Cabbage with bulgur, ground meat,spices; Bulgurlu Lahana Kapuska
Kapuska is a popular hearty stew and has many versions in Turkey. In Southern Turkey, we like to make Kapuska with bulgur, ground meat, onions, flavored with red pepper paste, dried mint and red pepper flakes. It is such a comforting and wholesome meal served with plain yoghurt; very easy too. For a vegetarian version, simply omit the meat.
Recipe type: Turkish style Cabbage Stew with bulgur
Cuisine: Southern Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 4
  • ½ head of medium cabbage or left over cabbage leaves from cabbage rolls - 700 gr, washed and coarsely chopped (remove the hard stalk in the middle)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 225gr/ 8 oz. / 1 cup coarse bulgur
  • 225 gr / 8 oz. ground (minced) beef or lamb
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper paste (optional; you can use additional 1 tbsp. tomato paste if not using red pepper paste)
  • 1 tbsp. double concentrated tomato paste
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp. dried mint
  • 5 ml / 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (or more, if you like spicier)
  • 16 fl. oz. / 2 cups hot water
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Plain yoghurt to serve
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and stir in the ground (minced) meat. Sauté for 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and coarsely chopped cabbage to the pan and sauté for another 4 -5 minutes (their volume will shrink as they cook).
  3. Stir in the bulgur, tomato paste, red pepper paste and water. Combine well.
  4. Add the lemon juice, red pepper flakes and dried mint and season with salt and ground black pepper.
  5. Bring to the boil then cover and cook over low heat for 15 - 20 minutes or until all cooked.
  6. Serve hot, with sprinkles of dried mint and red pepper flakes over top and a dollop of plain yoghurt by the side.
  7. Afiyet Olsun.
For the vegetarian version of Kapuska, simply omit the meat.
Recipe by Ozlem's Turkish Table at