Wheat Pilaf

This is another dish reminding me of my childhood. This pilaf is made from peeled wheat and there is a traditional way of grinding wheat, which starts the relation with my childhood.

We used to visit my grandma living in the country every summer. As a child one of the things I loved there most was to wake up with a rythmic sound coming from outside. No not from an alarm clock or a tape recorder!

There was a big stone mortar (called dibek in Turkish) in the front yard, which is used for grinding wheat to remove their peel. It was something like a ritual. I would love to listen and watch the villagers working with this big stone.

Image taken from here.

How to grind wheat in a big stone mortar?

There must be two people standing opposite each other, the stone mortar between them. They have huge wooden mallets (is that the true word?), which are special for this work. There are nails on the end of mallets that make it easy to grind. Some wheat is washed and put into mortar. One of the villagers stroke on wheat with his mallet and the other one does the same just when the former one lifts it back. And they make a sound just like tennis players each time they hit their mallets. So they continue doing this until wheat is completely peeled. It is better if there is another person to dry the others’ sweat with a towel. Then this wheat is laid on a large cloth under sun and dried.

Stone mortars were located just in certain places in the village and my grandma’s yard was one of these places, so it was one of the wheat grinding centers for villagers. and I would love to wake up with their noise, which was the sound of labour. Dad wouldn’t like to hear it though as he was tired and wanted to sleep.

Today these mortars have become out of date and they are replaced by mills, which don’t need human labour and is faster. But I always remember the villagers grinding wheat in mortars whenever I have this pilaf.

There is another reason why this pilaf takes me to my childhood. I used to attend a lot of country weddings with my parents, which were more intimate than the weddings today. And they would always serve wheat pilaf (with lamb or chicken topping) and thimble soup together. These were the main wedding dishes in my village. All neighbors of the wedding host would come together and prepare the wedding dishes together overnight. I definitely miss those days!

So if you would like to cook wedding dishes at home, here is how. Don’t forget to check thimble soup out!


Wheat Pilaf | giverecipe.com

5 from 1 reviews
Wheat Pilaf
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Buttery wheat pilaf is a great alternative to rice as a side dish.
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup wheat
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 2 cups hot water(extra)
  • ¼ cup boiled chickpeas
  • salt to taste
  1. Wash wheat. Melt the butter in a large pot. Add olive oil and when it is heated add wheat into it. You will hear it is sizzling. Roast them stirring occasinally about 5 minutes.
  2. Add ½ cup hot water, stir it and cover. After a few minutes, open it and pour extra 2 cups hot water, add boiled chickpeas and salt.
  3. When it boils, bring it to the lowest heat and cover. Cook it until tender about 30 minutes.
  4. You can also improve it by adding melted butter onto it after cooked.
  5. Serve it warm with thimble soup, vegetable stew or any meat dish.


  1. says

    This is such a great recipe, Zerrin, I love the inclusion of wholegrain wheat (so much more nutritious than white rice) and chickpeas! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Kate @ Diethood.com says

    I have had this with barley and it is absolutely delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. says

    This recipe sounds amazing! Could I use bulgar wheat? I am a little confused on where I would just buy or find wheat. I have seen bulgar wheat in the store and wheat flour…. but I guess I have never looked for just wheat. LOL Could you give me some pointers? I would love to try this in place of the typical mid week rice dishes. I love it! Thank you for sharing! YUM!

  4. says

    Ben severim ama, çocuklar pek sevmiyorlar diye yapamıyorum. Halbuki pirinç pilavından daha güzel ve sağlıklı değil mi?
    Nohut da çok yakışmış.
    Eline sağlık olsun, sevgiler.

  5. says

    I love this blog post. I really enjoyed your description of how the wheat was ground, and the pilaf looks delicious.


  6. says

    I love the history behind how the wheat was hulled. Thank you for sharing your memories as a child and for passing along this recipe. It looks amazing.

  7. says

    What a delightful wedding dish. I loved hearing about the memories you had with this meal. And I loved learning a bit more about grinding wheat. What a great picture! Thank you for sharing this with me. I hope you have a lovely week. I wish you and your family the happiest New Year!

  8. says

    Thank you for sharing this! I love hearing about food and tradition. Also, it looks yummy :)

  9. says

    So – this is no longer peeled wheat? You cannot find any way to do it any more? Is that right? As Vanja (my husband) is from the former Yugoslavia, there are so many similarities in the cuisines… as the ottoman empire reigned there for 700 years… this one is new to me… but nutritious, sounds delicious, and is clearly economical. All great for my list! YUM!
    I enjoyed the history and memories with this dish… that is what traditional food is all about – and why I believe so strongly in carrying on with traditional food in our home, too!
    Happy New Year to you and your family!
    I cannot wait to see how you bring it in!

    • says

      Hi Valerie, actually this wheat used to be peeled by man labour in stone mortars, but now it is peeled by mills. Do you know bulgur? When wheat is ground a lot, it becomes bulgur. But when the duration of grinding is kept short, it is just peeled.

  10. OysterCulture says

    I love the explanations about the wheat and the recipe for the hearty soup you offer. It looks about perfect for these chilly days.


  1. […] today, no need to mention how healthy it is. To learn more recipes with wheat, check keskek and wheat pilaf, both of which are traditional wedding dishes. Bugday Salatasi […]

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