Turkey – Traditional Hamsili Pilaf (Rice Covered in Fish)

by Fariha Saeed

About the dish

Hamsili pilaf is the yummiest dish. It is basically no spice rice covered in anchovies fish and then bakes in the oven. Winter is the best season to have this delicious dish, because all the little anchovies are found in this season. This dish is very fancy. Almost every person in the world loves rice for sure. The combination of rice and anchovies is amazing. This dish has a unique way of cooking because pilaf is a dish that is made pressure cooker but Hamsili pilaf is a dish that is baked in the oven. This time of the year almost every street vendor has this dish at their stall. You can serve this at parties as to the main course, you can also serve this to your guests, friends, and family. People love to have this on Sunday mornings with a cup of tea or coffee. People also like to have this appetizing dish on Sunday nights or at lunch. There are many kind of pilaf :

  • Bulgur pilaf
  • orzo pilaf
  • lamb pilaf
  • etli pilaf
  • chicken pilaf
  • pirinc pilaf
  • sehriye pilaf
  • pardeli pilaf

Hamsili pilaf has a unique way of cooking. All the restaurants have this dish on their menu. The taste of it is very unique. If you did not have rice with fish you have to try this at once. The little anchovies taste amazing. They are found in the black sea in Turkey. All the people in Turkey made this dish at eid dinner. This is served with fresh crusty bread and salad. It always looks so good in photos. The fun part of the dish is to cover a bowl with anchovies long stripes and then fill it with rice.

Ingredients of the dish

  • 500 g Baldo rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp black currant
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp dill
  • 2 tbsp parsley


Take a pan put on the stove and turn the heat medium and then add butter, black currant, onions and saute it for 15 minutes.

Take a deep cooking pot and the water, rice, and olive oil and boil for 10 minutes only. Do not boil too much the rice should be a little raw. Now put the cinnamon, sugar, and dill in the frying pan and saute for 10 minutes. When the rice is boiled drain them and put them in the frying pan mix well and cook for about 20 minutes and keep mixing otherwise it will burn.

Now turn the heat off and take the baking tray and put parchment paper in it. Take 250 g of anchovies and cover them in cornflour. and put it in the baking tray only cover it because we have to put the rice in it. Tray to make a flower shape. Now fill the rice in it and put some anchovies on top of the rice.

Pre heat the oven for 170 degree celcius and bake it for 30 minutes. Serve with toasted bread and salad.

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