Melissa Ludick, resident Dietitian comments: Bulgur wheat is crushed wheat which has been parboiled.  Because it contains the entire wheat kernel (germ, endosperm and bran), it is high in fibre and valuable nutrients, especially  B-vitamins, manganese, magnesium and iron.  It has a slightly chewy texture and nutty flavour.  When cooked it has a similar consistency to couscous.  Because it is  parboiled, it only takes about 15 minutes to prepare.  A healthy whole grain which is quick to prepare… This sounds like the ideal food for those busy days when you have limited time to prepare meals.

Bulgar wheat originated from the Mediterranean and is most often used in Middle-Eastern cuisine.  It can be cooked plainly and served with your favourite curry, stew, or stir-fry, or it is sometimes used as a binding or bulking agent in patties and  meat balls (Kibbeh).  Left-over bulgar can be used in a salad (Tabouleh).

Here is a recipe to get you started…

Tabbouleh Bulgur Wheat Salad – Serves 6 as a side dish
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) bulgur wheat
  • 160ml boiling hot vegetable stock
  • 200g rosa tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Mediterranean cucumber
  • half a red and yellow pepper, deseeded
  • 2-3 spring onions
  • 400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 100g feta, cubed
  • a large bunch flat leaf parsley, stalks discarded
  • a handful of each, mint and rocket
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds (optional)
For the dressing
  • 45ml  (3 tablespoons) olive oil
  • 30ml (2 tablespoons) lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Place the bulgur wheat in a heatproof bowl and pour over the stock. The liquid level should just cover the wheat. Cover over with cling film and set aside for at least 10 minutes to allow the wheat to rehydrate. When all the stock has been absorbed, fluff the bulgur with a fork to separate the grains.
  2. Quarter the cucumber and deseed. Cut the quarters in half again and then into fine dice. Do the same with  sweet pepper.
  3. Bundle together all the herbs and roughly chop. Dice the spring onions and  add to the bulgur wheat, along with the cucumber, peppers, chickpeas and tomatoes.
  4. For the dressing, place all the ingredients in a jam jar and shake together. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Check the seasoning and add a little more lemon if you prefer more acidity. Scatter over the sunflower seeds, if you’re using. This salad is best served at room temperature as the flavours will be more prominent.
  5. BK Handy tip : This salad makes a great packed lunch and summer picnic food. If you like, add some roasted chicken pieces and baby spinach.

Recipe from Bibby’s Kitchen


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