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Spiced Bulgur balls with leafy greens, peppers, onions-Bulgurlu Kofte

 

Merhaba Dear All,

I hope this note finds you all well. We have been enjoying this delicious vegan bulgur balls, Bulgur Koftesi, with sautéed greens, onions, peppers, and I wanted to share with you too. Bulgur is a main staple in southern Turkish cuisine and enjoyed in multiple ways –such as in salads as in Kisir, Spicy Bulgur Wheat Salad in bulgur patties as in Oruk, our version of baked kibbeh, in pilafs and more. This delicious bulgur kofte is from southern Turkey; in Antakya, the sauce is mainly made with spinach or pazi, similar to Swiss chard and garlic. In my version, I included sautéed onions and peppers to the mix too; their natural sweetness really complemented the cumin spiced bulgur balls, along with the greens. Spinach, Swiss chard or spring greens would work well here as alternatives. With the freshness from squeeze of lemon and a delicious heat from pul biber or red pepper flakes, it is a lovely meal. You can serve as meze or as a main with cucumber and yoghurt dip aside. These Baked potatoes with olives, peppers and red onions can be a nice accompaniment too. If you prefer not to use red pepper paste, you can use concentrated tomato paste, though the red pepper paste does add a deliciously rich flavor. You can also make your own red pepper paste, biber salcasi, with my recipe here.

Bulgur is a nutty grain and these bulgur balls are not soft, they are quite sturdy. Rolling them in smaller balls and coating them with olive oil once they boiled, help to keep them moist. If you like to have them in a more juicy sauce, you may like to try this delicious rich tomato sauce with aubergines, as I have done at my Bulgur balls in aubergine and tomato sauce, Patlicanli Eksi Asi recipe here, to go with these bulgur balls too.  I hope you enjoy this delicious, vegan Bulgur balls, Bulgurlu Kofte, great for preparing ahead of time too.

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Spiced Bulgur balls with leafy greens, peppers, onions - Bulgurlu Kofte
 
I hope you enjoy this delicious vegan bulgur balls, Bulgur Koftesi, with sautéed leafy greens, onions, peppers, from my southern Turkish roots. in Antakya, the sauce is mainly made with spinach or pazi, similar to Swiss chard and garlic. In my version, I included sautéed onions and red peppers to the mix too; their natural sweetness really complemented the cumin spiced bulgur balls, along with the greens. Spinach, Swiss chard or spring greens would work well here as alternatives. With the freshness from squeeze of lemon and a delicious heat from pul biber or red pepper flakes, it is a lovely meal. You can serve as mezze or as a main with cucumber and yoghurt dip aside. Bulgur is a nutty grain and these bulgur balls are not soft, they are quite sturdy. Rolling them in smaller balls and coating them with olive oil once they boiled, help to keep them moist. If you like to have them in a more juicy sauce, you may like to try this delicious rich tomato sauce with aubergines, as I have done at my Bulgur balls in aubergine and tomato sauce, Patlicanli Eksi Asi recipe at my blog, to go with these bulgur balls too. Afiyet Olsun.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegan, Bulgur Balls
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • For the bulgur balls:
  • 170gr/6oz fine bulgur
  • 45ml/3 tbsp all - purpose plain flour
  • 15ml /1 tbsp Turkish red pepper paste / biber salcasi
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 115ml/ 4fl oz hot water
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Bowl of warm water with a drizzle of olive oil to shape the bulgur balls
  • For the vegetable sauce:
  • 3 tbsp/ 45ml olive oil
  • 1 small onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 310gr/ 11oz Swiss chard, spinach or spring greens, coarsely chopped (please remove any hard stalks)
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon of pul biber, Turkish red pepper flakes – optional-
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Wedges of lemon to serve
Instructions
  1. First prepare your bulgur balls. In a large bowl, combine the fine bulgur, flour, cumin, red pepper paste. Season with salt and ground black pepper to your taste (bear in mind that the red pepper paste is quite salty). Pour in the hot water over the mixture and combine well.
  2. Wet your hands with the warm water bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, and knead the bulgur mixture with your hands for 5 minutes, wetting your hands a few times. You will reach a smooth elastic bulgur dough at the end.
  3. Again wet your hands and take a cherry size bulgur dough and shape as a little ball. Have a wide plate or tray near you and place the bulgur balls you have made from the bulgur mixture.
  4. Have boiling water in a large pot, stir in a pinch of salt. Gently drop the bulgur balls in to the pan and let it cook, uncovered, on a medium heat, for 8 minutes or so. Take out the cooked bulgur balls with a slotted spoon and place on a large plate. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons olive oil over them and gently shake the plate so that they would have a nice olive oil coating. Set aside until the vegetable sauce is ready (you can make your bulgur balls ahead of time and keep in the fridge too).
  5. Pour in the 3 tbsp olive oil in a wide pan. Stir in the sliced onions and peppers and saute over medium to high heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped leafy greens (please remove the hard stalk for the Swiss chard and spring greens) and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and ground pepper to your taste. If you like, sprinkle Turkish red pepper flakes, pul biber and combine well.
  6. Gently stir in the cooked bulgur balls to the vegetable mixture and combine well over medium heat for 2 minutes, or until the bulgur balls warmed up. Serve warm, with wedges of lemon by the side to squeeze over.
  7. Afiyet Olsun.

