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[pi-lahf, pee-lahf]
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  1. a Middle Eastern dish consisting of sautéed, seasoned rice steamed in bouillon, sometimes with poultry, meat or shellfish.
  2. rice cooked in a meat or poultry broth.
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Also pi·laff, pilau, pilaw.

Origin of pilaf

1925–30; < Turkish pilâv < Persian pilāw
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for pilaf

Historical Examples

  • Osman and his mother ate the pilaf with their fingers, from the same dish.

    Our Little Turkish Cousin

    Mary Hazelton Wade

  • This was for their pilaf, the distribution of which was a complete scramble.

  • When there is soup or soup stock on hand it can be well used in the pilaf.

  • Kevork brought some sheep-tail grease in a bit of paper and I held my nose while I melted it and poured it into the pilaf.

    The Red Rugs of Tarsus

    Helen Davenport Gibbons

  • Pilaf, a dish very common in the Orient and well known in the United States, is of this character and easily made.

Word Origin and History for pilaf


oriental dish of rice boiled with meat, 1610s, from Turkish pilav, from Persian pilaw. Spelling influenced by Modern Greek pilafi, from the Turkish word.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper