Delicious Turkish Eggplant Pilaf Recipe for Food Lovers

Dearest food enthusiasts,

I am utterly delighted to share with you an exquisite recipe that I learned during my journey to Turkey, the land of the Middle Eastern cuisine. Ladies and gentlemen, let me present to you the delectable Turkish Eggplant Pilaf, or Patlicanli Pilav for our Turkish friends out there.

This savory rice dish is a staple in the Turkish culinary landscape and a well-known recipe in Ottoman cuisine. It is also known as Patlıcanlı İç Pilav, which means rice with eggplants, and is commonly served in traditional ceremonies and special occasions.

The recipe features olive oil-heavy rice paired with succulent fried eggplants or aubergines that add depth to the dish’s flavor profile. This wonderful pairing offers a unique and satisfying taste that will tantalize your taste buds.

Aside from its rich taste, our eggplant pilaf recipe is abundant in essential vitamins and minerals found mainly in the tomatoes and vegetables used in preparing it. The eggplant itself has high fibre content and a low-calorie count, making this recipe not only delicious but healthy as well.

So sit back, relax, and prepare yourselves to experience a beautiful blend of flavors that will undoubtedly impress everyone at your table.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Turkish Eggplant (Aubergine) Pilaf (Patlicanli Pilav)
Turkish Eggplant (Aubergine) Pilaf (Patlicanli Pilav)

Greetings, fellow food enthusiasts!

Are you tired of the same old boring rice dishes? Looking to spice up your mealtime with a burst of exotic Middle Eastern flavors? Then come along with me on a journey to taste bud paradise with this delectable Turkish Eggplant Pilaf (Patlicanli Pilav) recipe.

What’s not to love about it? Succulent eggplants, fluffy Basmati rice, fresh herbs like mint and parsley, drizzled in rich olive oil and savory tomato sauce. It’s a feast for the senses that will have you feeling like royalty after just one bite.

This dish has been passed down through generations of Ottoman palace kitchens before being perfected into the deliciously satisfying meal that we know today. And now, it has the pleasure of gracing your dinner table with its presence.

Not only is this Pilaf a guaranteed crowd-pleaser due to its unique combination of textures and flavors, but it is also incredibly versatile. You can easily substitute ingredients based on your taste preferences and dietary restrictions – using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth or swapping out eggplant for zucchini – making this dish adaptable for everyone to enjoy.

So why not take a break from your routine meals and whip up some aromatic Pilaf to shake things up? Trust me, your taste buds will thank you later.

Ingredient List

 A satisfying meal that tastes as good as it looks!
A satisfying meal that tastes as good as it looks!

Let me give you the list of ingredients for this Turkish Eggplant Pilaf recipe. As with all recipes, the ingredients make a world of difference in how your dish would turn out – freshness plays an important role here. You can easily find these ingredients from your local market or grocery store.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 oval eggplants (aubergines), weighing approximately 1 lb (or 3 small ones as substitution)
  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained well
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
  • 2 cups diced green beans, fresh or frozen (optional)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 handful of fresh mint
  • 1 handful of parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

(optional meat-based stuffing ingredients: 1/2 pound ground beef or lamb, 1/4 cup tomato paste, 1 clove garlic minced, a pinch of red pepper flakes)

The recipe comes together with simple ingredients that are found in many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. However, a few key ingredients like eggplants and basmati rice are mandatory to achieve the flavors that make this pilaf so incredibly special.

The Recipe How-To

 A fusion of flavors that will take your taste buds on a journey to Turkey
A fusion of flavors that will take your taste buds on a journey to Turkey

Here is how to make this delicious Turkish Eggplant (Aubergine) Pilaf (Patlicanli Pilav) recipe:

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

Gather your ingredients and prepare them as follows:

  • 2 oval eggplants (aubergines)
  • 1 lb. basmati rice
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups green beans, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • A handful of fresh parsley and fresh mint leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Step 2: Cook the Rice

Begin by rinsing the rice in a fine-mesh sieve under cold running water until the water runs clear. Cook according to your package instructions using olive oil instead of butter or margarine for a healthier option.

