Almost Turkish Recipes

Stuffed Chard with Bulgur and Cheese / Lorlu Pazı Sarma

Stuffing green leaves with ground meat, herby rice, or grains is a common practice in Turkish cuisine. Although not as popular as grape leaves, stuffed chard is a staple dish for both Black Sea region and eastern Anatolia. The two different types of stuffed chard I had had were with ground meat and cracked corn, so I was very excited when I found this recipe for stuffed chard in a book in Yasemin's kitchen. The recipe is from Sahrap Soysal, a popular Turkish chef, food connoisseur and writer, whose book Bir Yemek Masalı won several Gourmand Awards in 2004 in Spain, including "Best Local Cookery Book in the World." I adopted the recipe from the English translation of this award-winning book, A Cookery Tale.

for four people
2 bunch green chard
1 cup fine bulgur
1 very generous cup of cottage cheese or ricotta
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1 big onion, grated
2 tbsp dry basil
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp butter

-Cut the stems of chard.
-Boil some water in a big pot. And cook chard leaves in boiling water for ~2 minutes four or five leaves at a time.
-Put the leaves on a colander and let cool.
-In a bowl put the bulgur and add 1 cup of boling water. Wait until bulgur soaks the water.
-Add the rest of the ingredients to bulgur except for butter and mix well .
-Place a chard leaf on a flat surface (kitchen counter, tray, plate, etc.) the veiny part up. Cut the big vein in the middle out-otherwise it'd be hard to roll.
-Depending on the size of the leaf put 1-3 tbsp of stuffing on the top, not the stem, part of the leaf and roll like a cigar. Chard is much easier to deal with than grape leaves, and far more forgiving.
-Place the rolls side by side in an order in an oven proof dish.
-Place the small pieces of butter evenly on top.
-Pour 2 cups of hot water on top.  
-Bake rolls in a preheated oven at 385F for approximately an hour checking frequently after half an hour to make sure it still has some water.
-Serve rolls hot with yogurt, and even better, with garlicy yogurt (=1 clove of smashed garlic mixed well with 2 cups of yogurt)


  1. Hi Burcu! Again a lovely recipe with great pictures! Did you receive my email about your nomination for a Beautiful Blogger Award? Check out my blog today! I love your blog!

    best regards,

    Claudia from Istanbul

  2. I often stuff vegetables but never tried using this cheese bulgur combination. It sounds wonderful

  3. I'm making these right now! I just came back from the pazar with some lovely pazi and lor cheese. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. That is a great combination. Would love to try it next time I am stuffing some leaves! It does not happen that often though due to the long process :)

  5. a great looking recipe and a great, inspiring blog overall. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Anonymous5:47 PM

    Im going to eat these for my lunch :)

  7. My Turksih husband will enjoy these when I make them for him.....he loves sarma. Thanks for-)sharing ;)

  8. OMG! this is my new favorite blog!:)

  9. Anonymous11:12 AM

    Looks tasty. Could you use quinoa or just rice for the bulgar? I don't have any on hand, but assume a different grain would be fine, as stuffed grape leaves have white rice.

  10. Quinoa would be just fine.

  11. I have never thought of stuffing green leaves, but it is such a great idea! I bet the bulgur filling is delicious.

  12. If I can't find chard, what else would you recommend?

  13. collard greens would be great

  14. Hi Burcu,

    I don't go in for comments much but I've just come across your blog and it's really very good! I spent some months working in Istanbul a couple of years ago and all the recipes I cam to love you've got here. Have you been to Ciya by the way? One of my favourite restaurants, but my favourite is a cheap home-cooking style place called Helvetica, Gallata. Un Saludo from Yogi Kitchen here in Spain!!

  15. Adam and Theresa, Ciya is one of my fav restaurants, too. But I've never been to Helvetica. I'll be back in Turkey in July and I have to go there this time.

  16. I have made stuffed chard many times, as it is used in Lebanese kitchens almost as much as grape leaves; this is one version I have never tasted and am eager to check it out and try!

  17. yemeklerimizi tanıttığınız< için tşk...

  18. Jason2:58 PM

    Delicious, especially with a (few) glasses of kalecik karasi

    For those not imbibing Turkish wine by the case, it is a medium bodied, red fruit grape similar to grenache