Cook's Hideout: Turkish Bulgur Pilaf with Veggies

September 23, 2014

Turkish Bulgur Pilaf with Veggies

I thought bulgur was used to make Tabbouleh only until I ate this pilaf. I should have known, bulgur to Turkish is like rice to South Indians -- the many variations of rice we enjoy is incredible. So bulgur
is used in both savory and sweet preparations. Bulgur is made from groats of several different wheat species. It looks like our wheat rawa and it probably is Turkish wheat rawa -- I'm not sure (if any of you do, please add your comment below).
So the first time I ate this bulgur pilaf I was blown away how similar it tastes to our very own Indian pulao, though very mildly spiced when compared to the Indian version. My friend sent me the link to the recipe that I just followed to the T and it tasted just as I remember. It is important to buy coarse bulgur instead of fine, to get the right texture for the dish, It is a quick to make one-pot dish that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Recipe adapted from here:
Coarse Bulgur - 1cup, rinsed and drained
Eggplant - 1 medium, chopped (I used 1 Japanese eggplant)
Zucchini - 1 medium, chopped
Onion - 1 medium, chopped
Red Pepper - 1 medium, diced (I didn't have any peppers on hand, so skipped it)
Jalapeno pepper - 1 small, chopped
Tomato - 1 medium, chopped
Red bell pepper paste - 2tsp (I used harissa)
Tomato paste - 2tsp
Hot water - 1¾cups
Mint leaves - ¼cup, finely chopped
Salt - to taste

  • Heat 2tbsp oil in a saute pan, add the onion and cook till it turns translucent, about 3~4 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and red pepper paste. Mix well and cook for 2~3 minutes.
  • Next add the chopped eggplant, zucchini, jalapeno and red pepper. Mix well, cover and cook till the veggies are tender, about 6~8 minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomato and cook till tomato is softened, about 2~3 minutes.
  • Add the rinsed and drained bulgur. Mix well to coat bulgur with the veggie mixture; cook for 3~4 minutes. 
  • Slowly pour in the hot water and stir in salt. Cover and cook on medium low flame until all the water evaporates and bulgur is completely cooked through. Garnish with chopped mint and serve.
Turkish Bulgur Pilaf with Veggies

Check out the entire Turkish meal here.


  1. I made this too and we loved it. Bulgur is so flavorful and all the vegetables and sauces added to this dish make it even more so. Great choice.

  2. wow absolutely delicious..the pilaf looks so good and mouthwatering.


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