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This Indian-inspired pilaf is made with bulgur wheat, carrots, raisins and paneer cheese, flavoured with cumin, coriander, ginger and garlic.
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- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 300g paneer cheese or any homemade cheese, cubed
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and grated
- 225g bulgur wheat
- 50g raisins
- 500ml water
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole
- salt and chilli flakes to taste
MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:20min
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a pan over medium heat; add cubes of paneer and cook until golden on all sides, about 3 minutes. Transfer cheese to a plate and set aside. If you are using softer varieties of cheese, toss the cubes in flour before cooking them.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the pan; stir in cumin, coriander, ginger and turmeric and cook for about a minute. Stir in chopped onion and grated carrots and cook for 2 minutes or until onion starts to soften.
- Add bulgur wheat and raisins and stir to coat grains in butter; pour in 500ml water. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Add cloves of garlic and season with salt and dried chilli flakes. Simmer for another 10 minutes, uncovered, or until bulgur has absorbed all the liquid.
- Remove garlic cloves and stir in fried paneer cheese before serving.
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Bring the milk to a boil in a large heavy-based saucepan. As soon as the milk starts to boil and rise up, stir in the lemon juice. You may need to turn the heat down a little to prevent the milk boiling over the top of the pan. With the milk still on the heat, stir gently to help the milk to curdle. This should only take about a minute. The curds should separate from the watery part called whey. Remove from the heat.
Line a large sieve with the piece of muslin or cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Pour the mixture from the pan into the lined sieve and run some cold water through it. Wrap the cheese in the muslin and tie the ends together, hanging it over the tap over the sink. Leave for about 10 minutes so that the excess liquid has a chance to drain.
Once drained, keep the cheese quite tightly wrapped in the cloth and place on a flat work surface. Place the pan filled with the whey (purely as a weight) on top of the cheese and leave for 30 to 40 minutes to flatten into a firm block.
The cheese can be cubed or crumbled as required, or stored in the refrigerator in water in a covered container. It can also be stored in the freezer.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary , Third Edition (2006) the English word pilaf, which is the later and North American English form, is a borrowing from Turkish, its etymon, or linguistic ancestor, the Turkish pilav, whose etymon is the Persian pilāv "pilaf" is found more commonly in North American dictionaries than pilau. 
The British and Commonwealth English spelling, pilau, has etymon Persian pulaw (in form palāv, pilāv, or pulāv in the 16th century), whose line of descent is: Hindi pulāv (dish of rice and meat), Sanskrit pulāka (ball of rice), which in turn is of Dravidian descent (in the modern Dravidian language Tamil puḷukku means (adjective) simmered, (noun) boiled or parboiled food in Tamil, puḷukkal cooked rice). 
Bulgur wheat pilaf with paneer cheese recipe - Recipes
There's no real reason to post the photo above (even though I used the chillies in the recipe), just as there was no real reason to take the photo in the first place. My heatless green chillies have been remarked on enough times, and photographed and posted enough times on this blog, that any regular reader would likely recognise them and wait with sinking heart for the inevitable whine about how chillies with no heat aren't worth the time.
But I'm not going to whine this time. Besides, I grew the darn things from scratch - and just the fact that the plant survived and the chillies fruited is remarkable enough in itself to merit a mention without the accompanying whine.
The reason I took the photo is because I thought the two chillies looked really cute. Yes, anthropomorphising food items is probably not, strictly speaking, entirely normal - but sue me, I thought they were cute. Like little green mice with long tails, plotting to raid the pantry in secret.
Thanks for indulging me in my moment of whimsy. Now back to the real world and on with the recipe. It's totally fat-free (aside from the garnish of roasted peanuts, which is entirely optional - so any nit-picking anonymous dissenting commenters please take note, without the garnish, this IS totally fat-free) and makes a nice cold (or warm) vegetarian "salad". For non-vegetarians and fishytarians, serve warm as a side with roasted meat dishes, or as a light lunch mixed with smoked mackerel or tuna chunks (as Pete did).
