Sultan's Delight

  • Servings : 6

This Persian-inspired creation that features bulgur wheat is comprised of a colorful selection of vegetables with a flavorful nutty base that offers far more satiety than the traditional dish centered on white rice. If you're a purist and want to keep the sauce free of flecks, use ground white pepper instead of black.


Bulgur Wheat

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups bulgur wheat
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Pistachio Sauce

  • 1 cup pistachios
  • 3 cups unsweetened soymilk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • 1/3 cup currants or black raisins
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios


  • 2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 2 large zucchini, coarsely grated
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup whole pistachios


Step 1

To prepare the bulgur wheat, combine the water, bulgur wheat, and salt in a 2-quart saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 15 minutes, or until the bulgur wheat is tender and all the liquid is absorbed.

Step 2

To make the pistachio sauce, grind the pistachios to a fine meal in small batches in an electric mini-chopper/grinder or coffee grinder.

Step 3

Combine the soymilk, salt, and pepper in a 2- or 3-quart saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Watch closely so it doesn't boil over. Gradually add the ground pistachios to the bubbling liquid, stirring constantly with a wire whip for 1 to 2 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and set aside. The sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.

Step 4

To prepare the garnish, put the currants into a small bowl, cover with hot water, and let stand 5 to 15 minutes, or until they are plump.

Step 5

To prepare the vegetables, combine the carrots, zucchini, onion, garlic, olive oil, water, salt, oregano, basil, marjoram, and pepper in a large, deep skillet and cook and stir over high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the whole pistachios.

To assemble the dish, mound the bulgur wheat on a large serving platter. Top with vegetables, leaving a 1-inch border of bulgur wheat around the edges. Spoon a small amount of the pistachio sauce over the top. To garnish, drain the currants and sprinkle them over the top along with the chopped pistachios. Serve the remainder of the pistachio sauce at the table.

Nutritional Info

Per serving:

  • Calories

  • Fat

    23 g
  • Protein

    18 g
  • Carbohydrates

    56 g
  • Vitamin E

    1.8 mg


Persian Quinoa with Savory Pistachio Sauce

Replace the bulgur with an equal amount of white or red quinoa

Persian Buckwheat with Savory Pistachio Sauce

Replace the buckwheat with an equal amount of toasted or untoasted buckwheat. First bring the water to a boil; then add the buckwheat, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Buckwheat is extremely porous and absorbs water quickly. Check about halfway through the cooking time to be sure there is sufficient water in the saucepan. Add more water, if necessary.

Recipe Source: The Nut Gourmet
Reprinted with permission from the author, Zel Allen.
Photograph © Wanda Embar.

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