harrisa, pigeon pea and saffron studded bulgur

by Heguiberto on January 13, 2011

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harrisa, pigeon pea and saffron studded bulgur

harrisa, pigeon pea and saffron studded bulgur

The Jan/Feb 2011 Vegetarian Times magazine just came out. They’ve an interesting recipe for bulgur to accompany a roasted broccoli with tahini sauce. I made both dishes the other day but couldn’t resist altering the bulgur recipe. The original calls for it to be cooked with raisins, vegetable broth, tomato paste and that’s all. Don’t you think it would taste too sweet?

I like the idea of the tartness of the raisins but I was not so sure about it, at least to go with the broccoli. Roasted broccoli is already very sweet. Destiny intervened: I discovered that we’d run out of raisins. Problem solved. Instead I cooked the bulgur with some spicy harissa sauce, a few strands of saffron, and, to add extra protein to the dish, I also used some pigeon peas.

It came out very flavorful with the added bonus of having a healthy hippie granola style look. Fabulous!

harrisa, pigeon pea and saffron studded bulgur

2 cups coarse bulgur
2½ cups vegetable broth*
1 can pigeon peas, drained
½ tsp harissa sauce
several saffron threads
3 tbsp tomato paste
black pepper
kosher salt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

*I prefer to make my own vegetable broth. For this one, I had the top dark leaves of four leeks, half an onion and a carrot. Just throw everything together in a pot with some water, bring to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes. Leftovers can be frozen for later use. Endless permutations are possible. You can use onion peel, celery, parsley, cilantro, etc. This makes a fresher broth without as much salt and who-knows-what preservatives. Anytime a recipe calls for vegetable broth search the vegetable tray of you fridge. You’ll be surprised to see all that you need is there. Cheap and healthy!

Add hot vegetable broth, harrisa, saffron threads, tomato paste, black pepper and kosher salt to a pot. Stir to combine. Add bulgur and pigeon peas, stir again, turn temperature to low and simmer for about 15-18 minutes. To prevent sticking stir every 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered for 5 minutes before serving.

This would make a great filling in a vegetable casserole, too.

We had bulgur leftover which we ate the following day wrapped in toasted nori leaves (dry seaweed sheets like you have at sushi bars). Mmmmm!!!!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Shelley January 13, 2011 at 7:42 am

Pigeon peas? I’ve never heard of them and now you’ve got me intrigued. I should really branch out more on legumes. I tend to stick with lentils. I’m going to Google pigeon peas right now!

Heguiberto January 13, 2011 at 9:32 am

Hi Shelly,

It goes by different names: pigeon peas in America, gandules in the Caribbean or Toor Dal in India. Check out this other delicious Indian recipe using toor dal: rasam
The Indian version normally comes skinned and split so when you cook it it dissolves. Perfect for pulses. We love pigeon peas 🙂


Sharon January 14, 2011 at 6:09 am

One thing I love about your blog is reading about all sorts of different food! I’ve never heard of bulgur before and don’t know what it is (though now I do thanks to google!). This dish sounds very healthy and also delicious. If I’m feeling adventurous one day, I’d have to try this out! 😀

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