The bulgur pilaf is a recipe from my mom, who got it from her sister, who got it from her Lebanese mother-in-law. I’ve never had bulgur traditionally other than in tabbouleh or kubbeh, but this is supposed to be common in Lebanon.
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My guess is that it’s inspired by Turkish cooking, since bulgur is widely used in Pilafs there.
Bulgur is 95% whole grain made from wheat. According to the Wheat Foods Council website, only 5% of the bran is removed in the process of making bulgur. When harvested, the wheat kernels are boiled until they swell and crack open. They are then left to dry, cracked, and sorted by size.
While the processing takes time, for most of us consumers, it’s precooked and takes almost no time to prepare. Giving convenience foods a new meaning!
Buglur comes in 4 different sizes, but the only two I found here in the US are coarse and fine. For this recipe, coarse bulgur works better.
When you make this recipe, load it with veggies–remember that vegetables shrink! I used onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers, but you can use whatever comes to your mind or is available.
Other ways to use bulgur are salads (tabbouleh), soup, casserole, stuffings, etc. Anything you use rice for.
Check out this eggplant, bulgur and tomato casserole from Taste of Beirut. Or this lentil, bulgur, and spinach soup from Binnur’s Turkish Cookbook.
- 1 c coarse bulgur
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped small
- 4 plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped small
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped small
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp each all spice, cinnamon, and cumin
Soak the bulgur in warm water for 10 minutes then rinse.
Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the vegetables and spices and saute until soft. Add the bulgur and 3/4 c water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat until bulgur is cooked.
Bulgur pilaf with scallop scampi--recipe to follow tomorro!