Burgul – a great alternative to rice

I’ve used bulgur, a processed wheat product, to make kibbeh for years, but not until a couple of days ago I decided to serve it on its own. I was making chicken marsala and wanted a starch to serve with the sauce. I didn’t have any couscous and I’ve pretty much given up on rice (its glycemic index is too high and it takes too long to cook) so I took a look at what I could find on the cupboard and came across the burgul. Happy I did. This cereal is very easy and fast to prepare (simmer it in water for 12-15 minutes) and it has a nice nutty taste, that’s not overwhelming. It went great with the marsala (and a cognac sauce I made tonight) and Camila just LOVED eating it by herself. Indeed, all she had tonight for dinner was burgul and peas (no meat for the lady).
Nutritionally, burgul is OK. Though it’s processed (pre-cooked to remove the outer shell of the grain), most of the grain is left and it’s a great source of fiber and high in protein. It’s caloric, of course, but much better for you than white rice. Probably the biggest problem with it is that it’s not easy to find. They don’t have it at our local Safeway – it’s available at Lucky’s, but in the exotic grains section which means it’s pretty expensive. They have it in bulk at the Berkeley Bowl, though, so it may give me an excuse to go shopping there.

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