Bulgur (from Turkish: bulgur; also burghul, from Arabic: برغل burghul, "groats") is a cereal food made from the parboiled groats of several different wheat species, most often from durum wheat. It originates in Middle Eastern cuisine.
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||83 kcal (350 kJ)|
|Dietary fiber||4.5 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.||
|Vitamin A||1 IU|
†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults. |
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Bulgur is recognized as a whole grain by the United States Department of Agriculture. Bulgur is sometimes confused with cracked wheat, which is crushed wheat grain that has not been parboiled. Instead, bulgur is cracked wheat that has been partially cooked. Bulgur is a common ingredient in cuisines of many countries of the Middle East and Mediterranean Basin. It has a light, nutty flavor.
A distinction is made between fine-ground bulgur and a coarser grind. It is defined by grind sizes (#1 Fine, #2 Medium, #3 Coarse and #4 Extra Coarse). The highest quality bulgur has particle sizes that are uniform, thus allowing a more consistent cooking time and result.
Coarse bulgur is used to make pottages, while the medium and fine grains are used for breakfast cereals, salads like kısır, pilavs, breads, and in dessert puddings like kheer. Bulgur porridge is similar to frumenty, a cracked wheat porridge that was a staple of medieval cuisine.
In breads, it adds a whole grain component. It is a main ingredient in tabbouleh salad and kibbeh. It is often a substitute for rice or couscous. In Indian and Pakistani cuisine, bulgur is used as a cereal often to make a porridge with milk and sugar or a savory porridge with vegetables and spices. In the United States, it is often used as a side dish, much like pasta or rice. In meals, bulgur is often mistaken for rice because it can be prepared in a similar manner, although it has a texture more like couscous than rice.
Armenians prepare bulgur as a pilaf in chicken stock, with or without sauteed noodles, or cooked with tomatoes, onions, herbs and red pepper. The fine grind is used for making eech, a bulgur salad similar to tabbouleh, prepared with tomato paste, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, olive oil, and other salad ingredients to personal taste. Pomegranate molasses, which is more sour than sweet, is commonly used in favor of lemon juice to add tartness. A variety of mezes and main dishes are prepared.
In Cyprus, it is used to make "κούπες" (also known as bulgur köftesi in Cypriot Turkish), a variety of kibbeh. Its crust is usually made of bulgur wheat, flour, oil, salt and egg, then filled with ground meat (beef and/or pork), onions, parsley and spices. There is also vegetarian "κούπες" which substitutes the ground meat with chopped mushrooms.
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