Food and some stories....

Tag: Bulgur

Bulgur wheat pilaf with chickpeas and tomatoes

We all would like to eat healthy but delicious food, I know for a fact that people are scared of healthy eating thinking it will be just be plain salads and soups. But we can eat healthy by incorporating more whole wheat grains in our diet. Epidemiological studies find that whole-grain intake can be protective against health conditions like cancer, heart disease, digestive disorders, diabetes and obesity. Bulgur wheat, sometimes also called cracked wheat, is a lesser-known type of whole wheat durum grain. Compared to refined carbohydrate foods made with enriched or refined wheat, bulgur wheat is a much better source of vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants and phytonutrients.

The difference between bulgur and most types of wheat flours used in many packaged products is that bulgur hasn’t been stripped (or “refined) of its bran and germ, which are where many of the nutrients are actually stored within a whole grain. Also it’s naturally cholesterol free.

Now that we know it’s good for us, how do we eat it? Bulgur is a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine and used in salads, kebabs and pilaf. Readers of this blog will know that I have earlier shared the recipe of Turkish kebab using bulgur. Today I will show you how to make a pilaf. It’s a simple hearty recipe that can be eaten just like that or goes well with yoghurt or as an accompaniment to any meat dish as served in Turkey.

Recipe:Bulgur wheat pilaf with chickpeas and tomatoes


2 tbsp oil for cooking

1 red onion finely chopped

1 red pepper finely chopped( I used a green one as didn’t have a red one at home, red pepper just adds to the color of the final recipe)

2 cloves garlic minced

1 tsp cumin powder

¼ tsp cinnamon powder

Chilli flakes as per taste

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 cup bulgur

1 can chopped tomatoes (I have used canned for convenience, you can use fresh tomatoes)

¾ cup vegetable stock or chicken stock

1 cup chickpeas soaked overnight and boiled

Salt and pepper as per taste

1 tablespoon finely chopped mint

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley


Heat oil in a pan and add the onion and pepper cook for 6-8 minutes till you can see the onion turning translucent. Add the garlic, cumin, cinnamon, chilli flakes and the tomato paste, cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the bulgur and stir well so that it well coated in the mixture. Add the chickpeas, tomato, stock , and salt and pepper; let it come to a boil on high. Reduce the heat and cover it for ten to fifteen minutes. Before serving garnish with the mint and parsley. Tastes awesome hot, but goes well as a salad, cold too.

Bulgur wheat pilaf

Bulgur wheat pilaf



Turkey in my thoughts-Turkish Bulgur Kofte

Reading the newspaper is a pain, every single page is full of murder, mayhem, suicide and bomb blasts. It is very easy to overlook and get used to this kind of news, but not when you have a connection, you are familiar with the place; its different. The past few weeks I have been reading about the military coup, the airport blast and the suicide bomb attacks in Turkey; and I compare it to the image of the Turkey I remember.

The Turkey I remember was of happy people , trams on congested roads, lots of café displaying mind boggling array of sweetmeats, and people sipping tea along the roads lined with tea houses and cafes.   We stayed in the Sultanahmet square in Istanbul and everything from the Grand bazaar to the blue mosque was in walking distance. Every morning I would start from hotel exploring the Grand bazaar or catching a tram to some other part of the city. The Bosphorus cruise was amazing with seagulls flying close to our ferry and how can I forget the  awesome seafood lunch in one of the numerous restaurant along the Bosphorus bridge.

But my most endearing food memory is the Turkish kebabs and the salad bar at various restaurants, the mind boggling type of kebabs, the variety of greens and the delicious bulgur kofte at the salad bar; and also a strawberry and cream on a pie dessert which I gorged on , but I unfortunately do not remember its name. But If you are ever in Istanbul, look for it in any café, just ask for the strawberry desert.

As I was reminiscing about Turkey I tried to make some Turkish kebabs at home, and I definitely wanted to use the bulgur I brought back home from Turkey, so here’s how I went about it.

Turkish Bulgur Kofte





1/2 kg ground lamb

1/2 cup bulgur

1 –2 green chillies finely chopped

1 tsp chilly flakes

1 tsp cumin

1 big onion grated

handful parsley finely chopped

3 clove garlic minced

1/3 cup mint, finely chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and ground pepper


Pour hot water over the bulgur in a bowl, to barely cover it, let it stand for 10 minutes to soak, till done.

Add the rest of the ingredients  and salt and pepper to your taste.

Shape them into oval patties, cook them in a non stick frying pan with little oil, brown on both sides.

Turkish Bulgur Kofte

Turkish Bulgur Kofte

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