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Bulgur and Green Lentil Pilaf, Antakya Style

VeganMoFo Day 11

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This is one of the traditional pilaf recipes from Turkey. There are a few different varieties around. My grandmother, for example, used to make one with just bulgur and green lentils which is quite popular around the area where she lived. However, this particular one is from Antakya (the ancient name for the city is Antioch) and the recipe came from a fellow food blogger whose blog I follow although the recipes are not vegan. It’s amazing what can be converted or adapted. So, I don’t have any problems with following blogs that aren’t entirely vegan.

1 cup bulgur (coarse variety), rinsed and drained well
1/3 cup green lentils, picked over and washed
1 large brown onion, sliced into rings
2 tsp vegan stock powder (I used beef style)
1 tbsp vegan margarine
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups boiled water
Salt and pepper
Turkish pickled peppers to serve (I had cornichons at the time so that’s what I used)

• Boil the lentils in a heavy-based saucepan with plenty of water for about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
• Heat the margarine in a pot and add the bulgur.
• Fry until they release a nutty aroma and their colour turn slightly opaque.
• Add the lentils, stock powder and 2 cups of boiled water. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir well. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes and then reduce the heat. Put the lid on and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed. If you use a glass lid, that makes your life a lot easier.
• Turn the heat off and place a layer of paper towel between the lid and the pot. This will absorb all the moisture and prevent steam going back into your pilaf in the form of water which makes it mushy. Same principle with rice pilafs too.
• Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion rings and salt. Cook onions for about 15 minutes until they brown. Season with salt and pepper.
• Serve the pilaf with caramelised onions on top and Turkish pickles at the side. Afiyet Olsun! (Bon Appetite in Turkish).


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