In a follow-up on another question (What are these spaghetti-like strings in the rice I got from a Turkish shop?), I would like to know WHY pasta is typically added to Turkish rice dishes (like sehriyeli pilav) ? Is it just a matter of flavor, or might there be another historical reason ?

  • 5
    "Why use an ingredient" questions are difficult when it comes to food. Sometimes there's a food science answer (ex ingredients that serve specific roles as leavener, or sweetner, etc). Other times, the answer is just "someone thought it would taste good 🤷." In this case, I'm inclined to think it's the latter, but it would be interesting if there's more to it than that.
    – AMtwo
    Oct 8, 2021 at 16:44
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    I speculate someone ran out of rice and decided to break out the spaghetti. Very literally. Definitely mom with kids logic friendly lol.
    – kitukwfyer
    Oct 8, 2021 at 18:40
  • @kitukwfyer and it would continue if it were a cost savings (or just a way to use up broken pasta), or if people liked the texture contrast
    – Joe
    Oct 9, 2021 at 9:41

1 Answer 1


There's no specific historical reason. Turkish folks cook a lot of pilaf, and as such they like to change it up by trying different kinds of pilaf. Examples:

Asking why Turkish folks put different things in their pilaf is, then, just like asking why Italians have so many kinds of pasta, or why Americans make sandwiches out of so many different foods. It's because it's a dietary staple, and people like variety.

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    Now I want a rice pilaf with radiatore sandwich. It is going to be hard to find...
    – Willk
    Oct 10, 2021 at 0:48

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