Aubergine or Eggplant Pilaf

This recipe is from the English translation of Melceü’t-Tabbahin, “A manual of Turkish Cookery”, by Turabi Efendi.

Aubergine has always had an important place in Ottoman Cuisine. Throughout history, its recipes has been updated and kept their importance with different cooking techniques in changing centuries. When it was popular to fry them in deep oil, there was a significant rise in house fires. They were so frequent that people even named them as “aubergine fires”.

Aubergine Pilaf is easy to prepare but is very delicious. Goes very well on the side of boiled or stewed beef. Here is how to make it:


Eggplant Pilaf

Difficulty 3 out of 10
Servings 2


  • 2 aubergines
  • 1 onion chopped into thin slices
  • 1 cup rice
  • 150 - 170 gr. Clarified Butter or 200 gr. regular butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1/2 teaspoon mastic
  • 1 cup beef broth or half a bouillon
  • 4 cups of water


  1. Cut the aubergines into four, lengthwise.
  2. If they are too seedy, clear them out.
  3. Cut them about an inch thick.
  4. Bring to boil 2,5 cups of water. Add half a teaspoon of salt. Boil the aubergines in this water.
  5. Melt the clarified or regular butter in a saucepot. Add in the onions and fry until they change colour.
  6. Drain and add in the aubergines and fry them well.
  7. Add in 3 cups of water and the beef broth.
  8. Add in salt, ground black pepper, mastic and saffron.
  9. When it begins to boil add in the rice.
  10. Cook on low heat until the rice absorbs the liquid.
  11. Remove from heat and rest for 10 minutes.
  12. Serve and enjoy.

Tips and Tricks for Eggplant Pilaf


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