Traditional recipes

Bulgar and Green Lentil Pilaf

Bulgar and Green Lentil Pilaf

8 Servings


  • 5 1/4 cups water

  • 3/4 cup green lentils (about six ounces)

  • 2 Turkish bay leaves

  • 2 1/4 cups medium bulgur (cracked wheat)

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

  • 1/3 cup caramelized onions reserved from chicken

Recipe Preparation

Recipe by Miriyam Glazer, Phyllis Glazer

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How to Make Bulgur Pilavi (A Nutritious Turkish Pilaf Recipe)

Bulgur pilaf, called "bulgur pilavi" in Turkish, is one of the many great nutritious and healthy pilaf varieties that have long been common Turkish favorites.

This wonderful dish is made mainly with bulgur, a quick-cooking form of whole wheat that is often confused with cracked wheat.

Bulgur is, in fact, whole wheat that has undergone a unique age-old process of cleaning, parboiling, drying, and grinding that has resulted into a quick-cooking form of whole wheat. This ancient process of turning wheat into bulgur had originated in the Mediterranean and has become an integral part of Middle Eastern cuisine for thousands of years.

In making bulgur pilavi, red tomatoes, onions, green peppers, olive oil, and other spices are usually added to make wondefully nutritious side dish.

In Turkey, bulgur pilav is usually served with any variety of meat dishes such as kofte (meatball), kebap (kebab), and any casserole dishes. Check out the recipe below to make a healthy and nutritious bulgur pilaf.

Preparing the ingredients.

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Ingredients used to make this Middle Eastern dish

The ingredients for this dish are nothing crazy and consist of what you’d expect – veggies, bulgur, and spices! After you cook this meal, feel free to get creative with your toppings. Some delicious ideas are listed with the ingredients below.

  • Olive Oil: Sauté the vegetables using olive oil. You can also use butter.
  • White Onion: This recipe calls for one cup of chopped white onion (equal to about one medium sized onion).
  • Garlic: Garlic will add flavor and zest to this recipe. We’ll be using 2 cloves of minced garlic.
  • Green Bell Pepper: Bell peppers add a great soft crunch to this meal.
  • Roma Tomatoes: We’ll be using two tomatoes in this recipe, preferably roma.
  • Tomato Paste: Tomato paste will help thicken this bulgur mixture.
  • Uncooked Bulgur: As the main ingredient in this dish, we’ll be using 1 ½ cups of uncooked bulgur.
  • Water: Water will help add moisture to this recipe.
  • Salt and Pepper: Add salt and pepper to taste, starting with about ¼ tsp of each.
  • Serving Options: Finally, to top this dish, olives, sliced red onion, parsley, slivered almonds, and feta cheese all work well!

Related Video

This was pretty good, it did need some tweaking. I did the following. Quinoa, which I cooked seperatly, instead of Bulger, added a little olive oil and dijon mustard at the end, and some diced roasted green chiles for a little kick.

i read the reviews before making this dish, so made a number of modifications to the recipe. i still think it needs some help, though! iɽ suggest using smaller, sweeter tomatoes (mini romas or grape tomatoes) and adjusting cooking time accordingly. shallots instead of onions is another good option, as they caramelize nicely. i doubled the garlic, crushing half and leaving half in the skins to mix in after roasting, and this turned out to be a good move, as the garlic taste wasn't very strong at all. i didn't have fresh herbs, so added dried parsley, thyme, and dill to the saucepan. i added some chicken-soup base to the water, and also used more water than called for. overall, not a good recipe, but a good starting point.

I used couscous (1 cup) instead of bulgur and had great results. I also omitted the dill and parsley. Roasting the tomatoes and onions for an hour and the chickpeas and garlic for a half hour was perfect. Then I just transferred the ingredients from the pan to a pot, added two cups water and one cup couscous, and brought to a boil. When the water was almost evaporated, I squeezed half of a fresh lemon over it and served hot. My husband loved it too. Next time we might try it with bulgur or pasta.

I liked it, it was good warm or as a salad but needs something to spice it up and add more liquid. I don't think roasting the tomatoes did anything for this dish and there is no mention of removing the skins. Next time I will use canned tomatoes.

This was really tasty! I thought the dill and parsley added a lot. I used a little more lemon juice than suggested. Very homey dish, would go well with a leafy green side dish.

