Bulgur, also known as burghul and bulgar, is commonly found in Middle Eastern, Turkish, and Mediterranean dishes and is perhaps more commonly known as a significant ingredient in the preparation of tabbouleh. However, with the addition of lentils, and the other herbs, and nuts, olives and vegetables, it reaches new heights in this dish. It is also a fibre and protein filled healthy alternative to other grains, such as rice and couscous.
Whilst it is commonly found in Health Food stores, I bought mine at a Middle Eastern shop in Townsville, North Queensland, called Sweet N Sour Middle Eastern Flavour, owned by a very helpful Palestinian gentleman, and worthy of a visit if you are passing through Townsville. Everything in the shop is so reasonably priced, with the Bulgar only $3.80 for 1 kg, and the Helva and Turkish Delight is as authentic and delicious as it gets. The very modest looking shop in Illuka Street, Townsville, makes a visit very worthville.
200g (1 cup) brown lentils, rinsed and drained
160g (1 cup) fine Bulgur (cracked wheat)
60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
60ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/4 cup chopped dill
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1/2 small green capsicum, finely chopped
1/2 small red capsicum, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
25g (1/4 cup) walnuts, toasted, and chopped
40 g (1/4 cup) pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
100g feta, crumbled
1 tomato chopped
- Cover lentils with 500ml water and bring to a simmer in a partially covered saucepan. Cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain them well and place to the side in a large bowl.
- Place bulgur in a separate bowl, cover with 500ml of boiling water and set aside for 20 minutes. Whilst it is soaking, start preparing the other ingredients. Drain well and add to lentils and mix through.
- Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook gently for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add garlic, and remaining ingredients to the lentil mixture. Season with salt and pepper, mix to combine and serve.
Tell me dear Reader, do you enjoy visiting more out of the way shops so that you can purchase ingredients such as Bulgur in an authentic setting, and enjoy a very different shopping experience?