When pilaf is mentioned usually rice is what directly comes to mind. Well, you can enjoy pilafs of other grains, too. And the second most popular and traditional pilaf in Turkey is the bulgur pilaf which I love as much as rice pilaf. It is easier to cook, but just as tasty and satisfying as rice pilaf.
This recipe is a very simple version of bulgur pilaf; some recipes add onion, garlic, tomatoes and other vegetables to the stock in which you cook the bulgur; others first saute the veggies, then add the stock and bulgur; you can even turn up the volume by adding some cooked meat to the pilaf. Me? I'm just happy to top my simple bulgur pilaf with some nice plain yogurt...
Ingredients: (Makes 6 side dishes, 4 main dishes)
- 4 cups chicken/beef/vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups coarse grain bulgur
- Plain yogurt, for serving (optional)
- Put the stock, tomato paste and vegetable oil in a pot; stir to dissolve the paste in the stock. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add the bulgur and stir to mix evenly. Lower the heat to medium-low (or to low, depending what size burner you use), partially cover the pot and let the bulgur cook, until it absorbs all the stock, for about 15 minutes (check on it frequently and make sure the bulgur on the bottom of the pot is not burnt).
- If you do not use stock regularly, feel free to use water in the same amount and season it with salt and pepper according to your taste.
- In my family, we like the bulgur pilaf a bit on the creamy, clumpy side (like the one in the picture) -kind of like risotto- this is also how my mom used to make it. Some people, on the other hand, like it drier and grainier which is more like a restaurant-style bulgur pilaf; that is just as good and requires a whole other recipe (which will be added to the blog soon)...