15 July 2007

Pilav with Bulgur

Bulgur Pilavı
Bulgur is a traditional ingredient for making pilav or pilaf in Turkey (burghul in Arabic). Turkish often accompany main meals with pilav either of rice or bulgur. I have had this dish so often as I was growing up, and my mum often diced up fresh and really tasty tomatoes on top of it. I often make bulgur pilavi at home, and not always alongside Turkish food - it goes well with food from other kitchens as well. This recipe is for this weekend's herb blogging event hosted by Foodblogga.
Bulgur pilavi often includes onions diced and lightly fried. There are various versions, for example, with different vegetables or green lentils. The one in the photo has got capsicum and tomatoes lightly stir-fried with onions.
There are two types of bulgur, fine and coarse. To make pilav, you need the coarse type. The fine bulgur is used in salads or dishes such as red lentil balls. I wouldn't attempt pilav using fine bulgur, which might reveal a soggy kind of mash.
Preventing bulgur to stick in the pot is sometimes a challenge, better to use a deep non-stick pot.
But recently, I discovered that rice-cooker makes excellent bulgur pilavi! You need to prepare onions etc. on stove-top, and add in the rice-cooker after bulgur and water.
For a different taste stir through your favourite herbs in the end, and a teaspoon of butter.
1 onion, chopped
2 tablesp olive oil
2.5 cups of water
1 cup of bulgur
1/4 teasp salt
1 tbsp butter
Pre-rinse the bulgur using a strainer.
Lightly brown the onion in olive oil. Pour in the water, and bring to boil. Add bulgur and salt, cover and cook over high heat. When water begins to boil, lower the heat. After water is absorbed, place a thin cloth (or a clean teatowel) over the saucepan and let it rest.
Stir in the butter, and some herbs to your liking.
Note 1: As I previously wrote, it is a challenge to obtain well-absorbed bulgur pieces that have not stuck to the bottom of the pot. So for the rice-cooker method, first lightly brown the onion in a frypan on the stove-top. Then use your rice-cooker as you would for rice (i.e., add rice and water according to instructions), adding the browned onion in the cooker before starting it.
Note 2: If using rice-cooker, follow the amounts given for rice. My rice-cooker has a small cup, and requires at least two cups of rice/bulgur. After adding bulgur, adjust the water amount again according to the rice-cooker requirements. The size of the onion (small v. large) is left to preference.


Susan said...

Thanks for the traditional Turkish entry, Ceviz. I just love bulgur, especially the coarse kind and use it in a lot of warm salads. I really appreciate all of your tips too. Maybe I should look into purchasing a rice cooker. Thanks for participating in WHB!

Kalyn said...

Brilliant idea to use a rice cooker to cook the bulgur. When I was a kid my mother used to add bulgur to things like meat loaf, and we kids hated it. Now I love tabbouli, and I'm guessing I'd love this too.

duk said...


I hope you like writing because I'll most certainly be coming back to try some more Turkish recipes!

I found your site accidentally through the food bloggers ring.


Ceviz said...

Thanks Duk, hope you enjoy the food. I like writing but write only so often as I don't always cook Turkish food.

tunca said...

Bulgur is the king of the rice world :) Bulgur rules :) Try adding some mushroom in bulgur. It tastes even better.

Tnx for the post.

Diane said...

I found your blog when looking for liquid quantities needed to cook bulgar in the rice cooker.

Thanks for the information.

Today I will be making a spicy turkey/bulgar recipe in the rice cooker. It is an experiment for me, but I am already looking forward to it!

Check out my own blog to see how it turns out.