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.
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!
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.
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).
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?
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.
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.