Pretty good, altho I needed to let the bulgur absorb water for more than 10 min -- and should have waited even longer than I did. Next time I'll add more garbanzo beans.

The roasted tomatoes had a great flavor, and we will use them on pasta (as another reviewer suggested), but the bulgur dish just wasn't good. We added a lot of lemon juice, just to give it some kick, but it didn't help. And I love bulgur!

I am a dedicated meat-eater, but was willing to try this. The roasted onions and tomatoes really make this dish. However, not caring for dill, and tasting along the way, I noticed that it needed a little punch, so I added the zest of one orange, some basil, and toasted almonds. Wow. Whenever I'm out of charcoal, this will be Plan B.

Very tasty. However, the recipe did not specify what type of bulgur to use - fine, medium or coarse. I used medium, and had to use at least one more cup of water, and cook it for about 15 minutes more than what was given in the recipe. I used plum tomatoes and removed most of the skins after baking. I increased the amount of lemon juice for more tang. Tastes great hot, warm or at room temperature. By the way, the baked tomato, onion, chickpea and garlic mixture also makes a great pasta sauce! (don't add the water, just add an extra tbsp of olive oil).

Tomato Bulgur Pilaf

Tomato bulgur pilaf which is known in Arabic as “burghul a banadoura” can be served as a main dish or as a side dish. It is often served with yogurt, plain (how I feed it to my 1 year old) or as a yogurt salad like my Lebanese cucumber and yogurt salad.

It is a very popular dish in Lebanon and in Turkey because of it’s simplicity and for the fact that it costs very little to make! At every Turkish restaurant I have ever eaten at, this bulgur pilaf is always served on the side of whatever grilled meat I order.

What is Bulgur?

If you’re not familiar with bulgur, it is a whole grain that resembles quinoa. It is healthier than white rice, containing much more fiber and protein. It is also lower on the glycemic index and contains more vitamins and minerals.

There are different types of bulgur the two main types being coarse, and fine. The fine bulgur is what is used in tabbouleh and kibbe because it can be used raw, while this dish requires the coarse one for cooking. For the course bulgur, you will notice in Middle-eastern grocery stores, they contain numbers on the packaging. Number 1 typically means the fine bulgur, 2 and 3 are course with 3 being the largest size. Both 2 and 3 will work for this recipe.

Bulgur cooks fairly quickly. I cook the course bulgur using the same ratio of bulgur to water as I do for short-grain rice to water. For every 1 cup of bulgur, I use 1 1/2 cups of water. It cooks in about 15 minutes over medium-low heat.

Astray Recipes: Bulgar-lentil roast with gravy

LOAF: Pick over lentils & remove any sticks & stones that there might be in them. Wash & drain. Place in a large pot & add water.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat & simmer for 40 mintues to 1 hour. The lentils need to be good & soft. Once they are soft, add the bulgur, remove from the heat. Stir every once in a while, until the water has been absorbed. Set aside.

Using a blender or food processor, grind the oatmeal until it is very fine, of a flour-like consistency. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the lentil-bulgur mixture & the remaining ingredients. Mix very well. Turn into a lightly oiled loaf pan. Press down firmly. Cover with aluminum foil.

Preheat the oven to 350F. When the oven is hot, bake the loaf for 55 minutes. Remove the foil & return to the oven for another 5 minutes to brown. Remove from the oven & let sit, loosely covered, for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn onto a serving plate & serve in slices.

GRAVY: Heat oil. When hot, stir in the flour & let cook gently for 30 seconds. Add a dash of Worcestershire Sauce, followed by whatever vegetable stock you have on hand. Add the herbs & bring to a boil.

The amount of stock depends on how thick you want the gravy. When it boils, reduce heat & let it simmer on very low heat for 5 minutes or so, to thicken.

VARIATION: Add about ¼ c sliced mushrooms to the gravy when you add the stock.

TO SERVE: This goes very well with Greek style roasted potatoes, a green vegetable, such as asparagus or beans, & a vegan "Yorkshire" pudding. Ask for the reciupe if you want it. It keeps well in the fridge (I've not tried freezing it) & is good served cold with a good vegetable soup, a baked potato, picalilli & green tomato chutney.

Lentil & Bulgur Pilaf | Mujaddara

Generosity. When people give it freely you feel loved. Taken care of. Your spirit smiles from the inside out.

Your day is instantly better.

It’s one of the most splendid qualities a person can have.

