Eggplant Bulgur Pilaf (Patlıcanlı Bulgur Pilavı)


This is a perfect summer dish and is especially good with cold refreshing yogurt, or as a side dish for red meat. Traditionally this recipe is made with white rice, and eggplant cubes are deep fried. I decided go healthier and lighter so I made a couple of changes. To have a certified Turkish eggplant rice, use white rice and deep fry cubes of eggplant until golden brownish with vegetable, corn, or canola oil.

On Sunday I’m leaving for Turkey for 3 weeks. Although I will be very busy indulging myself in food and non-food related activities, I’ll try to post “absolutely” Turkish recipes of my mom and my aunt, and, possibly, of our neighbors.

2 cups of bulgur (I chose to use fine bulgur, but it’ll be great with coarse bulgur, too)
3 1/2-4 cups of water
1 big American eggplant or 2 regular size ones, peeled in stripes and diced
4 tomatoes, diced
1 onion, chopped finely
2 banana peppers, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 tbsp pine nuts
1 tbsp currants
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt & pepper

-Brush olive oil on a shallow oven pan (use aluminum foil to avoid a mess) , put diced eggplant on it, and bake for 20-25 minutes at 375F.
-Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pot (it’s easier to cook bulgur with non-stick pots). Add onions and stir for a couple of minutes. Add pine nuts, red and green peppers, and currants. Stir until peppers are cooked and nuts are golden brown.
-Add diced tomato and cook for 4-5 minutes.
-Add bulgur, stir constantly for a couple of minutes.
-Add water. Start with 3 1/2 cups of water. Cover and cook on low-medium until bulgur soaks water–this will take approximately 20-25 minutes. Some bulgur would be fine with a bulgur to water ratio of 1 to 1 1/2, some with 1 to 2. So check if the bulgur is cooked; if not add the rest of the water. Cover and cook on low.
-After you turn it off, cover the top of the pot with a clean kitchen towel or a paper towel. Put the lid back on and let rest for 10 minutes.
-Fluff the pilaf with a serving fork. Add eggplant and parsley. Mix well and serve.

Bon appetite! Afiyet olsun!

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