Saturday, April 1, 2017

Bulgur Wheat: What Is It and How Do I Cook It?

Bulgur wheat (bulgor wheat) is made of whole wheat kernels that have been boiled, dried and ground.  It needs to be cooked before eating.  Its high amount of fiber and nutrients make it a popular ingredient in Indian, Turkish and other Middle Eastern cuisines.

Many diners first come across bulgur wheat when eating Tabouli Salad (Tabbouleh Salad), a Middle Eastern dish made with fresh tomatoes, fresh parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, a few spices and some of this grain.

When you’re tired of rice or potatoes, bulgur wheat is an excellent side dish.  Simmer 1 cup bulgur wheat in 2 cups water for about 15 minutes and drain.  Or pour 2 cups boiling water over 1 cup bulgur wheat in a heatproof bowl or pot, cover and let sit for 15-20 minutes.  You can serve it plain or add sauted onions for more flavor.

When I make Whole Wheat Bread, I add 1/4 cup bulgur wheat to the dough for texture and nutrition.  I also add a few handfuls to Homemade Vegetable Soup to turn it into a main dish or to Beef Stew to bulk it up.

You can find bags of bulgur wheat in health food stores, Middle Eastern grocery stores and some supermarkets.  It is usually available in three different sizes, based on the how coarsely it has been ground: #1 is fine, #2 is medium, #3 is coarse.

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