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Making wheat into bulgur (also spelled bulgar, bulghur, burghul and bourghul) has been an integral part of Middle Eastern cuisine for thousands of years. These days, you can still see villagers preparing it the traditional way: boiling the wheat in huge pots, spreading the cooked berries or groats over flat roof tops to dry, then cracking the hardened kernels into coarse pieces and sieving them into different sizes. Don’t confuse it with cracked wheat, which is simply that, and can take up to an hour to cook.

This versatile, nutty-tasting, wholegrain is available in supermarkets, natural/organic health food stores and Middle Eastern produce stores. If you are lucky, you’ll have a choice of grades – fine (#1), medium (#2), coarse (#3), and very coarse (#4). You can make pilafs with medium, coarse, and very coarse bulgur. Tabbouleh and kibbe are best made with fine bulgur. As it’s been parboiled, it needs little cooking and, in most cases, nothing more than a good soak in hot water. Check out the manufacturer’s instructions.

Sources: AusFoods, 2019 and The Good Carbs Cookbook (Murdoch Books)