Turkish runner bean and bulgur wheat pilaf with garlic yogurt

  • Serves 4
  • Takes 20 minutes to make, 1 hour to cook
  • Easy
This runner bean recipe, made with bulgur wheat and fresh tomatoes, makes a great vegetarian recipe for the summer.

Nutritional info per serving

  • Calories203kcals
  • Fat7.2g (1.4g saturated)
  • Protein5.8g
  • Carbohydrates25.7g (7.3g sugar)
  • Fibre3.1g
  • Salt0.2g
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  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1½ tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp Turkish red pepper paste (biber salcasi)
  • 500g runner beans, de-stringed and cut diagonally into short chunky slices
  • 400g skinned and chopped tomatoes, fresh or from a tin
  • ½ tsp golden caster sugar
  • 200g coarse bulgur wheat
  • ½ tsp aleppo pepper flakes (available from Middle Eastern delis or online) or cayenne pepper
  • 325ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

For the garlic yogurt

  • 200g whole natural yogurt
  • 1 fat garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Heat the 3 tbsp oil in a large, deep frying pan, then add the onion and cook gently for 7-10 minutes until soft and just beginning to turn golden.
  2. Add the tomato purée and red pepper paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, sugar, a large pinch of salt and 100-120ml water. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the beans are soft.
  3. Uncover the pan and stir in the bulgur wheat, aleppo or cayenne pepper and the stock, then season with salt and black pepper. Cover and cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes until all the moisture has been absorbed, making sure the bulgur wheat doesn’t stick to the pan. Turn off the heat and leave to stand for another 5-10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, mix the yogurt and garlic together in a bowl with the 1 tbsp olive oil, then season to taste. Serve the pilaf with the garlic yogurt, scattered with the chopped parsley.
  • To de-string (rather than fully trim) runner beans, snap the top off and gently pull the string down and off the seamed side of the bean or run a veg peeler down it.
    Biber salcasi is a concentrated red pepper paste made from semi-sun-dried peppers and is only available from Turkish grocery shops or online.
  • A herby Italian white, such as Gavi, is an ideal match for the light, fresh flavours here.

From August 2013

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