Join our Instagram Live – Friday, June 12th, 6pm UK time!

I am delighted to be hosting this delicious Instagram LIVE on Friday, June 12th at 6pm UK time, from my Ozlem’s Turkish Table Instagram account. We will be doing a joint cookalong with dear Sibel Pinto, showcasing delightful aubergine dishes from our cuisines. I will be making Antakya’s Mercimekli Mualla, Aubergines, lentils, peppers cooked in olive oil from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table and  Sibel will be making her Mediterranean style roasted aubergine with olive oil, tomatoes, herbs and cheese, Yelpaze Patlican, from her Sephardic roots, not to be missed! Do hope to have you with us.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table on YouTube!

I have been sharing a lot of videos for Turkish recipes over the YouTube; many thanks for all your wonderful feedback! Here is one of the recent ones, Stuffed aubergine with minced/ground meat, onions, vegetables – Karniyarik, hope you enjoy it:

I hope you enjoy the post and it inspires. Signed hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book is now 30 % Off at this link, for a limited time, and delivered worldwide including the USA. You can also see the ebook, kindle options too.

Stay well, Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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4 Responses to Spiced Bulgur balls with leafy greens, peppers, onions-Bulgurlu Kofte

  1. Phil in the Kitchen June 19, 2020 at 11:27 pm #

    I made these for our meal tonight using the first crop of our Swiss Chard from the garden. We REALLY enjoyed the dish. The bulgur balls are lovely and definitely something a little different from our usual weekday meals. We liked them so much that we’ll probably try page 183 in your lovely book next (Patlicanli Eksi Aṣi) since we’re not vegetarian. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.

    • Ozlem Warren June 20, 2020 at 3:56 pm #

      Merhaba dear Phil,

      I am really over the moon that you enjoyed these bulgur balls -with freshly picked chard from your garden, I can imagine they must be delightful, so happy to hear it- Afiyet olsun, my best wishes, Ozlem

  2. Tracey June 23, 2020 at 8:53 am #

    Hi Ozlem. I tried these but I firstly had problems getting the bulgar dough to stick together even though i kneaded for over 5 mins so added more water. Secondly they collapsed when I went to boil them. Any ideas where I went wrong?

    • Ozlem Warren June 23, 2020 at 3:11 pm #

      Hi Tracey, many thanks for giving this ago, I am sorry to hear the bulgur balls hasn’t shaped well for you, I wonder why. Did you use fine bulgur – as coarse bulgur wouldn’t work here – flour is the binding agent here and wetting your hands in water with drizzle of olive oil helps with shaping. When shaping into the balls, form the balls firmly – mine was actually much firmer and sturdier than I thought they would turn up. Once the bulgur balls are firm, they should cook in the boiling water with no problems. Another idea, perhaps is to have some flour on your tray, where you keep the shaped bulgur balls, before cooking, and gently roll into the flour for another binding? I didn’t do this but just thought it may help. Please let me know if I can help further, Afiyet olsun, Ozlem

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