like most middle Eastern people consume a good bit of rice each year. Unlike the
Asians though, Turkish rice dishes are most flavourful. The variety is maintained
and enhanced by the use of all kinds of herbs, spices and cereals and legumes.
It seems as though some people are inventing a new rice dish every day. Lately
I noticed restaurants serving a spiced rice dish blanketed with a thin dough baked
in an individual earthenware bowl! You can serve rice as a side dish or as a main
dish. But the importance of a simple white pilau (Turks never call a rice dish
just that; rice, when cooked, is a pilau) served with white beans cooked in tomato
sauce must be especially stressed here because it definitely has a place in the
Turkish culture as the "national dish". When young men remember their
army experience, they almost always mention the amount of pilau and beans they
have enjoyed along with the lasting friendships.
is also used in large quantities with fresh vegetables that can be stuffed or
that can be used as a wrapping around it after it has been mixed with spices and