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Grain Basics – Turning Wheat Berries into Bulghur (Bulgar)

Categories: Articles, Cooking tips

Grain Basics – Turning Wheat Berries into Bulghur (Bulgar)

First, let’s clear up a confusing point. What is a wheat berry? The dictionary meaning is that it is the original wheat grain before grinding or milling. It is often used interchangeably with ‘wheat grain’. But there is more to it… (info)

Wheat waiting to be turned into bulghur

If you’ve read Grain Basics – Bulghur and Cracked Wheat, then you are ready for this second article – it’s for the adventurous amongst us who want to make our own products as much as possible. Most likely you’re hooked on the wonderful flavour and nutritious benefits of bulgur…bulgar…er…bulghur. No matter, all spellings are correct and just reflect the country of its (spelling) origin – be that Arabic countries, Turkey, Bulgaria or elsewhere.

First, let’s clear up a confusing point. What is a wheat berry? The dictionary meaning is that it is the original wheat grain before grinding or milling. It is often used interchangeably with ‘wheat grain’. The confusion lies in the mistranslations and the inconsistency within the industry itself. Some sources refer to wheat grain as that what you can pull off an ear of wheat straight off the field before it it processed further. Click here for a very nice close up photo and info. Here is another link to more interesting information.

Technically, wheat, like all grasses produces a caryopsis which is the fruit (grain) of the plant. Older vernacular referred to this as the ‘berry’. Hence, wheat berry.

Now that you are that much wiser, you’ll sleep better tonight.

And now that you know that bulghur is the partially hulled cooked wheat berry (grain) and cracked wheat involves the raw (uncooked) wheat berry (grain), you are ready for a quick outline of how to make your own bulghur as is done in many areas of the Near and Middle East today.

Bulghur is usually made from hard (red) wheat, but it can also be made from soft (white) wheat. Doing it at home renders a natural, light brown product. The pale product you see in shops has been bleached.

http://www.epicureantable.com/articles/agrainbulgur2.htm

Plain Bulgar Wheat

Categories: Spleen Qi Vacuity

PLAIN BULGUR
============

Use it as a tasty substitute for rice or other grains you would use.
This means that you can either plain cook it, or preferably prepare
it in pilav-like fashion.
To do this:

Cut an onion in small pieces, then slowly fry it in a ample oil.
(Maybe add some fine-cut cloves of garlic as well)
Then add the bulgur and continue frying, stirring occasionally for
another 5-8 minutes, until all the bulgur is covered with a little oil.

Then add salt (*) and just as much water until your pan contains 1cm more water
than bulgur. Allow to cook, stir well, then turn gas low and allow for all
the water to evaporate (keep the lid on your pan).

My original turkish recipe asks for addition of extra butter or oil, when
all is done and an extra 5 minutes of simmering, but I usually skip this
part.

(*) Of course instead of adding mere salt, you can add any kind of seasoning
at this point in the recipe. (5-flower powder, curry powder and such)