One of my favourite traditional Cypriot side dishes is “pourgouri” which is bulgur wheat with tomato and onion, usually served as a side dish. It’s a comfort food over here, and also something I remember my mom making time and time again with many of my childhood dinners. It goes great as a side dish with many traditional Cypriot foods, such as octopus stifado, and “keftedes”, as well as a heaping tablespoon or two of rich Greek yogurt (preferably made with goats milk). Over the years, I have developed this recipe into something that can stand on its own two feet as a main dish as opposed to a side. “Pourgouri” is supposed to be a side, but really well made “pourgouri” tastes so good it should be a main in my opinion. This recipe takes it one step further and adds some additional healthy ingredients to the pot to most definitely make this “main course” worthy. This version of “pourgouri” is more healthy I suppose as in addition to the tomato sauce, it is also filled with lots of healthy ingredients, namely: spinach, fresh coriander, tomato and cumin.
It has a slightly exotic taste as a result of the cumin. It’s a great way to combine bulgur wheat, which I find to be very comforting, and healthy vegetables. Moreover, the recipe is fairly straightforward to make, and can serve a lot of people at a time. You can serve it as a side, but it’s definitely something you can enjoy on its own as well. I usually add a few roasted pine nuts and a few big tablespoons of Greek yogurt when I am enjoying this as a main course, in case you wish to as well. It’s not your classic “pourgouri” recipe, for those looking for this classic Cypriot dish I have not published a recipe on the website yet, but will in future I promise.
1 cup coarse Mitsides Bulgur Wheat
1/8 cup Mitsides Vermicelli (I actually prefer Mitsides Spaghetti broken into small pieces)
2 cups spinach
1/2 tsp dried coriander
1/2 tsp dried cumin
3/4 cup fresh coriander
1 finely chopped small onion
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup Mitsides Passata
1.5 cup water
1. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pot over high heat. Fry the onion until translucent. Then fry the vermicelli or spaghetti for about 10 seconds, it will start to turn golden brown – that is OK.
2. Add the bulgur wheat and stir the mixture for about 20 seconds. Add the Mitsides Passata. Then add water, then fresh spinach and fresh coriander. Then add the dried coriander and dried cumin, salt and pepper to taste.
3. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed and the bulgur wheat is cooked.
4. Turn off the heat. Serve right away with Greek yogurt.