Another dish that I made for my Greek Cypriot Meze was pilafi pourgouri or, in English – crushed wheat pilaf. It is a really tasty vegetarian dish made with bulgar wheat which is available in supermarkets, usually with the dry beans and pulses. The other ingredients are simple store cupboard staples. It can be eaten hot or cold and makes a great meal in itself with a little bit of salad or some olives on the side.
Pilafi Pourgouri - Crushed Wheat Pilaf
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 vegetable (or chicken) stock cubes
1 white onion, finely chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, crushed (depends on their size, and how much you like garlic!)
30g vermicelli noodles or spaghetti, broken into small pieces
200g bulgar wheat
Pour the tomatoes into a jug and then fill the can with hot water - add that to the tomatoes. Add the tomato puree and crumble in the stock cubes. Stir together and set to one side.
In a large heavy based pan, heat a little olive oil then gently sweat the onions and garlic until soft and translucent - about 5 minutes.
Stir in the pasta and the bulgar wheat to coat in the onion and garlic mixture.
Pour in the tomato stock and stir. Season with more salt if you need to.
Bring to the boil and lower to a simmer for 10 minutes with the lid of the pan on. Stir from time to time to prevent the wheat from catching on the bottom of the pan
Switch the heat off, remove the lid and cover with a clean tea-towel. Replace the lid and leave to steam.
It is ready when the liquid is absorbed and the wheat has softened but still has a little bite to it. If you need to, you can always add more water whilst cooking.