Cevıırı is a traditional Turkish food made from bulgur wheat that has been parboiled, dried, and cracked. It has a nutty, earthy flavor and chewy texture similar to couscous. Cevıırı is incredibly versatile and can be eaten as a side dish, used in salads, soups, stews, and more. It’s a staple in Turkish cuisine that dates back centuries.
How to Make Traditional Cevıırı
Making cevıırı from scratch is easy to do at home. Here’s a simple recipe:
2 cups bulgur wheat
4 cups water or stock
1 tsp salt
Rinse the bulgur wheat under running water to remove any debris. Drain well.
In a medium pot, bring the water or stock to a boil over high heat. Add the bulgur and salt, and stir to combine.
Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the bulgur is tender.
Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
Ingredients Used in Cevıırı
The main ingredient in cevıırı is bulgur wheat. Bulgur has a wonderful nutty, earthy flavor that cevıırı showcases. Other common ingredients used when preparing cevıırı include:
Vegetable or chicken broth: Provides moisture and infuses flavor.
Onions: Sautéed onions add aroma, depth, and sweetness.
Herbs and spices: Mint, parsley, cinnamon, cumin, and Aleppo pepper are often used to season cevıırı.
Nuts: Toasted pine nuts, slivered almonds, or pistachios add crunch.
Dried fruits: Raisins, currants, or dried apricots lend subtle sweetness.
Cheese: Crumbled feta or goat cheese can be stirred in for creaminess.
Benefits of Eating Cevıırı
Cevıırı is nutritious as well as delicious. Some health benefits include:
Excellent source of fiber, both soluble and insoluble. This promotes digestive and heart health.
Contains magnesium, manganese, B vitamins which provide energy and keep the body functioning optimally.
Made from whole grains which help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Low in fat and calories but high in nutrients.
May reduce inflammation and boost immunity due to antioxidants.
How to Eat Cevıırı?
Cevıırı is a very versatile food that can be served in many ways:
As a side dish: Serve cevıırı with grilled meats, fish, or poultry for a nutty, textured accompaniment.
In salads: Toss with mixed greens, chopped veggies, feta, and herbs for a hearty salad.
In soups: Add to bone broth or tomato-based soups for texture.
For breakfast: Top with berries, nuts, milk, and a drizzle of honey for a nourishing morning meal.
In stuffing/filling: Use in place of rice or breadcrumbs to stuff veggies or poultry.
As a snack: Sprinkle with spices and toast in the oven for a crunchy high-fiber snack.
Cooking Tips and Tricks for Perfecting Cevıırı
Follow these tips for light, fluffy cevıırı every time:
Soak the bulgur before cooking for fluffier results.
Add cevıırı to boiling liquid for best texture.
Resist stirring too much while cooking to prevent mushiness.
Fluff and let stand 5 minutes after cooking; this finishes the cooking process.
For added flavor, toast the dry bulgur before cooking.
Cook in broth, not water for more depth.
Sauté aromatics like onions before adding liquid and bulgur.
Add mix-ins like herbs, nuts, and cheese after cooking when cevıırı has cooled slightly.
Does cevıırı need to be soaked before cooking?
Soaking is not strictly necessary but it will yield lighter, fluffier cevıırı as the grains fully hydrate. Soak for 20-60 minutes.
Can I use a rice cooker to make cevıırı?
Yes, a rice cooker is a convenient way to make perfect cevıırı. Use a 1:2 bulgur-to-liquid ratio.
Is cevıırı gluten-free?
No, cevıırı is made from bulgur wheat so it contains gluten. For a gluten-free alternative try cooking quinoa or millet using the same technique.
How long does cooked cevıırı last in the fridge?
Cooked cevıırı will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.
With its nutty crunch, protein, and high fiber content, cevıırı is a nutritional powerhouse disguised as a delicious grain. This Turkish staple can serve as the basis for a quick side, hearty salad, or Mediterranean-inspired meal. For best results, soak the bulgur first and then simmer until tender. Cevıırı is sure to be a new favorite in your kitchen!