Eddie Abd sits down with food blogger and writer Fouad Kassab to discuss Middle Eastern cuisine, including Turkish, Lebanese and Syrian foods. In this segment, Fouad explains how to make a burghul pilaf with chickpeas. A traditional Middle Eastern side dish, burghul can be cooked just as you would rice. Middle Easterners favour the absorption method and flavour the grain with salt, onions and garlic. Butter adds richness and the addition of chickpeas gives the pilaf more body.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (58 votes)


  • 60 g (¼ cup) butter
  • 2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely diced
  • 3 tsp salt, or to taste
  • ½ cup (45 g) angel hair pasta, broken into small segments
  • 400 g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, or 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 2 cups (320 g) coarse burghul (bulgur)
  • 5 cups (1.25 litres) room temperature water
  • Greek yoghurt, to serve (optional)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and salt, and cook, stirring until the onions are translucent.

Add the pasta and fry until golden brown. Add the chickpeas and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, followed by the burghul. Stir to coat the burghul well with butter. Add water and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.

Serve with a stew or eat on its own with a few dollops of Greek yoghurt.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Michelle Noerianto.