Pourgouri pilafi is a staple in most Greek Cypriot homes. It works as a side to meat and fish, it can be eaten with just veggies or on it’s own with a big dollop of Greek yogurt. The best bit, you can have it ready in 15 minutes and that includes resting.
WHAT IS CYPRIOT POURGOURI?
Pourgouri is made from bulgur wheat and vermicelli noodles known as fithe or fide in Cyprus. In Cyprus pourgouri is sometimes called pilafi or pourgouri me fide (fithe). It is a great alternative to potatoes and rice and has it’s own unique texture and flavour.
The pourgouri is subtly fragranced with cinnamon giving it a slight heated sweetness.
I like using the fine textured bulgur wheat in my pourgouri because my family and myself prefer the texture, but you can also use the bigger grain bulgur wheat too.
VERMICELLI NOODLE – FITHE (FIDE)
Vermicelli noodles are like thin spaghetti. They normally come in round nests but you can also find them already crushed. I am using the pre crushed vermicelli but if you have the vermicelli nests, weigh out 200g then crush them up into you pan and cook as the recipe states below.
Don’t use rice vermicelli noodles because they will give a different texture and flavour to your pourgouri. You need vermicelli noodles made from durum wheat.
POURGOURI PILAFI READY IN 15 MINUTES
This Cypriot pourgouri pilafi is great because it is delicious and works as a side to many dishes (keep readying to see some serving suggestions) or as a main on it’s own but it is also great because it is ready in 15 minutes.
HOW TO COOK POURGOURI
Here is a quick breakdown of simple and quick this pourgouri pilafi is to make:
- Heat oil – 30 seconds
- Add diced onion (do it while oil is heating)
- Sauté onion- 1 minute
- Add vermicelli and cook – 1 minute
- Mash in stock cubes – 30 seconds
- Add hot water and sir – 20 seconds
- Sprinkle in cinnamon, salt and pepper – 10 seconds
- Add bulgur wheat, stir everything and add lid – 30 seconds
- Leave to simmer – 6 minutes
- Turn heat off and leave to rest – 5 minutes
WHAT TO SERVE GREEK POURGOURI WITH
Pourgouri is very versatile and can be eaten with lots of flavourful foods because it carries other flavours beautifully and gives them a new texture.
Sometimes I like to eat it on it’s own with some Greek yoghurt or talatouri Greek Cypriot tzatziki and mash my pourgori into it so it goes all mushy. When I say mushy, it isn’t really mushy mushy, it is more stuck together but it still has texture and bite. You have to try it to know what I am talking about. I nearly forgot, also with a delicious Greek salad.
BULGUR WHEAT PILAF VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN
If you want to make your pourgouri pilafi vegetarian or vegan just substitute the chicken stock for vegetable stock.
A delicious way to serve your pilafi is by grilling some vegetables like, courgettes, aubergines, mushrooms and pumpkin under the grill. Drizzle some olive oil, oregano salt and pepper on top before you grill your veggies and when they are cooked cut them up into bite sized pieces. Stir your cooked vegetables into your pourgouri, sprinkle over some feta or vegan cheese and dig in.
- 1-2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Onion (diced)
- 200 g Vermicelli Noodles
- 2 Chicken Stock Cubes (you can also use vegetable stock)
- 850 ml Hot Water
- 1 tsp Cinnamon (ground)
- 200 g Bulgur Wheat
- 1 Large Pan/Pot (with a lid)
- 1 Knife
- 1 Spoon
- 1 Fork
- Heat 1-2 tbsp of olive in a pan and add your diced onions and sauté for 1 minute
- Add 200g of vermicelli noodles to your onions. Stir well so all the vermicelli is covered with oil and leave it to brown for a minute. You will know when it is ready when your vermicelli turns multiple shades of brown. Check the video below to see what your vermicelli should look like
- Add 2 chicken stock cubes to your pot and with a spoon mash it into your vermicelli and onions so they are all covered with flavour
- Pour in 850ml of hot water into your pan and stirl everything well
- Add 1 tsp ground cinnamon and salt and pepper and stir everything well
- When your water is bubbling add in 200g bulgur wheat, give everything a quick stir and put your lid on your pot. Turn the heat down and leave everything to simmer for 6-7 minutes
- When the time is up turn the heat off and leave your pourgouri to rest for at least 5 minutes
- When you are ready to eat fluff up your pourgouri with a fork so it doesn't go all stodgy and all the grains seperate
- Dig in!
- If you want to make your pourgouri vegetarian or vegan substitute the chicken stock with vegetable stock.
- If your pot doesn't have a lid you can use foil to achieve the same results.
- I like to use red onions in my pourgouri because they give a subtle sweetness but if you prefer or only have white onions they will work great too.