Bhulghur wheat, or bulgur, is made from a mixture of several different species of wheat, or solely from durum wheat, and forms a food similar to cereal. Its nutty flavor and versatility make this a great ingredient in several dishes in Middle Eastern cuisine.
Most commonly, bulgur is found in tabbouleh as the main ingredient, as well as kibbeh. Bulgur is also used in pilafs, breads and soups. There are three different types of bulgur wheat: fine, medium, and coarse. Each one must be chosen carefully depending upon which type of recipe it is being used in. Each type of bulgur also indicates how long the wheat must be soaked before cooking.
Bulgur wheat is made from grains that have first been parboiled, or partially boiled, and then dried, usually by laying out in the sun. The grain is then ground and sorted according to size, making up the different types. Bulgur cooks very quickly, faster than rice, and is actually more nutritious. Once bulgur has been processed, it does not need to be cooked. Usually the best way to prepare it is to soak it in warm water before mixing with other ingredients.
Buying bulgur wheat isn’t going to be as simple as going to your local supermarket. While it is a place to start, you will usually find bulgur more easily at your local health food store or Middle Eastern market. Some websites offer bulgur for sale online, but it will take some time to search the different sites and see exactly what is offered. The average price of bulgur costs around $2.00 a pound.
Storing bulgur is overall as simple as storing any other rice and grains. It is best to keep bulgur in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator. Bulgur contains some of its natural oils and will tend to go bad if placed in warm areas of the kitchen. In the refrigerator, bulgur will usually keep about six months. If frozen, it will keep longer.
Out of all the grains to cook with, bulgur is one you should definitely try. It is healthy, easy to cook with and can be used in a variety of ways. Its flavor really adds that unique something to a dish that makes for an enjoyable meal. Its texture, taste and nutrition ensures your meal will never be boring with bulgur!