If you’re looking for tasty Mediterranean dishes, you can’t go far wrong with any dishes from Turkish cuisines.
Originally derived from Ottoman cuisine, it has slowly been fused and refined with Middle Eastern, Balkan and Central Asian dishes.
It’s also much more than döner kebabs.
Pilafs are just one of the staples in Turkish cuisines. Although thousands of variations of pilaf exist, we’ve used brown rice in this recipe.
Brown rice is a great gluten-free grain to use in your diet. It contains lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Mediterranean Rice Pilaf – Health Benefits
Brown rice is a great source of folate, riboflavin (B2), potassium and calcium. In one study, 40 women who ate 150g of brown rice per day for six weeks significantly reduced their body weight and circumference compared to women who ate the same amount of white rice (1).
Garlic is low in calories and rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese. It has been linked with many health benefits. Studies have found it can reduce LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol (2, 3, 4) and improve blood pressure (5, 6, 7).
This dish a simple and tasty way to get all the nutritional benefits of bulgur wheat whilst adding 4 of your 5 fruit and veg in.
It also makes the perfect accompaniment if you want to add chicken or grilled meats.
Remember there are so many different variations of the pilaf, so don’t be scared up some of the vegetables here.
Ready to get started?
Turkish Bulgur Pilaf with Mushrooms
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 100 g mushrooms, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp tumeric
- 225 g bulgur wheat
- 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 375 ml vegetable stock
- In a saucepan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook until mushrooms have released their juices, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste, salt, cumin, cinnamon, and turmeric and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute to toast the spices and coat the onions in the tomato paste.
- Add the tomatoes and stock. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and bulgur is cooked. Season with more salt and pepper, to taste.