Almost Turkish Recipes

Eggplant Bulgur Pilaf (Patlıcanlı Bulgur Pilavı)

This is a perfect summer dish and is especially good with cold refreshing yogurt, or as a side dish for red meat. Traditionally this recipe is made with white rice, and eggplant cubes are deep fried. I decided go healthier and lighter so I made a couple of changes. To have a certified Turkish eggplant rice, use white rice and deep fry cubes of eggplant until golden brownish with vegetable, corn, or canola oil.

On Sunday I'm leaving for Turkey for 3 weeks. Although I will be very busy indulging myself in food and non-food related activities, I'll try to post "absolutely" Turkish recipes of my mom and my aunt, and, possibly, of our neighbors.

2 cups of bulgur (I chose to use fine bulgur, but it'll be great with coarse bulgur, too)
3 1/2-4 cups of water
1 big American eggplant or 2 regular size ones, peeled in stripes and diced
4 tomatoes, diced
1 onion, chopped finely
2 banana peppers, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 tbsp pine nuts
1 tbsp currants
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt & pepper

-Brush olive oil on a shallow oven pan (use aluminum foil to avoid a mess) , put diced eggplant on it, and bake for 20-25 minutes at 375F.
-Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pot (it's easier to cook bulgur with non-stick pots). Add onions and stir for a couple of minutes. Add pine nuts, red and green peppers, and currants. Stir until peppers are cooked and nuts are golden brown.
-Add diced tomato and cook for 4-5 minutes.
-Add bulgur, stir constantly for a couple of minutes.
-Add water. Start with 3 1/2 cups of water. Cover and cook on low-medium until bulgur soaks water--this will take approximately 20-25 minutes. Some bulgur would be fine with a bulgur to water ratio of 1 to 1 1/2, some with 1 to 2. So check if the bulgur is cooked; if not add the rest of the water. Cover and cook on low.
-After you turn it off, cover the top of the pot with a clean kitchen towel or a paper towel. Put the lid back on and let rest for 10 minutes.
-Fluff the pilaf with a serving fork. Add eggplant and parsley. Mix well and serve.

Bon appetite! Afiyet olsun!


  1. I like the changes you made to the original recipes and I certainly like the sound of this. I had no idea there were different kinds of bulgur to choose from: thanks for the info. Have a safe trip and a fabulous time: I am looking forward to reading your upcoming recipes.

  2. Thanks Simona! You're right about bulgur; it's not easy to find different kinds here in the states. What you can find at regular stores is the bulgur for pilaf, which is coarse bulgur. Fine bulgur is usually used for kisir / tabbouleh and a few other dishes.

  3. Burcu,
    bir süredir zevk alarak takip ediyorum tariflerini, eline sağlık :)
    Eğer uygun görürsen bloguna sayfamdan link vermek isterim :)

  4. Anonymous1:33 PM

    I have found index with some guidebooks and would like to share. There are interesting ideas for cooking, recipes, home care, etc. Get it and enjoy :o)

  5. I make a very similar dish but with coarse bulgur. I love the chewiness of it. Yours sounds delicious. I'm going to have to add the banana peppers next time; that's a wonderful idea, Burcu. Wishing you safe and happy travels!

  6. Anonymous6:18 PM

    Have a wonderful time. I'm looking forward to your posts from Turkey! The pilaf looks delicious!

  7. Hi, I was wondering what kind of currants you used in this dish?

  8. Habenero, I used dried black currants

  9. Anonymous7:29 AM

    Thank for all the blog, it's very nice.

    Please I m looking for the recipe.
    Kengerli Bulgur Pilavı
    Can you help me ?

    Have a nice day !


  10. Jane,
    I am sorry I cannot help you. I heard of kengerli pilaf but unfortunately I've never tasted it. Kenger, as far as I know, is gundelia but it's not a thistle that is used in cooking all around Turkey, except for the eastern part. I'll ask a couple of people to see if they know the recipe.

  11. I love your recipes - whenever I want something new and delicious I browse your site and make something where I have - at least half - the ingredients. So, here goes with this recipe. Made it with red and white quinoa and mushrooms (instead of the tomatoes), added some beyaz peynir and served with goat milk on the side and a little bit of harissa sauce. Can't say I ended up with something Turkish, but it was GOOD. Thanks again!

  12. Well, thank you, Jenna! I have to try this idea, too. I love red quinoa!

  13. I should eat more eggplant. But mine never looks pretty because I have to peel it. Eggplant skin freaks me out.

  14. Merhaba! I often see Turkish recipes calling for "striped" peeled eggplant. Can you tell me the purpose of this? Or, is it just a traditional preference? At any rate, I hope to test this recipe out this week! -Terra

    1. If you leave the skin it could be bitter, and peel all then the eggplant may fall apart. So the midway is to make stripes.