Safflower Rice

Sample Dishes from Turkish Cuisine

Safflower Rice (Aspurlu (Haspirli) Pilav)

Onion4 medium size300 gr.
Minced Meat (rough)1 cup175 gr.
Margarine6 table spoons60 gr.
Carrots5 small265 gr
Rice2 cups360 gr.
Salt2 desert spoons15 gr.
Safflower1 desert spoon0,4 gr.
Water (hot)4 cups800 gr.


Peel and roughly slice the onions and place in a sauce pan on low heat, together with the margarine and the minced meet. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes until the meat juices are reduced. Wash and peel the carrots, cut into match sticks and add to the meat mixture and let marinate for about 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Wash and drain the rice and add to the saucepan and turn over once. Add salt, safflower and water, stir. Cook for about 15-20 minutes first on medium and later on low heat until water is totally absorbed. Cover with a dishcloth and leave to rest for about 20 minutes.

Servings: 6

Nutritional Value
(in approximately one serving)

Energy400 cal.
Protein9.9 g.
Fat 14.8 g.
Carbohydrate56.0 g.
Calcium44 mg.
Fe1.34 mg.
Phosphorus132 mg.
Zinc2 mg.
Sodium1025 mg.
Vitamin A4892 i.u.
Thiamine0.11 mg.
Riboflavin0.10 mg.
Niacin2.70 mg.
Vitamine C4 mg.
Cholesterol21 mg.


Safflower rice is served with garlic added yogurt. Safflower which gives its name to this dish and whose scientific name is "Carthamus tinctorius" is also known as "false saffron" or "parrot seed". As its flowers resemble saffron, they are often confused. Safflower is called "haspir" around the Gaziantep region. It is used in dishes such as potatoes with yogurt, keme with yogurt (tuber mushrooms), plain graupel pilaff, rice pilaff with carrots, vegetable stew and fresh broad - beans with yogurt.