Step 3: Fry the Eggplants (Aubergines)

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add diced onion and fry until lightly browned. Slice the eggplants into cubes and add them to the pot along with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fry until browned on all sides then remove from pot with a slotted spoon.

Step 4: Cook the Tomatoes and Green Beans

In the same pot you used for frying, add diced tomatoes and green beans. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat until slightly softened.

Step 5: Combine All The Ingredients Together

Add cooked rice, fried eggplants (aubergines), cooked green beans, cooked tomatoes, and chopped parsley & mint leaves to that same pot. Stir all ingredients together gently but thoroughly.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy!

Cover and let pilaf rest over low heat for ten to fifteen minutes before serving with plain yogurt on top.
This Turkish Eggplant (Aubergine) Pilaf is delightful on its own, but also pairs well with grilled meats like slim kebabı or karniyarik. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 It's time to elevate your rice game by adding grilled eggplants to the mix
It’s time to elevate your rice game by adding grilled eggplants to the mix

My dear readers, while this Turkish Eggplant Pilaf recipe is undeniably delicious as it is, you may also experiment with some variations and substitutions to suit your taste or dietary preferences. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Grain alternatives: for those who prefer not to use rice, you may substitute it with quinoa, bulgur wheat or couscous for a heartier texture.

2. Vegetable choices: If eggplants aren’t your thing, you can substitute them with zucchini or bell peppers for a vibrant color and taste.

3. Adding Protein: To make this recipe into a complete meal, add cooked and cubed chicken, beef or lamb during the cooking process.

4. Herbs variations: For extra flavor, infuse different herbs like thyme, rosemary, or oregano to the pilaf. You may also use parsley or cilantro in place of mint leaves, depending on your preference.

5. Vegan alternative: Omit the yogurt topping if you are vegan or replace it with non-dairy yogurt.

6. Spicier Version: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes while cooking for a spicier kick in flavor.

Remember that these suggested variations should be used only as guidelines and that experimenting is the best way to discover new taste sensations!

Serving and Pairing

 Hot and steamy, a pilaf that is perfect for cold winter nights
Hot and steamy, a pilaf that is perfect for cold winter nights

Once your Turkish Eggplant Pilaf is ready, it’s time to serve and savor the delicious aroma and flavors. This dish is best served hot, straight off the stove, paired with a dollop of tangy yogurt on top.

It also pairs perfectly with a cold refreshing salad made with fresh greens, tomatoes, and a simple lemon-olive oil vinaigrette. This will balance out the richness of the eggplant pilaf and provide a nice variety of textures and flavors.

For those who prefer meat in their meal, consider pairing the pilaf with a succulent kebab recipe like patlıcanlı slim kebabı or karniyarik. The tender meat beautifully complements the soft eggplants in the pilaf.

To complete your Turkish-inspired feast, add some baklava or other Middle Eastern desserts for a sweet ending. Serve Turkish tea or coffee to wash it all down.

Remember to sit down and enjoy this meal slowly with good company. After all, food is not only meant to nourish our bodies but also our souls.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A delicious meal that's perfect for a casual dinner or a fancy feast
A delicious meal that’s perfect for a casual dinner or a fancy feast

If you’re planning to make this Turkish Eggplant Pilaf (Patlicanli Pilav) Recipe ahead of time, I’ve got great news: it reheats beautifully! This pilaf will last up to four days in the refrigerator in an airtight container, so it’s perfect for meal prep and leftovers.

To reheat, simply toss it into a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until warmed through. You can also microwave it, but be warned that the rice may become slightly mushy.

If you have leftover cooked rice and eggplants (aubergines), they can be stored separately in the fridge for up to five days. Simply reheat them and then combine to make a new batch of pilaf.

This recipe is versatile and can be adjusted to serve more or less people, so feel free to double or halve the ingredients based on your needs. Just remember that if you’re serving a smaller crowd, this dish will still stay fresh for several days.

Whether you’re prepping for a busy week or looking to use up leftovers, this eggplant pilaf is just what you need. It’s easy to make-ahead, stores well, and reheats like a dream – there’s really no limit to when or how often you can enjoy this deliciously comforting and flavorful rice dish. So go ahead and make a big batch – you won’t regret it!

