Bulgur Pilaf with Zucchini
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This Bulgur Pilaf with Zucchini is quick healthy meal idea! Bulgur Pilaf is a simple Lebanese dish made with beef, onion and bulgur braised in a rich tomato sauce. Some people leave out the zucchini, but I like the different texture that zucchini adds to this dish.
What is bulgur?
Bulgur is a whole grain made with whole wheat kernels that have been parboiled, dried and cracked into different coarse grade. Bulgur wheat is an essential grain in Middle Eastern cuisine. There are two different kinds of bulgur: fine and coarse. When buying your bulgur, look closely at the packaging and you will find a number. The lower the number, the more fine the bulgur grain. Number 1 being the most fine (least coarse) kind of bulgur that is usually used in Tabouli Salad and Kibbeh. Number 2, 3 and 4 are more coarse.
For this bulgur pilaf recipe, you can use any coarse kind of bulgur, but I personally prefer #3 or #4 because they hold a better shape.
How to Make Bulgur Pilaf Recipe:
- In a medium sized pot, over medium heat, heat olive oil and add the onion. Sauté for about 10 min until onions are wilted by not browned.
- Add beef, salt and spices and mix well with onions, cook for additional 10 minutes.
- Add zucchini cuts and mix in well the beef mixture.
- Top with water, just enough to cover the ingredients, about 2 cups.
- Cover the pot, increase heat to medium high and bring mixture to a boil.
- Lower heat to medium low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until zucchini is soft.
- Add bulgur, diced tomatoes and tomato paste and give it a quick stir.
- Turn heat up to medium high and bring mixture to boil.
- Reduce heat to medium low, cover the pot again and simmer for 20 min or until bulgur is cooked through and most of the water is absorbed.
Tips for making bulgur pilaf with zucchini:
- Adjust the water ratio. I find that 2 cups of water to 1 cup of coarse bulgur to be just right. But if the water is absorbed and the bulgur is not cooked through, you can add 1/2 a cup of water and the bulgur will continue to fluff up.
- Don’t mix too much after adding the bulgur. I usually just give it once quick stir, and then just fluff up it with a fork before serving.
- Make it vegetarian. Simply leave out the beef.
Frequently asked questions
Is Bulgur Pilaf Gluten Free?
No. Bulgur is a wheat product and it’s Not Gluten-Free!
Where can you buy bulgur wheat?
You can find the bulgur at your local Middle Eastern grocery store, natural-foods stores and some large supermarkets, often located with other Middle Eastern ingredients. You can also order it on amazon.