Bulgur Pilaf with Chestnuts | Turkish Eats


  • 1 cups bulgur
  • 1 cup beef (or chicken) broth or plain water
  • 1/4 lb. chestnuts
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons currants
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • Dill weed, finely chopped
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt


  1. If the chestnuts are too dry, you need to soak them overnight in water.
  2. Cut the skins of the chestnuts with a sharp knife so the water can be absorbed through the crack. Boil the chestnuts in salted water until they are tender. This should take about 15 - 20 minutes. Do not overcook the chestnuts because it becomes harder to remove their kernels without crumbling. Drain and partially cool the chestnuts. When you can touch them without burning your fingers remove their kernels using a sharp knife. You can also use cooked chestnuts for this recipe, which can be found in stores such as Whole Foods.
  3. If you have broth, bring it to a boil, turn off the heat, set aside.
  4. Also boil some (~ 1 cup) water to add to the broth.
  5. Sautee the onions in olive oil.
  6. Measure the onions, the oil and any juice in the pot with a measuring cup. This will determine how much broth & water we will add to the pilaf.
  7. Return the measured onions to your pilaf pot.
  8. Add the bulgur, continue sauteeing for a minute or two to allow the bulgur to absorb the oil.
  9. The onions you have just measured plus 1 cup broth plus the additional water should add up to the 2 cups. If you have indeed used a medium sized onion, the additional water you need will be about 1/2 cup.
  10. Add the broth, boiled water, salt, currants, cumin and allspice and bring it to a boil. When the water begins to boil add the chestnuts.
  11. Turn off the heat, place a paper towel on the pot and cover the lid. Let the pilaf rest for at least 30 - 45 minutes before it is served. During this time, the bulgur will slowly absorb the water. Do not open the pot during this period.
  12. If you closed the lid tightly, your pilaf will still be warm when you are ready to eat. Sprinkle with fresh dill immediately before serving.
© Mehmet Ozturk 2017