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Purslane Recipe with Rice & Tomatoes: Turkish Semizotu Pilaf

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  • Author: Gonul
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Bought purslane at the farmer's market on a whim or you think it's an annoying "weed" in your garden? Try this Turkish classic purslane recipe with rice and tomatoes! This is a budget-friendly family-favorite on its own as well as with plant-based yogurt on the side.


  • 1 bunch purslane (makes about 1.5 cups chopped)
  • 1/2 cup medium-grain rice*
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • up to 1/2 cup water (you may not need it)


  1. Wash and cut off the leaves of purslane, then chop the stalks. We will use all parts in this dish.
  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil and sautee the onion on medium heat until slightly golden.
  3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and rice. Sautee for a few more minutes.
  4. Add the purslane and salt. Depending on how juicy the tomatoes you've used are, you may also need to add water at this point.
  5. Mix and lower the heat. Put on the lid and continue cooking until the rice is soft, about 20 minutes.
  6. Let rest for at least 5 minutes and enjoy with plant-based yogurt on the side.


For this recipe I personally don't wash or soak the rice so that there is more free starch in the final dish, making it almost risotto-like. I love this video by Adam Ragusea where he goes over the rice debacle.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Lunch, Dinner
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: Turkish