If you are always trying out different foreign foods, then bulgur wheat should also feature in your recipe books. Trying out new foods, especially from foreign cultures, puts in a position to not only discover your new favorite food but also allow you to learn new and exciting things about different cultures.
For instance, cultures that value simplicity tends to have simple staple meals like grains, beef, or chicken, among other simple dishes while cultures that value sophistication and elegance may have staple meals that are a little bit more complicated to prepare, such as decadent wine, expensive cheese, fine cut meat, and decorated bread among many others.
In this post, we focus on bulgur as we seek to learn where it is from and how it is prepared.
Origins of Bulgar
This special kind of wheat is of Middle Eastern origin and is well known for its lemony taste, which is attributable to the mixture of herbs, tomatoes, and onions used in the dish. According to many credible sources, the grain salad has been around for more than 4000 years. If history is any indicator, the grain salad was among the first convenience foods discovered by man. In fact, the first production of the special wheat is believed to have been in the Mediterranean region, although it has since spread all over the world. The great thing about the grain salad is that it is simple to prepare and delicious.
What Kind of Wheat is it?
The special wheat comes from whole grain wheat seeds that are cracked, pre-boiled, and then dried before they are packaged. This makes the wheat cook at a faster rate than the normal varieties of grains we are used to such as the raw kind of wheat berries and the cracked uncooked freekeh grains. Apart from cooking fast, the grain is also the most affordable among the rest.
How to Prepare Bulgur Wheat
Because the wheat is pre-boiled, the process of preparing a meal with the wheat is not only easy but also quick. The maximum amount of time taken by the wheat to cook is around 15 minutes, although different types of wheat vary in cooking time.
When you buy the wheat from the store, make sure you check the package for any instructions on how long you should cook it. The general procedure of preparing the meal is as follows:
- Add two cups of water to a pot
- Add one cup of the dry wheat to the pot
- Boil the components in the pot in low heat
- Simmer the wheat and let the pot remain covered
- After about 12 minutes, the wheat may start becoming smooth and tender
- Turn off the heat after about 15 minutes when you have established that all the grains are tender and cooked.
- If the pot still has some water, drain the excess liquid and leave the grains in the pot
- Turn the grains with a fork, then serve them
The tabbouleh salad is mostly prepared using grains, so you can fix up the salad and enjoy it with your cooked grains. You can also prepare your favorite curry or stir-fry made of vegetables to pair with the wheat and have a delicious meal.
Basically, you can use the wheat-like any other kind of whole grain or rice by pairing it with foods that you would pair with rice or other grains. In the Middle East, this wheat is added as a binding ingredient in dishes like kibbeh, vegetarian patties, and meat patties.
If you are a professional or aspiring cook, then you could come up with countless other dishes that you can pair with wheat to give your meal a rich texture.
How Does it taste?
The wheat will have a kind of tantalizing scent of popcorn when you cook it. Being part of the grains family, however, the special wheat has the same nutty flavor that most grains have as well as the same texture.
Examples of Blugar Recipes
If you are an inexperienced cook, here are some recipes that you can use to prepare the delicious wheat salad:
This traditional gourmet salad has a long history and is made with cheese (feta) and soybeans (edamame). You can also add herbs to give the dish a fresh flavor.
Below are the ingredients you need:
- Two cups of boiling water
- A quarter cup of the wheat
- A quarter cup of pesto preferably prepared
- Three tablespoons of lemon juice
- Two cups of cherry tomatoes (chopped are the best)
- Three ounces of crumbled cheese (feta)
- Fifteen ounces of drained chickpeas
- A third of a cup of green scallion onions that are thinly sliced
- Two tablespoons of fresh minced parsley
- A quarter tablespoon of fresh black pepper (ground)
- Two cups of edamame (shelled)
Steps to prepare the salad
- Combine the wheat with boiling water into a bowl. Cover it and leave it still for about 30 minutes then drain off all the water and leave the wheat in the bowl.
- Combine the lemon juice and the pesto in a large bowl then stir the mixture. Add the drained wheat into the mixture as well as the tomatoes, onions, feta, parsley, black pepper, chickpeas, and edamame. Toss the entire concoction gently so that they can combine well with one another. Serve.
Also Read: Best Halal Munchies
Here is another recipe you can use so that you can try the wheat in a variety of meals:
Turkish Bulgur Pilaf Dish
This dish is of Turkish tradition and it will let you enjoy all the nutritional benefits that the bulgur wheat has to offer. To enhance its taste, the recipe includes tomatoes and pepper flavor.
Here are the needed ingredients:
- Two tablespoons of vegetable oil
- Two tablespoons of butter
- One large juicy grated tomato
- One medium grated drained onion
- Two cups of bulgarian wheat
- One teaspoon of salt
- A half teaspoon of black pepper
- Two teaspoons of sugar
- Four cups of broth (chicken)
- Two tablespoons of tomato paste
- One small grated green bell pepper
- Fresh pepper (use grilled pepper if it is the only one available)
- Italian fresh parsley
Collect all the ingredients and ensure none is missing
- Melt the oil together with the butter in a pan or skillet. Add the onions and fry them for about five minutes until they are tender. Do not wait for the onions to turn brown.
- Add the tomatoes and pepper to the pan and then fry them as well. Continue frying until the tomatoes become soft.
- Add the wheat and stir using a wooden spoon to combine the contents well.
- Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, sugar, and broth to the pan, and stir to mix well. At this point, you can increase your heat level so that the mixture can boil. When it boils, cover the pan and reduce the heat.
- Leave the mixture for about 20 minutes or until the wheat has absorbed all the liquid. When all the liquid disappears, turn of the heat and let the food cool down slowly. Now that your pilaf is ready, stir it gently to blend the entire mixture well.
- Garnish the food with pepper, tomato, and Italian parsley.
- Serve and enjoy.
Where to find Bulgur Wheat
The great news is that you can easily find the bulgar on our site. You can also check in the section of bulk foods or baking aisle and you may find it alongside other whole grains. Sometimes the wheat may be in the cereal section next to such things as oatmeal or any of those grains eaten for breakfast.
If you are in a large store that sells all varieties of foods from different cultures, then try checking for the special wheat in the international foods area under the Middle Eastern dishes.
In case all this sounds like too much of a hassle, you can always purchase the wheat online and have it delivered to you.
Also Read: Benefits of Black Seed Oil
Storage of Bulgur
Once you have bought the wheat in bulk and prepared yourself a delicious meal, you can store the rest and live to enjoy a delicious meal another day. Store the wheat in a container that is airtight to protect it from heat, moisture, and light.
Preferably, keep the wheat in the pantry because it can last up to 24 months there. If you have a freezer, then do not think twice. Store it in the freezer and have it last for more than two years.
Of course, you do not intend to leave it in storage for long because you can use it to prepare delicious meals for your family or friends.