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Give Bulgur a Chance and Create Delicious, Satisfying Meals

If you have been following this blog for a while, you must have noticed that bulgur wheat is often used in Turkish cuisine. In addition to its great health benefits, (like it’s wholegrain and high in fiber), I love its delicious, nutty taste and that it is so easy to create a variety of delicious meals with it in no time.

Kisir; Bulgur Wheat Salad with vegetables, olive oil and pomegranate molasses - tastes even better the next day!

Bulgur wheat unlike cracked wheat, is a grain made from the cooked wheat berries which have the bran removed, and are then dried and pounded. There are two varieties generally available, fine and coarse. The coarse type is used for pilaff and fine bulgur is used in salads. Take this wonderful Bulgur wheat salad with vegetables, olive oil and pomegranate molasses, Kisir. It is ‘a bowl of health’, refreshing and taste even better the next day!

Stuffed Zucchini (Courgettes), and Peppers with Bulgur, Southern Turkish Style

How about stuffing vegetables with bulgur? A popular way to enjoy Bulgur, especially at the Middle and Southern part of Turkey, a delicious and satisfying meal with some plain yoghurt by the side.

Potato and Bulgur patties with pomegranate molasses, a wonderful appetizer

Bulgur also features quite a lot in Turkish appetizers. These Potato and Bulgur patties are one of my favorite mezzes; they are scrumptious dipped on pomegranate molasses (or good balsamic vinegar).

Spicy Lentil and Bulgur soup with dried mint and vegetables

Bulgur can be a part of hearty, delicious soups too, like this Spicy Bulgur and Lentil Soup. It is common for this soup to be enjoyed as part of breakfast in Anatolia, central part of Turkey.

Bulgur is healthy, delicious, affordable and now widely available. I hope you can give bulgur a chance, you won’t be disappointed. If you are already enjoying bulgur, I wonder what your favorite bulgur recipe is, would you share with us?

Here is a new, delicious recipe featuring bulgur; it has been a great hit at my recent Cooking Class, I hope you enjoy it too.

Bulgur Wheat Pilaf with Sautéed Almonds

In Central Anatolia, bulgur wheat is eaten far more than the rice. We like to add vegetables and sometimes nuts to bulgur, like in this recipe. Sautéed almonds give a lovely texture and flavor to bulgur. This pilaff can be a meal by itself, why not serving with Shepherd’s Salad of cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers, drizzled with olive oil?

Bulgur Wheat with sauteed almonds


Serves 4-6

Preparation time: 10 minutes            Cooking time: 20 minutes (+10 min resting)

350gr/12oz bulgur wheat, rinsed and drained

75gr/3oz/3/4 cup blanched or flaked almonds

600ml/1 pint/2 1/2 cup hot water

30ml/2 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Handful of fresh herbs (like parsley or coriander), chopped to serve

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a heavy pan and stir in the bulgur, tossing it thoroughly. Pour in the hot water, season with salt and pepper and combine well. Bring to the boil for 1-2 minutes, then reduce the heat and cover the pan. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the liquid has been completely absorbed.

Turn the heat off, cover the pan with a paper or tea towel and place the lid on top. Leave to steam for a further 10-15 minutes.

A nuts stall in Levent Market, Pazar - Istanbul. Nuts have an important part in Turkish cuisine (and it is OK to have a little siesta in hot summers day!)


Sauteed almonds

In the meantime, heat the rest of the oil in a small pan and stir in the almonds. Gently sauté the almonds for 3-4 minutes, until they are golden (take care, as they can burn quickly).

Stir in the sautéed almonds to the bulgur pilaff, mix well. Serve hot with chopped parsley, coriander, or dill on top. You can also enjoy this dish with Shepherd’s Salad of cucumber, tomatoes and peppers, with a drizzle of olive oil.

Ideally, I would love to eat my bulgur overlooking to fascinating Istanbul; if we can’t be there for the moment, hopefully the photo may provide some ambiance.

