Home Kitchen with Ozgur Onol

A male chef cutout onto a gold and pink background.

Join Ozgur Onol, Head Chef at Soho House Istanbul, to create a traditional Turkish dish at home

Karnıyarık and saffron brown rice

Karnıyarık (which means ‘slit belly‘ in Turkish) is a traditional Anatolian dish that’s made by frying aubergines, stuffing them with braised minced meat, then serving them with pilaf rice. I made this recipe with braised cubes of lean beef to reduce the fat content, and give some body and texture. Also, instead of frying the aubergines, I roasted them in the oven, then served them with saffron brown rice for a lighter and healthier twist. 

Serves eight 

4 aubergines 
Olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/ 420°F.
2. Wash and dry the aubergines.
3. Rub some olive oil and salt on the aubergines, then bake on a roasting tray for about 20 minutes, or until they’re soft to touch. Leave to cool.

For the saffron rice

2 cups brown rice
0.5g saffron
1 tbsp cider vinegar
Knob of butter 
4 cups hot chicken stock (or water)
Bay leaf

1. Wash the rice several times in cold water to get rid of extra starch. Leave it in the sieve to drain.
2. Mix the saffron with the cider vinegar to give it colour.
3. Melt the butter in a casserole dish, add the rice and toast it for three to four minutes.
4. Add the chicken stock, vinegar and saffron, bay leaf and salt.
5. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. 
6. Leave it to rest (covered) for another 10 minutes before serving.
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