Tips for Perfect Results

 It only takes a few ingredients to make this scrumptious dish
It only takes a few ingredients to make this scrumptious dish

Achieving the desired texture and flavor in Turkish Eggplant Pilaf can be challenging especially for those who are not familiar with the dish. In fact, it took me several tries before I got the perfect result. To help you get it right on your first attempt, here are some tips that I want to share with you.

First, when frying the eggplant, make sure to cut them into small pieces and dust them with flour before frying. This will help to prevent them from becoming too mushy and soggy.

Another important step is to rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking to get rid of excess starch. This will result in a softer and fluffier rice pilaf.

When sautéing the onions, take your time and let them cook slowly until they turn translucent but not browned. This will add a subtle sweetness to the dish.

Incorporating fresh herbs such as parsley and mint is key to elevating the flavors of this dish. Make sure to chop them finely and sprinkle them generously over your finished pilaf.

A touch of acidity can also do wonders for this recipe. You can add a tablespoon or two of lemon juice or vinegar to brighten up the flavors.

Lastly, using high-quality olive oil is essential for a rich and authentic taste. However, make sure not to use too much oil as this may result in a heavy and greasy pilaf.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a delicious and flavorful Turkish Eggplant Pilaf that your family and friends will surely love!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, preparing and enjoying Patlicanli Pilav can be a delightful experience. It is a hearty and flavorful Turkish dish that is sure to captivate anyone’s palate. The combination of eggplants, basmati rice, tomatoes, and herbs results in a truly magical taste that will transport you straight to Istanbul.

By following this recipe and utilizing the tips shared above, you can easily make delicious Patlicanli Pilav in your own kitchen, which can serve as an exquisite addition to your weekly menu or entertainment spread.

So why not introduce yourself to a new world of Middle Eastern flavors? With this recipe at hand, you can experience culinary expertise inspired by centuries-old Turkish cuisine right in your very own home. You will impress your family and friends with this exotic pilaf recipe and leave them craving for more. Don’t forget to pair it with some Olive oil-drizzled salad or yogurt-based side-dish and enjoy an amiable and filling mealtime!

Turkish Eggplant (Aubergine) Pilaf (Patlicanli Pilav)

Turkish Eggplant (Aubergine) Pilaf (Patlicanli Pilav) Recipe

Really good. From The Complete Middle East Cookbook By Tess Mallos. This is really nice served with Recipe #322921.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Turkish
Servings 6
Calories 428.8 kcal


  • 2 oval eggplants (aubergines, 1 lb in all)
  • salt
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (be sure to use a good one!)
  • 2 cups tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 6 paper towels
  • yogurt, for serving (or Cucumber Salad With Yogurt (Middle East, Palestine) which is even better)


  • Cut eggplants into large cubes with skin on. Place in a colander and sprinkle liberally with salt. Leave for 30 minutes.
  • Rince and dry eggplant with paper towels.
  • Half onion lengthwise and slice.
  • Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a heavy pan and fry eggplant cubes until lightly browned. Remove and set aside.
  • Add the remaining oil and gently fry the onion until transparent. Add tomatoes, seasoning, herbs and fried eggplant. Bring to a boil.
  • Wash rice until the water runs clear. Drain and place on top of the eggplant mixture. Add chicken stock.
  • Bring to a boil without stirring. Reduce heat, cover pan and leave to simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  • Turn off heat, place a few paper towels over the rim of the pan and replace the lid (This is important don't ignore this part or your pilav won't be as fluffy!).
  • Stir gently and turn into a heated serving dish.
  • Serve with yogurt and then enjoy the delicious taste.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 453gCalories: 428.8kcalCarbohydrates: 64.9gProtein: 9.8gFat: 15.4gSaturated Fat: 2.4gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 736.6mgFiber: 8.5gSugar: 8.3g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Egg-free, Free Of..., Lactose-free, Long-Grain Rice, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Middle Eastern, One-Dish Meal, Ramadan, Rice, Savory, Turkish, Vegetable
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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