Nohut & pilav

Rice and chickpeas. What’s simpler?

Nohut & pilav means literally chickpeas and rice but imagine tasting this dish on vacation, walking through the streets of Istanbul: you will never forget this recipe again. Long grain rice is cooked in chicken broth, chickpeas are added and left to rest for about ten minutes before serving. One of the most typical street food dishes in Istanbul.

Turkish rice pilav with chicken and chickpeas

If you take a stroll through Istanbul’s business districts, you’ll see street vendors serving hot pilav rice with chicken and chickpeas. Their two-wheeled vending machines are unmistakable, especially at lunchtime.

Chicken and chickpea pilav rice, or nohutlu pilavı, is popular on the streets because it is very cheap. Plus, if you’re working hard all day, it gives you plenty of energy and nutrients.

You can usually get a bowl of fresh pilav and an iced cup of the Turkish yogurt drink called ayran for a few Turkish Lira or less.

While it looks like a simple meal, it’s actually really delicious. Many families do this at home, especially for large gatherings.

Rice and dried legumes such as chickpeas are staples in Turkish cuisine and are some of the most popular Turkish ingredients.

Turkish pilav
Turkish pilav

How to make Turkish rice pilav with chicken and chickpeas?

Ingredients: 1/2 whole chicken with the skin on, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 (12 ounces) can, Chickpeas, 2 tbsp. butter, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 1/2 cups, short grain rice, 2 cups of chicken broth, 1 cup of water, 2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper.

Preparation: Place the ½ chicken in a saucepan and fill it with enough water to cover the chicken by an inch. Peel the carrot and onion and put them in the pot. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover the pot. Let the chicken gently simmer until the meat falls off the bones, about 30 minutes. Set it aside to cool. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and set them aside. In a large, shallow pan, melt the butter along with the oil. Add the rice and work the oils through all the grains with a wooden spoon. Over low heat, continue to “fry” the dry rice for a few minutes. Add the chickpeas, chicken stock, water and spices. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover. Let the rice simmer very gently over low heat until all the liquid is absorbed. Serve the rice boiling with a glass of ayran.