Yes, yes I do. I love bulgur! A few weeks ago I posted my first bulgur pilaf recipe and since then I’ve been eating bulgur often believe me. This recipe is a variation of that first pilaf recipe. This time I used one of my favourite vegetables, the magnificent eggplant.
Yes, I also love, absolutely love eggplant. I could even eat it raw if I could. For a while in my 20’s eggplant upset my stomach a lot so I couldn’t eat it often and I was extremely upset about it. Luckily, there is no such problem left anymore.
So, the recipe is very simple and it’s only slightly different than the other bulgur pilaf recipe. In that recipe I used banana peppers, in this recipe I used eggplant instead. And I cooked eggplants separately first.
I used only 2 medium eggplants in this version, however, next time I make this pilaf, I will use more eggplants. You can adjust the amount of eggplants according to your wishes as well. Enjoy your pilaf!
2 tbsp olive oil for eggplants
2 medium size eggplants*, about 750 gr., diced and soaked in salted cold water for at least 15 minutes
2 tbsp olive oil for pilaf
2 medium size onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, mashed
1 can chopped tomatoes with juice (1 can = 400 gr.)
1/2 tbsp paprika paste**
5 dl (or 2 cups) coarse bulgur*** (in Finnish: karkea bulgur), washed and drained
7.5 dl (or 3 cups) almost boiling water (I heated up to 80C) or vegetable broth, plus more if needed
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste in the end if needed
*This is the amount of eggplants you see in the final pilaf. However, next time I make this pilaf, I will use more eggplants – at least 4 medium or 3 large eggplants. You can adjust the amount of eggplants according to your wishes as well – I personally love eggplants so for me the more the tastier!
**Paprika paste is generally found in Turkish or Middle Eastern markets. If you can’t find this, you can replace it with tomato paste, but use 1 tbsp of it instead.
***This is a type of bulgur that is bigger in size than the fine ones in normal markets. You should look for “karkea bulgur” or you should, again, go to a Turkish or Middle Eastern market in the city.
1. First let’s cook the eggplants. In a large pan (or use a wok like I did) put 2 tbsp olive oil and warm it on medium high heat for about half a minute. In the meantime, drain the eggplants. Add the eggplants in the pan and stirring often cook the eggplants fully, then take away from the heat.
2. In a large, shallow pan, put olive oil on medium heat for 20 seconds. Add onions and sauté by frequently stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until peppers are tender and onions are translucent.
3. Add mashed garlic and continue to sauté for 1 more minute.
4. Add canned tomato and paprika paste and continue to saute for a couple of minutes, until tomato and paste are nicely mixed with the rest.
5. Add bulgur and stir for one minute constantly.
6. Add 7.5 dl (or 3 cups) hot water, spread bulgur mixture evenly inside the pan and put the lid of the pan, leave ajar. Also, turn the heat down to medium.
7. After 10 minutes, start checking frequently to see if all the water is absorbed or not. When most of the water is absorbed add cooked eggplants and salt and stir well. Put the lid back on and let the pilaf cook fully absorbing all the water. If bulgur is still too hard to bite after all the water is absorbed, add a little more water (about 1 dl to 1/2 cup) and cook more. Do this until bulgur is tender but still grainy, but not too tender, it shouldn’t get too soft and muddy. When it’s finally cooked well, adjust the taste with more salt if needed. Enjoy!