Leeks with Rice (Pirinçli Pırasa)

I have to admit that I do not know many recipes with leeks. My mother seldom cooked leeks. I do not recall her cooking it as the main dish but only as an ingredient for another recipe.

This dish is known in most parts of Turkey. This recipe is inspired from the Leeks with Carrots recipe from the Turkish cookbook called “Anatolian Feast” which is published by the American Turkish Association of Houston a non-profit organization.

4 medium leeks (sliced in ½ inch thick)
1 cup carrots (sliced thick)
1 red bell pepper (sliced lenghtwise)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 cup rice
1 tsp tomato sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups water

Wash the leeks thoroughly. Clean underneath each leaf with lots of water. There will be dirt sticking between the leaves. Therefore, after washing and slicing them, I soak them in a pot full of water and triple wash them.

Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add garlic and stir for one minute. Do not let them burn. Add leeks and carrots. Sautee for 3-4 minutes or until the leeks are soft. Add rice, tomato sauce, cumin, pepper and salt. Lastly, add the water. Stir well and cover the pot. Cook on low heat for 45 minutes. You may stir a few times during cooking to make sure the rice cooks well. Serve warm or cold as the main dish.

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