Turkish meat with rice etli pilav

Turkish Meat Pilav is a savory dish filled with aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, and garlic. The meat is then slowly cooked in a zesty tomato and sweet red pepper sauce and served over buttery rice.

Turkish meat with rice etli pilav

Turkish Meat Pilav (Etli Pilav)

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb stew meat, cut into small pieces (about the size of a nickel)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp red pepper paste
  • 1/2 tsp dried mint
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • a handful of fresh parsley to garnish


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups rice
  • 1 tbsp salt


Cook the rice:

  1. In a saucepan, add the butter and washed rice into the pan and fry on low for about 1 minute, just enough to toast the rice.
  2. Add 3 cups of water, (or vegetable broth for extra flavor) and salt and cook on low-heat with the lid on until the rice is nice and fluffy about 15-20 minutes. While the rice is cooking, start on the meat dish.

Cook the Turkish Stew Meat:

  1. In a pot, add the olive oil, chopped onion, chopped garlic, and meat. Cook until the onions have softened and the meat is brown.
  2. Add the the coriander, cumin, mint, oregano, tomato paste, red pepper paste to the pot and stir-fry for about one minute.
  3. Add 3 cups of water (or vegetable broth for extra flavor) and cook on high until a boil reaches, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
  4. Once the sauce has reduced and the meat is tender, stir in the butter. This will create a buttery and shiny coating.
  5. Serve over rice and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
  6. Enjoy!


Tip: if you would like to achive the same serving style as the picture, simply put the stew (with little amount of sauce) in the bottom of a bowl and layer rice over it.

Make sure to fill the rice enough (almost reaching the top of the bowl) and gently tap the rice into place to form a shape. Let it sit in this position for about one minute.

When ready, place the serving plate  over the bowl tightly and flip the bowl right side up on the plate. Gently remove the bowl from the meat and rice and watch the shape form in front of your eyes. 

  • Category: dinner
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, Turkish