bulgur pilaf with chick peas

Back during bob's Stockholm period, he discovered vegetarian buffet restaurants and whole grain dense dishes that were really appealing and which made a lasting impression in his usually unreliable memory. Little did he know at the time that the only way he'd ever see similar stuff back home was by marrying into Middle Eastern cuisine. Lentil and chick pea bulgur pilafs are probably the two best representative bulgur pilaf dishes (that bob nearly always overeats at dinner at the in-laws), and as combinations of whole grains and legumes, are also extremely healthy, for reasons only true vegetarians can remember. (We're not.) There are lots of variations of bulgur pilaf in Armenian cooking, but these two are the staples of Isgouhi's kitchen, and this one apparently has evolved from the Anjarian variation of the dish.

After several conflicting versions of this recipe were transcribed into the spiral bound loose-leaf notebook bob keeps to record Isgouhi's best stuff, most dictated after the fact without witnessing the process (big mistake!), bob finally finds the occasion to do a recipe watch-through using the nice measuring spoon set he'd gotten her for this purpose much earlier, still unused. A consensus is reached.


key ingredient
1 c bulgur
saute stuff
3 T olive oil
1/2 c egg noodles
1 onion, chopped
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t Middle Eastern red pepper (3 parts paprika to 1 part cayenne)
1/8 -1/4 t Middle Eastern (all) spice mix (just use regular allspice plus cumin)
1 15-16oz can (cooked) chick peas
2 c water
1/2 T tomato paste
serving topping
chopped green onions


  1. Rinse the bulgur 3 or 4 times until the rinsing water comes clean.
  2. Heat the oil. When hot add the broken egg noodles and sautee 1 to 2 minutes until browned.
  3. Add the chopped onion. Saute a few minutes until softened.
  4. Add the bulgur and mix around for a minute like doing risotto.
  5. Add the spices, the tomato paste already dissolved in the water, and the chick peas and simmer covered for about 30 minutes until the water is absorbed.
  6. Serve with a sprinkling of finely chopped green onions over each serving for color and taste contrast.


  1. This can be expanded to include the vegetables you would need as a side dish to make a one pot meal but adding some or all of chopped tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini and green beans, in amounts and proportions that make you happy.
  2. Illustrations available.
blplfchp.htm: 5-sep-2022 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]