Chef´s Choice – Turkish Cuisine

Anatolian Bulgur Pilav

turkish-flagTurkish cuisine is largely the continuation of Ottoman cuisine, which in turn borrowed many elements from Central Asian, Caucasian, Jewish, Middle Eastern, Greek and Balkan cuisines.

Turkish cuisine varies across the country. The cooking of Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, and rest of the Aegean region inherits many elements of Ottoman court cuisine, with a lighter use of spices, a preference for rice over bulgur, köftes and a wider availability of vegetable stews (Türlü), eggplant, stuffed dolmas and fish. The cuisine of the Black Sea Region uses fish extensively, especially the Black Sea anchovy (hamsi) and includes maize dishes. The cuisine of the southeast (e.g. Urfa, Gaziantep, and Adana) is famous for its variety of kebabs, mezes and dough-based desserts such as Baklava, Söbiyet, Kadayıf, and Künefe.




  • 200 g bulgur
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 50 g green lentils, pre-cooked
  • 50 g chickpeas, pre-cooked
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • salt and ground black pepper


Prepare 750 ml of beef stock.

Heat a little bit of olive oil (2 – 3 tbsp) in a large sauce pan (or wok) over medium heat.

Add the onion and cook, stirring from time to time, until golden brown. Stir in the tomato pieces and continue cooking for a short while until they soften.

turkish-recipes-bulgur-pilavPour over the beef stock and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and mix in the bulgur, continously stirring. Simmer the whole lot until the bulgur begins to soften.

Add the per-cooked lentils and chickpeas, simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pilav thickens and the bulgur becomes tender. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to your taste.

Set the pan / wok aside and let the pilav cool down for a few minutes.

Serve in a bowl garnished with the mint and tomato pieces.

Fits well as a side dish for any kind of meat or also as a vegetarian main dish.