Almost Turkish Recipes

Dill-Mint Pilaf (Dereotlu ve Naneli Pilav)

Cooking rice with green vegetables and herbs is not alien to Turkish cuisine. In her wonderful book, 500 Hundred Years of Ottoman Cuisine, Marianna Yerasimos inform us about a 16th century pilaf recipe called Dane-i Yeşil which is made with spinach, mint, parsley, dill, celery stalks, etc.

My mom wasn't raised up in the palace kitchens, yet years ago she's come up with her own green pilaf recipe. She makes this pilaf whenever we have any kind of white fish for dinner. So within the family it's known as the fish pilaf.

serves 4

1 1/2 cups of white long grain rice
1 onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil (or butter)
1/2 bunch green onion, finely chopped
1/2 bunch dill, chopped
2 tbsp fresh or dried mint
1 tbsp green peppercorn
1 tbsp pine nuts
3 cups of water

-Heat oil in a pot. Stir onions, green onions, green peppercorns, and pine nuts. Cook until soft.
-Add rice and mint. Stir for 2-3 minutes.
-Add water (with most rice the ratio of rice to water is 1 to 2) and salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low until rice soaks the water (approximately 20 minutes)-Turn it off and stir half of dill. Cover the top of the pot with a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel. Place the lid on paper towel and let rice sit for at least 10 minutes before you serve.
-Scatter the rest of dill before you serve.

With all the herbs this recipes is for Kalyn's WHB which is hosted this week by Chris of Mele Cotte.


  1. What a tasty looking recipe! Whenever I think of the first time I had dill, it was a rice and dill dish made by a college friend - who was from Turkey. It was so good and I have never been able to duplicate the flavors. I am going to bookmark this for when I buy dill again.

    Thanks for participating in WHB!

  2. This looks very interesting but when does the dill go in?

  3. Thanks, Chris! I hope it'll be the same taste of your college years.

    Ferdzy, thanks for reminding.

  4. This sounds just wonderful. I have a friend from Iran who uses that method of putting a towel over the pan to absorb the steam from the rice. His rice is always just perfect. Love the combination of flavors with dill, mint, and pine nuts in your rice.

  5. Very interesting cooking procedure, indeed.

  6. Okay, reporting back.

    I did not make this quite as described but took all kinds of liberties... I used Japanese rice (I had it on hand) so reduced the water. I also included the celery, spinach, mint and parsley described in the opening paragraph. I added the dill too soon it seems, although the end result was very tasty and well enjoyed by everyone at the table. Thanks for posting this.