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braised leeks on a plate

Braised leeks (Pırasa yemeği)

  • Author: Amélie
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Category: Mezze
  • Method: Braising
  • Cuisine: Turkish
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Pırasa yemeği are braised leeks cooked in olive oil with carrots, red pepper or tomato paste, rice and freshly pressed lemon juice. It’s a very simple Turkish dish that can be served as a mezze or for dinner. Its taste will surprise you if you’re only used to buttered or creamed leeks but you should definitely give it a go!



  • 1kg leeks, about 4 big leeks
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tatlı biber salçası, or use tomato paste
  • 1 tsp of salt, heaped
  • 1 big lemon, juiced
  • 100g dry rice (½ cup)


instructions for braised leeks

  1. Cut off the leeks’ bulbs and tough tops and peel off the first layers of skin. Discard them.  Wash the leeks under running water and try to remove any grit you see with your fingers. Slice the leeks into 1cm (½ in) rings. Set aside.
  2. Cut the carrots in half lengthwise, then slice into half-moons.
  3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a lidded non-stick frying pan. Add carrots and cook for 5 min, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add the red pepper or tomato paste and spread it into the oil and over the carrots with the spoon. Stir in the leeks.
  5. Add the salt, lemon juice and 700ml (3 cups) of boiling water. Stir well and cover the pan with the lid.  Cook for 15 min.
  6. Stir in the rice, put the lid back on and keep cooking for 15 min to 20 min, until the rice is cooked. Add a bit of water if the rice has absorbed most of the liquid as Turkish braised leeks should be ‘saucy’.
  7. Let the braised leeks cool down a bit before serving (ideally to room temperature). However, like most Turkish meals made with olive oil, pırasa yemeği tastes better cold! I usually place the braised leeks in my fridge for several hours before serving.


The braised leeks will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


  • Serving Size: 1 plate
  • Calories: 508
  • Fat: 20.1g

Keywords: turkish mezze, leeks and carrots, olive oil dishes