 mins, stirring frequently, until it starts to brown.


  • STEP 2

Stir the rice and cinnamon into the pan, then pour in 400ml boiling water and the bouillon, and stir well. Add the celery, thyme, goji berries and lots of ground black pepper. Cover the pan tightly to prevent steam escaping, and cook over a low heat for 20 mins.


  • STEP 3

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a non-stick pan and add the onion. When it starts to soften, cover the pan for 5 mins to steam it a little more. Take off the lid and slowly fry for 12-15 mins until golden, stirring frequently.


  • STEP 4

After the rice has cooked for 20 mins, check the water level – if the rice is still too nutty and the liquid has all been absorbed, add up to 100ml more water. Stir in the saffron, cover again, and cook for 5-10 mins until the rice is tender.


  • STEP 5

Add the garlic and spinach, cook briefly to wilt the leaves, then turn off the heat. Toss through the fried onions and almonds. Cover the pan and leave to rest for 5 mins before serving.

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