Leeks in Olive Oil (Zeytinyağlı Pırasa)


Pırasa is one of those vegetables that you either love it or hate it. The existence of both positive and negative references to leeks in Turkish culture proves how divided we are on the topic of pırasa as well as many other issues. My favorite saying related to leeks comes from Albanian Turks. When they are very full and cannot eat more, they say “I wouldn’t eat, even if it is pırasa.” It seems like the divide between the pro- and anti- leek people inspired Baba Zula, a popular Turkish band, to compose a song called pırasa. The lyrics of pırasa goes: “There are two different kinds of people in this world: those who love leek, and those who don’t.”


4 leeks, washed well and chopped in 1/3 inch rounds
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, chopped in rounds or half moons
1/4 cup rice
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of half lemon
2/3 – 1 cup hot water
1 tsp sugar

-Heat olive oil in a pot and add onions, stir for 4 minutes
-Add carrots and stir for 3 more minutes
-Add sugar and stir for another minute
-Add leeks and stir for a couple of minutes
-Add water, sugar, and salt (black pepper and crushed pepper)
-when the water boils add rice and lemon juice
-Cover and cook on low heat until rice is cooked

Pırasa is best when it’s served cold with a little lemon juice on top.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *