Bulgur Jollof

Wheat - Bulgur - recipe - nigerian - food - jollof - rice - african - 9jafoodie - naijafoodie

Jollof Bulgur

I love rice, like I actually love rice so so much. however,  my love for rice pales in comparison to my sister’s. I have never met a greater lover of rice. She is on a #fitfam journey and constantly asking me about better alternatives. Fast forward to mid January when a friend visited and urged me to create a recipe with Bulgur. Bul…what? I have heard of it, seen it, but never truly paid much attention to it. I assumed it was simply another fad grain.

On my most recent trip to Bulk Barn (absolute favorite place to shop for grain products), I spotted the bin of Bulgur and thought why not.  I did a little research on Bulgur and here are my findings:

  • Bulgur is recognized as wholegrain
  • Unlike cracked wheat bulgur is parboiled
  • Bulgar is high in protein & fiber and low in fat & calories

When compared with long grain white rice, Bulgar has 196 less calories per uncooked cup, 42 grams less carbohydrate, 4 grams more protein and 26.6 grams more fiber. Nutritionally, bulgar is a better alternative to both white and brown rice.

I also did a quick comparison between Bulgar & Quinoa (Which happens to be a lot more expensive), quinoa is more nutritionally dense, however, more bulgur can be consumed at lower calories to end up with the same nutrients.

“Quinoa, with 222 calories per cup of cooked grain, has nearly twice the calories of bulgur, which has 112 calories per cooked cup. Cup for cup, quinoa has more of nearly every macro- and micronutrient except dietary fiber. However, if you eat 2 cups of bulgur, you’ll take in approximately the same amount of calories and nutrients as in 1 cup of quinoa, plus 12 grams of dietary fiber, nearly half of the average daily target intake. Quinoa has 5 grams of dietary fiber per 1-cup serving. Bulgur, with its greater volume per calorie, may promote satiety more effectively than quinoa ” Source : livestrong.com

Now that we are all caught up on Bulgur education, the next challenge was creating something amazing with it. I searched online and found loads of recipes, mostly the recipes I saw were salad inspired. This is understandable since bulgur is traditionally used to prepare Tabbouleh, a delicious Northern African salad. I did notice in my recipe search that Bulgur has the tendency to get overcooked and look mush as apparent in most of the images I saw. I decided to created somethig truly west african with it and what is more West African than Jollof. Knowing fully well I had to keep the grains firm, I started them off  in lukewarm water and good thing I did. My Bulgur Jollof turned out absolutely perfect with beautiful perfect individual grains.

As a true lover of rice, I can sincerely say Bulgur tasted just like rice. My husband even said he wouldn’t have know it wasn’t  rice. The taste of bulgur is all in the cook and I can say this is an amazing recipe that your whole family will enjoy.


  • 2 cups bulgur wheat
  • 3 Tablespoon coconut oil (substitute Peanut or Vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 medium onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2 heaped tablespoons tomato paste (or 5 tablespoons Nigerian stew base)


  • 1 teaspoon each thyme & curry
  • 2 Knorr chicken cubes (chicken bouillon )
  • Salt – to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper (ata-gigun)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger granule (powder)


  • Pour bulgur into a large bow and cover with generous amount of lukewarm water. Set aside for 45 minutes. Pour into a strainer and rest to remove water

Bulgur - African - Recipe

Soaked - bulgur

  • Place a large pan on medium-high heat. Heat up oil. Add in onion and bay leaves, stir-fry until onion is translucent and fragrant (3-4 minutes). Add tomato past, stir to combine. Reduce heat to low-medium. Cover pot and leave to cook for 5 minutes



  • Add in all spices and 1 cup water. Stir thoroughly to combine. Add in Bulgur, stir-fry on medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes. Cover pan and turn off heat. Leave pan covered for 10 minutes


cooking - bulgur - jollof - african - Nigeira

Bulgur - jollof - 9jafoodie - nigerian

  •  Jollof Bulgur is ready to serve. Serve on it’s own or garnished with fresh tomatoes & peas.

Bulgur - Jollof - Nigerian - west africa - food - 9jafoodie - recipe

Recipe Note:

  • Substitute 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger for ginger granule
  • Substitute 1 fresh scotch bonnet  (ata-rodo) pepper for chili pepper
  • Omit chicken bouillon and use 1 cup chicken stock instead of water

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Lose It Nigerian

By |February 3rd, 2015|66 Comments


  1. Abena September 29, 2016 at 3:26 am - Reply

    I tried this at home and it turned out so well. it was our first time eating Bulgur wheat, and no one really realised it was wheat until I told them. They all said they thought it was a different brand of rice. Thank you Ronke, God bless you. I really need to join the LIN program.

  2. amenyo August 10, 2016 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    When I bought your LIN ebook today, I was so worried about not eating rice and moreso, jollof rice 😂. After reading all these reviews, I’m off to find bulgur wheat! You have thought of everything! So glad I came across you on instagram x GEn

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie August 11, 2016 at 9:06 pm - Reply

      Hahha… yeiii!! you can definitely eat rice on LIN. Come on over to the support group for more goodies.

  3. N E November 23, 2015 at 3:52 am - Reply

    WARNING: I made this perfectly and I raved immediately about how great this recipe is. However, two hours after eating it, it felt like I ate poison. My stomach hurt so bad that I could not leave my bed for the rest of the day and I even tried to force myself to throw it up. Bulgur wheat is not for everyone as you can get Celiac’s Disease if you are intolerant to gluten.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie November 28, 2015 at 3:21 pm - Reply

      Bulgur wheat is pure wheat, definitely not for anyone who is gluten intolerant. very good warning to share.

  4. Tope October 14, 2015 at 6:07 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing. Where can I get this bulgur in the U.S? I would love to try it as a substitute for rice.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie October 17, 2015 at 8:05 pm - Reply

      Check the bulk food isle of your local grocery store.

  5. maryjoy September 28, 2015 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    where can someone get quinoa in nigeria, lagos or anywhere else. is there a local name for it here because i have searched and searched…wheeeeew!

    • Gugu September 28, 2015 at 3:02 pm - Reply

      Goodies supermarket on Mobolaji MacAnthony way Ikeja

  6. ehi July 27, 2015 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Just made this for the first time… Thank you so much for sharing.
    For those asking where to buy outside Lagos, try kaymu.com….costs about N700 for a 1kg bag.

  7. Gugu July 15, 2015 at 11:59 am - Reply

    I come to this site like every day. I see something on Instagram and am here. I hv tried loads of your recipes and they all turn out great. But Bulgur is my all time favorite. Next on my list is the coconut fried bulgur wheat. I can’t wait!!!! Thank you for all the amazing recipes. Oh! Did the Nigerian stir fry on Sunday!! Superb!!!

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie September 29, 2015 at 8:25 am - Reply

      Thanks for the kind words Gugu. Tag us on your instagram if you take pictures of your meal 🙂

  8. tunmi April 26, 2015 at 9:23 am - Reply

    My Sierra Leonian and Gambian coworkers know bulgur. I work at a braiding shop, and I have learned so much from them. I prefer it to Quinoa to be honest. Quinoa doesn’t puff life rice or couscous and it’s more like okra sef.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie April 26, 2015 at 1:28 pm - Reply

      I am with you on the quinoa bit, it’s a great grain but not a substitute for rice.

  9. Adeshewa April 19, 2015 at 10:27 am - Reply

    @naijafoodie Have you tried pearl barley? Its nice too

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie April 19, 2015 at 8:07 pm - Reply

      I haven’t. I will look out for it. Thanks for the suggestion!

  10. E! April 8, 2015 at 8:58 am - Reply

    Oh my God! ! ! Thank you so much for this recipe .I tried it and it tasted sooo good!

