Pilaf of Galatasaray

The tradition of making pilaf on the first Sunday of June every year at Galatasaray and serving it on Pilaf Day began with a series of decisions taken by the Alumni Association of Galatasaray in the 1930s. The first Pilaf Day was organized on June 1, 1934. At its meeting on April 30, 1934, the association decided to organize a feast in which all Galatasaray alumni will participate. At its meeting on May 14, 1934, the decision was made to hold the Galatasaray Alumni Feast on June 1, 1934. The following year, an ongoing date for Pilaf Day was determined. The Alumni Association of Galatasaray decided to organize its annual food feast on Friday, May 31, 1935 and serve pilaf with lamb meat, vegetables. and bread pudding with cream.” This set of meals, which gained enormous popularity, was defined as the Galatasaray Pilaf and became the main menu of Pilaf Day. Galatasaray Pilaf is served to the participants on the traditional Pilaf Day on the first Sunday of June each year. Also, as part of the school’s regular activities, Galatasaray Pilaf is served to the students at lunch every Friday. 

Pilaf Recipe

Ingredients: (serving: 1) 

•  Rice (80 g)
•  Lamb meat (300 g)
•  Unsalted butter (25 g)
•  Blackcurrant (7 g)
•  Pine nuts (7 g)
•  Liver (25 g)
•  Onions ()
•  Pepper ()
•  Salt (to taste)

Lamb meat is used in Galatasaray Pilaf, preferably large pieces from the shoulder, leg, or rib. The entire meat chunk is boiled, and a broth is prepared. Then, the meat is placed on a large tray and a small amount of broth is poured over it before it is placed in the oven. The meat is roasted on high heat for 20 minutes. No additional oil is required as the meat cooks in its own juices. Before the pilaf is prepared, the cooked meat is kept in the refrigerator for half a day.

The rice is placed in salted hot water for 30 minutes. It is then rinsed until the water runs clear. The rice is then fried in a pot, during which time unsalted butter is added. The process of frying takes approximately 20–30 minutes.

Unsalted butter is melted in a separate frying pan, and chopped onion and liver are added and fried. In another frying pan, pine nuts are fried with more unsalted butter. When the pine nuts turn pink, the blackcurrants are then added and stirred in the pan. 

After the frying is over, 1.5 kg of broth for each kg of rice is added to the rice pot, together with the pine nuts, blackcurrants, liver, and black pepper. Then, the pot is covered, and the rice is cooked on high heat until it absorbs the broth; it continues to cook on low heat. The process is done when the surface of the rice looks like a honeycomb.

While the rice cooks, the cooked lamb is taken from the refrigerator and cut into small pieces. The meat is placed on a large tray and some broth is poured over it; it is reheated for 15–20 minutes.

 The meat and cooked rice are then combined and served.