Wild Black Rice (Siyah Pirinçli Pilav)

Although wild rice is rich in protein and flavor, it is difficult to cook. The cooking ratio of 1:2 that is good for almost any kind of rice doesn't work with wild rice, because it's a grain; it takes a long time to cook it; and sometimes it might be too chewy to enjoy. This recipe comes as a result of stubbornly experimenting with wild rice to cope with its difficulties. Carrots and mushroom, but especially barley help with the chewiness and lemon zest lightens up the strong nutty flavor. But still keep in mind that wild rice is always a chewy kind of rice.

1 onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup black rice
1 cup barley
2 cups chopped mushroom
1 carrot, diced
4 1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
zest of 1 lemon or lime
1/3 cup pine nuts

-Let wild rice sit in cold water for at least 15 minutes before cooking.
-Saute onion and carrot with butter for 5 minutes and then add mushroom. Stir until onion is soft.
-Add wild rice and barley and stir for a couple of minutes.
-Pour vegetable or chicken stock. Add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer on low almost an hour or until water is soaked. If after an hour there's still some water, take the lid off and cook a little more.
-Roast pine nuts in a toaster oven on a non-stick frying pan. Let them cool off.
-When rice is cooked add parsley, lime/lemon zest, and pine nuts. Fluff rice with a fork before serving.
-Try it with plain yogurt on the side.


  1. Anonymous9:55 AM

    I love the colors on this dish. I've never cooked with wild rice but am certainly tempted to give it a try after finding your blog!

    Ari (Baking and Books)

  2. Another one that looks fabulous!

  3. This pilav looks yummy. What a coincidence. I made a wild rice salad last weekend. But my food blog is in turkish.

  4. Your recipes are ALWAYS fabulous! I love wild rice and this looks exactly the way I like to cook my rice. Beautiful pictures

  5. Absolutely marvelous combination. And so colorful. I've been looking for a good rice dish. And now I've found one. Cheers!

  6. What an interesting recipe! Your photo is so lively, I just wanna taste the rice asap!

  7. Hi Burcu,
    You should know that you are one of my favorites. And I admire the work you put into your blog. Keep up the good work.

  8. 2:1 probably doesn't work because wild rice isn't actually a rice at all. It's a wild grain native to the US. I don't think it ever gets really soft, but I do like its flavor.

  9. JuditPA6:25 AM

    Wild rice is indeed not a rice but a grass grain, native to the US and Canada. For decades its harvest by canoe was exclusive to Native American tribes but those exclusive harvest rights has been removed and it is now grown commercially. It's name comes from the assessment by French explorers who called it "crazy oats." We soak wild rice in cool water before cooking and then simmer in vegetable stock over low-medium heat for about 45 minutes. If you want to make a pilaf with rice, cook the grains separately and then combine with seasoning, vegetables, nuts, etc.