Bulgur is a popular Middle Eastern and Turkish dish similar to rice. It is also known as “Turkish rice”, and in Turkish restaurants is mainly served plain, as a side dish. Bulgur is gaining popularity, especially among those who want to have a healthy diet, as it contains bran and germ, like other whole grains.
In addition to its beneficial properties, bulgur is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. It can be included in weight loss diets as it has a low glycemic index. It can be used in a variety of dishes, such as combined with steamed vegetables and seasonings, mixed into salads, added to soups and even as a base for desserts.
Bulgur is similar to rice in terms of preparation and use. Before cooking, rinse under running water to remove any starch residue. For a better texture, just like when preparing rice, first fry in oil and then add the water or stock.
Experienced rice cookers are well aware of the golden rule of always adding twice the amount of water to the rice. This rule also applies to bulgur. In other words, if you make 1 cup of bulgur, you should add 2 cups of water.
Always cook the bulgur over medium heat, and season to taste. As the flavor is neutral, feel free to add more special flavors, such as cinnamon, Roman cumin or cardamom. If you don’t find bold spices palatable, a combination of salt and pepper are enough, or you can add a little chili.
You can also cook bulgur with milk instead of water or stock. If you’re making a side dish or a one-dish meal with bulgur, add water or stock. For dessert, try milk flavored with grated lemon or orange zest or vanilla pods.
The final result will be similar to rice pudding, and it is delicious mixed with different fruits.