Kurdish Cracked Wheat Pilaf

Kürt bulgur pilavı


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

As bulgur is a versatile grain, it can be cooked and eaten with almost anything. Cooked plain with water or stock, it is tasty and healthy. This recipe is common in eastern Anatolia, where it is claimed by both the Turks and the Kurds, and it is eaten with spoons from a communal pot. A well is made in the hot cooked bulgur into which cool creamy yogurt is spooned, and melted butter is poured over the top. Traditionally the fat used to cook the bulgur would come from the sheep’s tail.


  • 12 oz/350 g bulgur
  • 1 tablespoon kuyrukyaği (sheep’s tail fat), clarified or ordinary butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pint/600 ml water or lamb stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons thick creamy yougurt
  • 1 oz/30 g clarified or ordinary butter


  • Wash the bulgur and drain. Soften the onion in the fat, add the bulgur and cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the water or stock, season with salt and pepper, and bring the liquid to the boil. Cook vigorously for 3-4 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat, place a dry dish-towel over it and press the lid down tightly on top. Leave to steam for a further 15-20 minutes. The cloth will absorb all the moisture.
  • Fluff up with a fork and tip out on to a serving dish. Make a well in the centre and spoon the yogurt into it. Melt the butter and pour over the yogurt. Eat while the rice is still hot, cooled by the yogurt.