lentil bulgur pilaf
bob loves barley, but never seems to work it into the menu. Big bulgur, which is size
number four (also called "half cut")on the bulgur wheat grain scale (1 smallest,
4 biggest), looks remarkably like barley when cooked in pilaf or soup. So when this pilaf
dish appeared on his plate at the in-law dinner table, he was sure it was barley and had
to be convinced otherwise. Lack of certainty about identification, however, did not
interfere with the enjoyment or prevent him from (over) stuffing his face with the stuff,
a frequent occurrence when tempted by tasty middle eastern/armenian mom home cooking.
- phase 1
- 1 c dry lentils
- 2 c water
- 1/4 t black pepper
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 t cumin
- 1/2 t red pepper (Middle Eastern!)
- phase 2
- 1 c bulgur wheat, number 4 or half cut, rinsed
- optional heaping t of red pepper paste
- phase 3
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- serving suggestion
- a few green onions, chopped finely, perhaps yogurt on the side
- Rinse the lentils first. Then cover them with water in a large soup pot
and bring to a boil and boil for a few minutes until foam rises to the top.
Remove from the heat and rinse in warm water.
- Bring 2 water and the 1 t salt to a boil, then add back in the lentils
and spices and boil until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the bulgur and boil on medium heat until the water is absorbed
but the mixture is still moist (about 20-30 minutes).
- Meanwhile, sauté the second onion in olive oil until crisp.
- Then add the onion and oil to the top of the pilaf.
- Serve with a sprinkling of chopped green onion on each portion.
- Bulgur is available in Armenian or Middle Eastern food specialty stores
and now even in the Whole Foods chain we often
- Variations of this recipe are easy. For a weekday supper, we skipped the dry lentil part
and started directly with the onion, seasonings, and bulgur, then dumped in a 15 oz can of
cooked lentils, and a 7.75 oz can of cooked chick peas during the bulgur cooking phase.
Terrific. But the full recipe is not long either.
- But before ani could stop him, bob, reading this recipe, started
shaking in cayenne red pepper, but in fact in all of Isgouhi's recipes, when she says red
pepper she really means Middle Eastern red pepper, alias Turkish pepper, sometimes called
Aintab pepper after the formerly Armenian city Aintab, now Gaziantep, Turkey, as an
article by famous
cookbook writer Paula Wolfert describes at her website (adapted from a Saveur magazine article) turned up by a search on the
keywords "Aintab pepper". Two new Armenian cookbook acquisitions from Alice Antreassian indicate that this can be reasonably
substituted by 3 parts paprika to 1 part cayenne red pepper. And Isgouhi's teaspoon
measure really means a heaping teaspoon from the silverware drawer and not a level
measuring teaspoon. [This unit misunderstanding doesn't help in trying to reproduce a
- It turned out so tasty that bob nearly ate the whole
thing with some help from ani. With a cucumber mint
yogurt sauce on the side, and a cucumber tomato salad. Yes!
- Another time ani added the red pepper paste from her aunt in Anjar, and
we had it with steamed broccoli sautéed in aglio, olio e pepperoncino: olive
oil, some red pepper flakes and a pressed garlic clove. Together a hearty
tasty complete meal. bob actually wanted to cook the broccoli in the pilaf,
sort of Italian style, but ani vetoed that idea. Unacceptable in her cooking
culture. It was great on the side.
- Illustrations available.