Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bulgur with Halloumi and Eggplant

Prepare to cry.  You may be moved to tears by the sheer genius of this simple dish.  But first you have to slice a lot of onions.  Don't be deceived by the short list of ingredients.  This Syrian recipe turns bulgur, eggplant and haloumi into a memorable meal.

If you are unfamiliar with halloumi, it is a cheese that is made in Cyprus.  We actually ordered a small recipe pamphlet devoted to halloumi from the Cypriot government a few years ago.  Halloumi has a great salty flavor and an unusual layered texture that it retains when cooked.  You can fry or grill it without the cheese turning into a liquid mess.   It is an amazing, unusual cheese that is one of our favorites.

For this recipe, inspired by Claudia Roden's The New Book of Middle Eastern Food,  we used our Thai Long Green Eggplant to add a nice punch of color to the finished dish.  You will be surprised by how many onion slices are required, but wipe away your tears and get cooking.  You'll be glad you did.

Bulgur with Halloumi and Eggplant
(based on Burghul bi Jibn wal Batinjan by Claudia Roden)
makes 4 large entree portions or 6 generous side portions


1          pound       Thai or Asian-style long eggplant, sliced thinly
1 1/2                     large onions, sliced
                             olive oil
2          cups          coarse-ground bulgur,
                             washed in cold water and drained
3 1/2    cups          boiling vegetable stock
7           oz            halloumi, cubed
                             black pepper to taste
                             Italian parsley, chopped

  1. Heat 2 Tbs olive oil and fry onions until golden.  Add bulgur.  Add the hot stock and cover.
  2. Cook on very low heat until stock is absorbed and bulgur is tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. While bulgur is cooking, fry eggplant slices in olive oil.  Drain on paper towels.
  4. When bulgur is cooked, add 4 Tbs olive oil, halloumi, and eggplant.  Gently combine.
  5. Re-cover and keep the pot on very low heat until the halloumi is soft.  Season with salt and pepper as needed.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley.  Serve hot.



  1. This looks so gorgeous! I love halloumi!

  2. I can't have bulgur, but maybe this would be a yummy dish with quinoa substituted? Sounds lovely. I'm interested in trying halloumi cheese now!

  3. I use bulgur often but I never tried this recipe before. Sounds delicous, especially with the halloumi cheese.

  4. Sometimes the simple flavors are best---love the texture in halloumi.

  5. I love bulgur very very much... And i also love halloumi but never use it with bulgur, that sounds interesting and i will try...
    You can also find halloumi in Turkey...

  6. Looks great! I have never seen a green eggplant so very intrigued by this...does it taste similar to the traditional purple aubergines?

  7. I just found your blog and I love every recipe!

  8. Where do I get bulgur in Houston?


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