Recipe for: Fat-free bulgur salad
1 cup bulgur wheat
1 large onion
Handful of herbs of choice (I used mint, oregano, chives and basil)
2 green chillies, de-seeded and chopped fine (optional)
1 cup canned sweetcorn, drained
1 medium tomato, chopped
3 tbsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Handful of roasted peanuts (optional, for crunch)
1. Cook the bulgur wheat according to the packet instructions (or boil 1.75 cups water, add the bulgur, stir well, let it boil for 2 minutes, then turn the heat off, cover the pan tightly and let the bulgur sit for 20 minutes undisturbed. Fluff with a fork to separate the grains.)
3. Toss the sliced onions with the lemon juice and place under a hot grill for 5-7 minutes,
or till the onions start browning slightly and are done to taste. Remove from the oven.
4. Fluff up the cooked bulgur and place in a large bowl.
6. Chop the herbs finely and add to the bowl.
7. Add the chopped tomato and the sweetcorn,
8. Mix with a large fork, add salt to taste. Squeeze a little more lemon juice over, if required. Garnish with roasted peanuts if desired, for crunch, and serve the bulgur as a side dish with fish, or eat by itself as a healthy snack or a light lunch.
Bulgur wheat pilaf with paneer cheese recipe - Recipes
So, say you were cooking bulgur wheat. Say you were also reading a book. Say you got distracted and added way more water to the bulgur than was necessary. Say you ended up (after an unspecified amount of time which you can't specify because you didn't look at the clock because you were reading a book) with bulgur that was way too gloppy for the recipe which you had planned to make with that bulgur that should have been fluffy (but wasn't because see previous few sentences).
What do you make with gloppy cooked bulgur?
Cool, refreshing, savoury, seasoned bulgur "curd rice", that's what.
Recipe for: Bulgur "curd rice"
2 cups cooked bulgur wheat (gloopy not strictly desirable but doesn't matter)
about 2 cups good thick curds (I used Greek yogurt, as always)
1/2 tsp oil
a pinch of asafoetida powder
2 green chillies (sliced, chopped or slit as per preference)
1 tsp mustard seeds
A few fresh curry leaves
1 tsp minced coriander leaves
A little salt
1. Mix the cooked bulgur with the curds/yogurt and a little salt.
2. Heat the oil in a pan and add, in this order: asafoetida, green chillies, mustard seeds, curry leaves.
Cover the pan and let the seeds pop.
3. Pour this tempering immediately over the bulgur-yogurt mix.
4. Sprinkle the coriander leaves, and mix well.
5. Serve cold or at room temperature at the end of a South Indian meal, along with a spicy pickle if desired. (Or eat it by itself because it just tastes sooooo good! Tempered like this, curd rice - or curd bulgur - doesnt need any accompaniments.)
One-pan Thai green salmon (page 27)
From BBC Good Food Magazine, January 2020 BBC Good Food Magazine, January 2020 by Anna Glover
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- Categories: Quick / easy Sauces for fish Stews & one-pot meals Main course Dinner parties/entertaining Thai
- Ingredients: shallots green chillies baby new potatoes lemongrass Thai green curry paste canned coconut milk vegetable stock fish sauce courgettes baby spinach salmon fillets limes coriander leaves
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Börek was a popular element of Ottoman cuisine, and may have been invented at the Ottoman court,   though there are also indications it was made among Central Asian Turks  other versions may date to the Classical era of the eastern Mediterranean.   
The word börek comes from Persian بورک "Burak"  and refers to any dish made with yufka. Tietze proposes that the word comes from the Turkic root bur- 'to twist',.   Sevortyan offers various alternative etymologies, all of them based on a fronted vowel /ö/ or /ü/. Tietze's proposed source "bur-" (with a backed vowel /u/) for büräk/börek (with fronted vowels) is not included, because sound harmony would dictate a suffix "-aq" with a harmonised, backed /q/.  Turkic languages in Arabic orthography, however, invariably write ك and not ق which rules out "bur-" which has a backed vowel /u/ at its core.
