Avocado, Mushroom and Tomato Pilaf | Harem Pilav

It’s likely this Avocado, Mushroom and Tomato Pilaf recipe from Arto der Haroutunian’s cookbook, Vegetarian Dishes of the Middle East carries influences from French colonialism in the region, given the use of white wine in the recipe. There’s a pleasingly retro vibe to the suggested presentation, and it’s a straightforward recipe for a midweek meal.

Harem pilav (avocado, wine and mushroom pilau)

Our cookbook reviewers loved the nostalgic vibe of this recipe, and commented that the tomato sauce, with its mix of mushrooms and avocado, was refreshingly unlike any other tomato sauces they’ve made.

Read our full book review of Vegetarian Dishes of the Middle East by Arto der Haroutunian.

Avocado, Mushroom and Tomato Pilaf | Harem Pilav

This recipe uses tomatoes, mushrooms, avocado and wine. It is an interesting concoction and very appetising.
Servings 4 people
Author Arto der Haroutunian


  • 110 g 4 oz butter
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 350 g 12 oz long-grain rice, washed thoroughly under cold water and drained
  • 600 ml 1 pint water
  • 210 ml 7 fl oz white wine
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 175 g 6 oz button mushrooms, wiped clean and halved
  • 6 to matoes blanched, peeled and chopped - use canned ones if you prefer
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 ripe avocado peeled and diced
  • a few fresh parsley or tarragon leaves finely chopped


  • Preheat oven to 350F (180C) gas 4.
  • Melt 2 oz (50g) of the butter in an ovenproof casserole. Add the garlic and onion and fry until the onion is golden brown. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Pour in the water and wine, stir in 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper and bring to the boil. Cover the casserole, place in the oven and leave for 15-20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.
  • Meanwhile, in a frying pan, melt the remaining butter and saute the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano and the remaining salt and pepper and allow to simmer for a further 2 minutes. Scatter the mixture with the diced avocado; remove the pan from the heat and keep warm.
  • On a large serving plate, arrange the rice in a ring and fill the centre with the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley or tarragon and serve at once.

Find more great rice recipes on Kavey Eats.


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Kavey Eats received a review copy of Vegetarian Dishes of the Middle East by Arto der Haroutunian from publisher Grub Street. Our photography by Mr and Mrs NotLeafy. 

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