Köse Pilaf

This pilaf recipe is from Mahmud Nedim’s book, Head Chef. It is a pilaf made using a different technique than what is generally used in modern Turkey, which is cooking the rice with exact amount of water so that you will not need to strain it afterwards.

This pilaf looks like ordinary rice pilaf in the photo, but there is a difference in the taste. Also, as mentioned in the notes section, the cooking technique ensures that the rice does not stick together.


Köse Pilaf

Difficulty 3 out of 10
Servings 2


  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter or 2.5 tbs regular butter
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Water


  1. Put at least 3 cups of water in a saucepot or saucepan and bring to boil.
  2. When the water starts to boil add in the salt.
  3. Add in the rice.
  4. When the rice starts to split, strain them.
  5. Empty the saucepot and place on very low heat.
  6. Add in the strained rice.
  7. While keeping the pot uncovered, leave the rice on very low heat and let them lose the remaining water.
  8. When you hear the rice starts to fry, melt your butter and pour over the rice.
  9. Take the pot off the heat, cover it and let the rice rest for half an hour.
  10. Mix well before serving.
  11. Enjoy.

Notes on Köse Pilaf
  • As soon as you add the rice in the boiling water, mix them with a spoon so that the rice doesn’t stick together. The more water you have the less effect the starch in the rice will have the sticking effect.
  • When you dilute the starch that much, the taste also decreases. But you can overcome this by adding more butter. A good quality, tasty butter will ensure a good result.
  • The most important part is where you keep the rice on low heat. You will need to adjust the heat and let the rice dry out as much as you can and add the butter in well before the rice turn color and stick to the pot.
  • Köse Pilaf has another goodness. When it loses most of its starch in the boiling water, it cannot stick together. This also ensures it will not form clumps or go hard the next day you heat the leftovers.