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.
Recipe type: Vegan, Bulgur Balls
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 3-4
  • 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
  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.
Recipe by Ozlem's Turkish Table at https://ozlemsturkishtable.com/2020/06/spiced-bulgur-balls-with-greens-peppers-onions-bulgurlu-kofte/