Freekeh pilaf with bulgur – Style of Beirut

June 22, 2022  •  Class: ,

I seen this recipe for a freekeh pilaf in a cookbook by Lebanese meals author Nadia Saleh, Splendours of the Levant. She had it listed within the Turkish part. She mentions it as a specialty of Southeastern Turkey. I began researching it a bit on-line and discovered it’s from Gaziantep, a metropolis I’ve at all times wished to go to in Anatolia, for its famed market and foodie scene. This dish which mixes freekeh and bulgur jogged my memory of an identical dish from Aleppo, which additionally layers freekeh, bulgur and rice! Contemplating the shared historical past of the 2 cities and their geographical proximity, this isn’t so uncommon. There have been migrations  and displacement of peoples forwards and backwards between the 2 cities through the years and the delicacies in Aleppo is strongly influenced by the delicacies in Gaziantep and vice-versa.

In any case, the dish combines my two favourite grains, freekeh and bulgur, is straightforward to make and tastes scrumptious, the grains are a bit chewy and moist and the flavour is nutty, barely spicy.  I tailored the recipe, including black beans as an alternative of chickpeas and  a few Mexican chilies. The pilaf is aromatic,  earthy and tastes like pure consolation meals; as well as, it’s HEALTHY and vegan.



Freekeh pilaf with bulgur

Joumana Accad
Mediterranean, Center Japanese
June 22, 2022

Complete Grain/Bulgur/Rice, Important Dish,

pilaf, Kurdish, Turkish, healthyfood, armenianfood, bulgur, freekeh, black beans, vegan meals,

6-8 servings

Prep Time: half-hour

Prepare dinner Time: 25 minutes

Passive Time: quarter-hour


1 1/4 cup freekeh aka roasted inexperienced wheat

1 cup bulgur #3 (coarse grain)

1 lb boiler onions, peeled (can substitute 1 or 2 giant yellow or crimson onions, chopped nice or in rings) (used some nice ones)

1 tsp garlic paste (or 4 garlic cloves mashed with a teaspoon of salt until pasty)

3 Tbsps crimson pepper paste

3 Tbsps tomato paste

3/4 cup tomatoes chopped-up nice

3 or 4 Tbsps further virgin olive oil (can use ghee if you happen to favor)

1 or 2 chilies corresponding to guajillo or pasilla or any crimson chili of your alternative, beforehand  rehydrated in boiling water for 20 minutes

1 can of black beans (or any beans of your alternative)

Water (about 4 cups)

Spices: cumin, to style, in addition to salt, black pepper, cinnamon (begin with one teaspoon and improve to style if desired)

To serve: 1 cup (or extra) of plain yogurt seasoned with garlic paste (Bulgarian, or Arab-style yogurt or plain yogurt to which a tablespoon of lemon juice has been added)





  1. Begin frying the onions in oil or ghee, till barely caramelized, about 10 minutes over medium warmth. Add the crimson pepper paste and garlic paste, and fry for a number of seconds; add the diced tomatoes and chili pepper; stir a number of seconds. Add the cumin and different spices.
  2. Add the freekeh, stir to coat within the pepper-tomato-chili combination, and add the water. Cowl the pot and convey to a boil. Let it boil for about quarter-hour.
  3. Add the bulgur to the pot, and prepare dinner for an additional 10 minutes or so, till each grains are cooked however nonetheless chewy to the chew. The pilaf ought to have shaped small holes because the grains prepare dinner. Take away from the warmth and let it sit on the range to relaxation for half-hour or much less if planning to serve straight away. Serve with chilly yogurt wherein some garlic paste has been added for taste.



Recipe Notes


I didn’t measure the water, merely pouring sufficient initially to cowl the freekeh by about one inch (2.5cms). Nevertheless, it’s completely simple to regulate by including a little bit of water and cooking the grains longer in the event that they nonetheless really feel arduous to the chew. They need to be agency and a bit chewy, not mushy.


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