In Jordan, as in many of the region’s countries, generosity to strangers is an honored mealtime practice. In times of plenty, the best part of the meal goes to the stranger. Even in poverty the last crumb goes to the hungry stranger.

Today we explore Mujaddara – a splendid vegan dish that will fill a large platter and then some. Perfect for practicing generosity.

Sometimes made with bulgur and sometimes with rice, Mujaddara is always made with lentils and caramelized onions. Get ready for fantastic twist on pilaf.

Recipe inspired by the post at


4 extra-large onions, sliced in half moons
1/2 cup olive oil

pine nuts & raisins (optional)

2 cups lentils
1 cup bulgur
5 cups water

Let’s make a loving gift from a simple meal.

In the spirit of generosity, head to the store and pick out four of the largest onions you can find. Softball sized is good. Slice them up and caramelize them in a large, wide pan with olive oil. Start over high heat and, as the onions begin to color and all the juices cook off, reduce the heat so they do not burn. This will take an hour or so (up to 90 minutes). You can do less onions but the sweet, soft onion is the main flavoring of the pilaf, so I’d recommend you do the full amount.

Meanwhile, add lentils, bulgur, water, and seasoning to a medium pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat until tender (20-30 minutes). Add extra water, if necessary – although it probably won’t be (the pilaf should steam towards the end, just like rice). PS. Am I the only one who likes to run their fingers through bowls of dried grains and legumes?

While you’re waiting for the Mujaddara to cook, whet your appetite with a long walk along Rum Mountain.

Wadi Rum from the top of Rum mountain, Jordan. Photo by Ester Inbar.

When you return you’ll find a fluffy pilaf. All the water absorbed into the grains. Delicious.

Spoon onto a large platter into a giant mountainous mound.

Think of it as a beautiful gift to the world… no different from any other glory of nature.

… which only gets better when topped with an outrageous amount of sweet, caramelized onions.

Domatesli Bulgur Pilavı – Easy Bulgur Pilaf Recipe With Tomatoes

There are lots of little additions you can make to you bulgur pilaf recipe to make so that you can pack it with flavour. One of our favourite local lokantas in Fethiye uses a stock and they also give their bulgur pilaf a generous sprinkling of dried mint.

Another common bulgur pilaf recipe you will see in restaurants and lokantas is the one we make more than any others – domatesli bulgur pilavı. This translates as bulgur pilaf with tomatoes. We love it!

The bulgur wheat takes on the colours of the tomatoes and pepper paste

We love it because, as you can see in the photo above, as the bulgur wheat cooks and softens, it takes on the colour of the tomatoes and red pepper paste. A bit of colour on your plate, a bit of moisture and also sweetness from your added ingredients.

Bulgur Pilaf

Bulgur Pilaf is a very popular Middle Eastern recipe. The dish is all about wheat groats &ndash bulgur &ndash cooked very well in a seasoned broth of vegetables and meat. With a balanced mix of spices, onion, and other vegetables the cuisine is prepared.

Bulgur Pilaf is an important dish in several regions of the world. Depending on the local cuisine and your preferences, meat, fish, vegetables, dry fruit and even pasta can be included. Similar dishes like bulgur pilaf are found in several locations of Central and South Asia, Balkans, Middle East, Caribbean, East Africa and Latin America.

It was around the 10 th century when the Persian scholar Abu Ali Ibn Sina dedicated a whole section of his book on the Pilaf, the different types and the methods of preparation. In fact, the Persian scholar is known by the name, &ldquofather of modern pilaf&rdquo.

Over the years, pilaf became an important cuisine in the Middle East and the Transcaucasia regions. Several variations came with the customization and innovation by the Armenians, Arabs, Persians, and Turks. It was the Persian and Bukharan Jews who introduced the cuisine in Israel.

One of the best things about this Middle Eastern cuisine is that it is good for your health! Take this recipe, for example, it is low in fat, but rich in nutrients like iron, magnesium, manganese, and high in protein and fiber as well. It is a wholesome healthy meal that can be included in your diet.

Hope you&rsquoll like this bulgur pilaf recipe! Don&rsquot forget, if you give my recipes a try, take a photo and tag me on Instagram @gourmandelleblog and use the hashtag #gourmandellerecipe. I will feature you on my Facebook page and/or Instagram Stories!

Watch the video: Bulgarische Hochzeits Kleider (January 2022).