Börek may have its origins in Persian or Turkish cuisine and may be one of its most significant and, in fact, ancient elements of the Turkish cuisine, having been developed by the Turks of Central Asia before their westward migration to Anatolia in the late Middle Ages,   or it may be a descendant of the pre-existing Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Anatolian dish en tyritas plakountas (Byzantine Greek: εν τυρίτας πλακούντας) "cheesy placenta", itself a descendant of placenta, the classical baked layered dough and cheese dish of Ancient Roman cuisine.   
Recent ethnographic research indicates that börek was probably invented separately by the nomadic Turks of central Asia some time before the seventh century. 
Börek is very popular in the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire,  especially in North Africa and throughout the Balkans.  also feature derivatives of the börek. Börek is also part of Mizrahi and Sephardic Jewish traditions.  They have been enthusiastically adopted by the Ottoman Jewish communities, and have been described -- along with boyos de pan and bulemas -- as forming "the trio of preeminent Ottoman Jewish pastries". 
In Israel, bourekas (Hebrew: בורקס ) became popular as Sephardic Jewish immigrants who settled there cooked the cuisine of their native countries. Bourekas can be made from either phyllo dough or puff pastry filled with various fillings. The most popular fillings are salty cheese and mashed potato, with other fillings including mushrooms, ground meat, sweet potato, chickpeas, olives, spinach, mallows, swiss chard, eggplant and pizza flavour. Most bourekas in Israel are made with margarine-based doughs rather than butter-based doughs so that (at least the non-cheese–filled varieties) can be eaten along with either milk meals or meat meals in accordance with the kosher prohibition against mixing milk and meat at the same meal.
Israeli bourekas come in several shapes and are often sprinkled with seeds. The shapes and choice of seeds are usually indicative of their fillings and have become fairly standard among small bakeries and large factories alike. For example, salty cheese–filled as well as Tzfat cheese with Za'atar–filled bourekas are usually somewhat flat triangles with white sesame seeds on top. Less salty cheese–filled are semi-circular and usually made with puff pastry. Potato-filled are sesame-topped flat squares or rectangles made with phyllo and tend to be less oily than most other versions. Mushroom-filled are bulging triangles with poppy seeds while tuna-filled are bulging triangles with nigella seeds. Eggplant-filled are cylindrical with nigella seeds. Bean sprout–filled are cylindrical without seeds. Spinach-filled are either cylindrical with sesame seeds or made with a very delicate, oily phyllo dough shaped into round spirals. Bourekas with a pizza sauce are often round spirals rising toward the middle or sometimes cylindrical without seeds, differentiated from the bean sprout–filled cylinders without seeds by the red sauce oozing out the ends.
Bourekas can also be found with mashed chickpeas, tuna and chickpea mix, pumpkin and even small cocktail frankfurters. Another variation filled with meat (beef, chicken or lamb), pine nuts, parsley and spices are eaten mainly as a main dish but sometimes as meze. The North African version, Brik can also be found in Israel.
Bourekas come in small, "snack" size, often available in self-service bakeries, and sizes as large as four or five inches. The larger ones can serve as a snack or a meal, and can be sliced open, and stuffed with hard-boiled egg, pickles, tomatoes and Sahawiq, a spicy Yemenite paste. Supermarkets stock a wide selection of frozen raw-dough bourekas ready for home baking. Bakeries and street vendors dealing exclusively in bourekas can be found in most Israeli cities. Small coffee-shop–type establishments as well as lottery and sports betting parlors serving bourekas and coffee can also be found.
Meat bourekas are less common at bakeries and are considered something which is to be made at home. [ clarification needed ] Meat bourekas are made from lamb, beef or chicken mixed with onion, parsley, coriander, or mint, pine nuts and spices, They are served as hot meze.
The use of margarine in bourekas has caused some controversy in Israel due to a general trend of moving away from trans fats, which are found in many margarines. 
Bourekas have given their name to Bourekas films, a peculiarly Israeli genre of comic melodramas or tearjerkers based on ethnic stereotypes.
Şamborek or Shamburak is a pan-fried dough stuffed with minced meat. This traditional dish of the Kurdish regions of Iraq, Syria and Southeastern Turkey was brought to Israel by Kurdish Jews. 
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