Imagine being by the Bosphorus, Istanbul over looking the Topkapi Palace and floating ferries, Vapur

Afiyet Olsun!



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18 Responses to Give Bulgur a Chance and Create Delicious, Satisfying Meals

  1. Jen @ Savory Simple June 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    I love the texture of bulgar, it’s one of my favorite grains! What a fabulous recipe roundup.

    • Ozlem June 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

      Thank you Jen, glad you are a bulgur (bulgar) fan too!

  2. BacktoBodrum June 25, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    I love bulgur because it always turns out well, unlike rice, which I still manage to mess up occasionally if it’s a brand I’m not familiar with.

    • Ozlem June 25, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

      It’s so easy to handle bulgur isn’t it,another good reason to enjoy bulgur, thanks for that.I am with you on the rice front, still trying to perfect it!

  3. Phil in the Kitchen June 25, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    Delicious simple dish. Bulgur is so versatile – I recently made your Mercimekli Bulgur Kofte for lunch and they were lovely. I do get a little confused about coarse and fine bulgur, sometimes. In other parts of Europe in particular I’ve found that ‘fine’ can often be quite coarse. I also completely agree with BacktoBodrum’s comment on rice. I always try to buy the same brand because it seems so variable.

    • Ozlem June 26, 2012 at 9:25 am #

      Hi Phil, so glad to hear you enjoyed Mercimekli Bulgur Kofte, always wonderful to hear that recipes work well. It can be quite a challenge to get fine bulgur; it should be still grainy but finer. The Turkish market in Cheam, Surrey carries that, another good reason to make a visit!:)

  4. subhie June 25, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

    i have bulgur with me…bt neva try making nothing with it yet..this v helpful..thx for sharin!

    • Ozlem June 26, 2012 at 9:23 am #

      Hi Suphie, bulgur is really well worth trying out, you will be amazed to see how easy to cook it and how delicious it turns out, you are very welcome.

  5. Nazira June 26, 2012 at 2:57 am #

    It’s been sooo cold here in Australia at the moment, so I will definately be making your burgul and lentil soup this week. I know it will taste just like home feels…warm and inviting.

    • Ozlem June 26, 2012 at 9:20 am #

      I forgot about the climate in down under, glad the lentil and bulgur soup will be in use Nazira 😉

  6. Peri June 26, 2012 at 3:11 am #

    Oh dear Ozlem, my old favorites are here with some awesome new ones:) I absolutely love bulgur and I have you to thank for introducing me to it! Now I use everywhere I can:)

    The almond recipe looks so simple and super delicious and I like using fresh herbs, so versatile! Thanks for creating this collection… It’s going to be my go-to post! Much love, Peri.

    • Ozlem June 26, 2012 at 9:19 am #

      You are very welcome Peri, so glad you are enjoying bulgur, I hope the kisir could be refreshing in Texas heat! thank you so much for your kind words:) xxx ozlem

  7. Claudia June 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    I too am a bulgur fan! The fact of the matter is that it is so easy to cook and doesn’t risk failure like rice. This recipe looks great and I will be trying it soon! Thanks,Özlem! And even though I live in Istanbul, I still think your pic is fantastic! x

    • Ozlem June 26, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

      Merhaba Claudia,
      Thanks for stopping by, glad you are a bulgur fan too!! We just polished off the left over bulgur & meat stuffing of the pepper dolmas; with some steamed veg by the side, it was a complete meal. Thanks for your kind complement of Istanbul picture, I adore that city, enjoy every minute of it!:)

  8. julie June 29, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    I’m new to your site and am loving going through all of your recipes. I am a huge fan of Turkish food, and everything looks excellent. This bulgur almond pilaf looks wonderful and will be a nice change from our usual basmati. Thanks for sharing.

    • Ozlem June 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

      Merhaba Julie, thank you so much for your kind comment, it is always lovely to connect with Turkish food lovers – I look forward to checking your travels and cooking!


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