Bulgur pilavi

Bulgur pilavi

Bulgur Pilavi – pilaf from bulgur with noodles is a unique dish. It somewhat resembles those sandwiches of bread with bread (a thin slice of white bread on a thick slice of grey bread), which we, young and inventive deadbeats, eat in the late Soviet era of food shortages and the post-Soviet era of money shortages. Bulgur Pilavi is made from wheat cereals – bulgur, thin wheat noodles (şehriye) and butter (except for water and salt). The result is a simple and satisfying peasant dish – just the way I like it.

Bulgur is wheat grains, parboiled, dried and, after that, crushed. Shallow bulgur used for baking, meatballs and the like; average bulgur – for salads (like a Tabuleh) and fillings for stuffed vegetables; coarse bulgur used for pilafs, soups, and porridges. Turkish bulgur is one of the best (if not the best): after all, Turkey (along with several neighboring countries) is the birthplace of wheat, and probably bulgur. And thanks to tradition (which has more than thousands years), modern Turks are really masters in cooking dishes from wheat. And this simple and somewhat paradoxical dish is a perfect example of this.

Ingredients for bulgur pilavi:

  • Coarse bulgur – 300 grams.
  • Noodles – 100 grams. Noodles are needed small and thin; Turkish şehriye can be not available, but it is perfectly replaced by Italian Filini, Vermicelli Tagliatti or broken Cappellini (pieces of about two centimeters).
  • 70-100 grams of butter (only unsalted); it can be replaced by the same amount of olive.
  • Salt – 3/4 teaspoon.
  • Water – 700 milliliters.

In general, this pilaf has a simple proportion: 1 part vermicelli, 3 parts bulgur, 7 parts water.

Cook Bulgur Pilavi

  1. Melt the oil in a dutch-pot over medium heat.
  2. Throw the noodles into the pot and, stirring constantly, fry it until it gets golden – it takes six to eight minutes. Be careful: it’s easy to over-fry noodles; so:
  3. As soon as the noodles became golden – put bulgur into the pot, salt and fry it all, actively mixing, another a minute or a minute and a half.
  4. Fill bulgur and noodles with hot water (gently, will sprinkle); increase the fire to the maximum and wait for the water to boil; then reduce the heat to a small and cook pilaf until all the water is absorbed.

All is ready. Eat this pilaf with stewed meat, with kebabs, meatballs or with fried vegetables and pickles (I prefer the latter option).

It is even easier to cook Bulgur Pilavi in a slow cooker: set the “Fry” mode for 15 minutes; waiting for three minutes; put and melt the butter; ten minutes before the end put noodles; fry it until golden brown, stirring constantly; put bulgur, salt it and fry, stirring, another minute or two. Then switch the slow cooker to the “Rice” mode, fill it with water and leave it to work, doing our own business in anticipation of a sound signal.

Rating: ★★★★★

Pluses: Unique food. Despite its simplicity, it does not tire; and if you change the side dishes – then, probably, Bulgur Pilavi can be eaten forever. It well stored in the refrigerator. And it’s nourishing.

Nuances: Cooked in olive oil – becomes a vegetarian. Do not be tempted to use ordinary crushed wheat instead of bulgur – the result will edible, but not as good as the original dish of bulgur.

Bon Appetit!

Buckwheat with vegetables

Buckwheat with vegetables

In our satiate world, we can not even imagine that for a long time porridge was the main dish for the vast majority of mankind. Meat and fish were expensive; vegetables – not enough nutritious; dairy products required sufficiently high investments. And the main source of calories was grain.

Of course, constantly eat an empty porridge is not interesting at all. And people varied his meals as much as they could. Balzac claimed that in the Verkhovna (now Zhytomyr region of Ukraine), he eats 162 kinds of porridge during less than a year. It is possible that buckwheat porridge with vegetables is one of them.

By the way, we are also accustomed to buckwheat. And already forgotten that buckwheat comes from China. More precisely, from Manchuria. From there it got to the Turks, to Central Asia, and to the Arabs; then the Arabs – somewhere between the VIII and XIII centuries – brought it to Italy. Approximately at the same time – closer to the end of the above-mentioned range – it reached Eastern Europe; and already in the XIV-XV centuries, buckwheat spread throughout Central and Western Europe.

But go back to buckwheat porridge with vegetables. To make it, you need:

  • Buckwheat – 400 grams.
  • A beetroot.
  • A large carrot.
  • An onion.
  • A handful of dried white mushrooms (portobello mushrooms).
  • Clove of garlic.
  • A few twigs of parsley.
  • Sunflower oil – two or three tablespoons.
  • Salt (a teaspoon – it’s for my taste).
  • Black ground pepper (optional).
  • Water – 800 milliliters.

Cook buckwheat porridge with vegetables

  1. Cook beetroot (in an hour and a half), peel it, cut it into large strips.
  2. Soak the mushrooms (let them wet until the beetroot will be cooked). If you have whole mushrooms – chop it.
  3. Peel and cut into strips a carrot.
  4. Peel the onion and cut it with a quarter-ring.
  5. Finely chop garlic (peeled) and parsley.
  6. When the beetroot cooked, the mushrooms are soaked and other vegetables are cut – put the saucepan or dutch-pot on medium heat, pour oil there, warm it up and put all vegetables (beets, carrots, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and parsley). Fry it (from time to time stirring) eight to ten minutes.
  7. Add buckwheat (if necessary, washed and rinsed), salt and fry, stirring, for another two to three minutes.
  8. Fill mixture with water; increase the heating to a maximum; waiting for the water to boil; then reduce the heat to small; cover with a lid and cook until all the liquid in the buckwheat is absorbed. Add the pepper, mix the meal, leave it for about ten minutes – and it’s ready.

You can make this porridge in a slow-cooker: first set the device in the “Brown/Saute” mode for 15 minutes and fry the vegetables, then add buckwheat two to three minutes before the end of the program, and salt the mixture; then fill it with water and set it to “Rice” mode. After that, you will have to wait for the sound signal only, then add the pepper, mix concoction well and let it brew for about ten minutes.

Rating: ★★★★★

Pluses: Very good food. It’s tasty, can be stored for a long time in the refrigerator, nourishing (buckwheat contains quite a lot of protein – 11-15% – and almost all the necessary amino acids, and I, therefore, recommend that vegetarians pay special attention to this dish). In addition, all ingredients are easily accessible in winter.

Nuances: You can experiment; for example: cook instead of water in broth (meat or vegetable), add other types of vegetables (celery – either root and stem, parsley root, sweet pepper, even potatoes). In addition, you can stew it with sour cream or with cheese (such Feta). You can also use butter or lard instead of sunflower oil; add to the porridge fried bacon or boiled finely chopped egg. Try it!

Bon Appetit!