  11. Tolulope March 26, 2015 at 8:24 am - Reply

    Hi Ronke, I literally just finished cooking Bulgur jollof. I even followed your Nigerian stew base recipe. It turned out absolutely perfect and tastes like heaven! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    Ps: I wish I could share a picture 🙂

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie March 26, 2015 at 10:47 am - Reply

      Thanks for the feedback Tolulope, I appreciate it 🙂

  12. Mimi March 24, 2015 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    Hi Ronke. Can you please specify what kind of bulgar you used? I called the bulk barn in my area and they mentioned 3 different types. Is it medium? This will be my first bulk barn trip and I don’t want to be confused when i go. Thanks.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie March 25, 2015 at 10:01 am - Reply

      coarse bulgur… it looks like broken fat rice

  13. Bisola March 18, 2015 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    New to your blog but I share your passion for cooking. I make bulgar regularly having discovered it about two years ago. However I don’t soak mine, I just rinse it and I use 3 kitchen spoons of local pepper mix to to one cup bulgar and 2.5 cups of water. Make sure to use the same cup measurement for the bulgar and water. Well done .

  14. Chigozie March 10, 2015 at 6:31 am - Reply

    I tried all sorts of grain while in the UK to replace rice but it was with Bulgur that I knew I had found an actual replacement, However since I got to Naija, I cannot get my hands on it. I stay in the eastern region, please let me know if you know anywhere I can get it here

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie March 11, 2015 at 10:41 am - Reply

      I am not sure about the East unfortunately, I will ask around.

      • Chigozie March 11, 2015 at 11:19 am - Reply

        okay, thank you

    • chinye May 8, 2015 at 5:58 am - Reply

      its sold on konga

  15. Chigozie March 10, 2015 at 6:12 am - Reply

    please do you know where I can get it in Onitsha. it is a wonderful grain

  16. Vivian Val March 9, 2015 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    can i cook it white and eat with stew instead of jellof?

  17. Arralista March 9, 2015 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Oh my goodness..this post is like fate. I had dinner at a Turkish restaurant on Sat where they only served this no rice. I and Hubby curiously tried this and quite enjoyed it. I’m gonna try this as soon as I can get my hands on some Bulgur wheat. Thank you!!!!

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie March 9, 2015 at 7:34 pm - Reply

      you are most welcome, let us know how it turns out.

  18. Amanda March 9, 2015 at 9:15 am - Reply

    What is the local name for bulgur n is it only in Lagos I can find it?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie March 9, 2015 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      There is no local name. Check your local supermarket.

  19. Ayabaodusote February 22, 2015 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    Just cooked bulgur for the first time today and loved it . Thank you for this article, it got me interested in bulgur

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 25, 2015 at 7:00 am - Reply

      That’s amazing. we are glad you enjoyed it

  20. kizzle February 16, 2015 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    I found red bulgur. Will it give the same effect?

  21. Chinyere February 9, 2015 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    Thank you so so much for the recipe. I have been eating bulgur for the past few months but now I see that I do not let it soak for long enough (I allow to soak for only like 10 mins). I’ll definitely be trying this new recipe.
    For those asking, Bulgur is available in Shoprite and Goodies

  22. Hauwau Usman February 5, 2015 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Amazing recipe, i think u should create an app in the apple store thats way its much easier to share the recipes

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 5, 2015 at 9:12 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the suggestion Hauwau, we are looking into it.

  23. Florence February 5, 2015 at 9:45 am - Reply

    This is very nice. I thought bulgur was some new slang when i first saw it on Instagram. once you made a post on it .. I was like it must be some healthy food I have not heard about before. Thanks for doing the research and sharing. I look forward to trying this.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 5, 2015 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      lol… my sister is the cutest, slang. I am sure you will like it.

  24. zainab February 5, 2015 at 6:16 am - Reply

    seriously, can i get it in the normal or local market?and if so,what is it called?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 5, 2015 at 9:09 pm - Reply

      It’s not sold in local market. Check fighealthstore on the island in lagos.

  25. Bumsylaw February 4, 2015 at 4:19 am - Reply

    I have been looking for the method to make jollof burghul, thanks.
    You are doing an amazing job revolutionizing our Naija meals.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 4, 2015 at 10:38 am - Reply

      Do let us know how it turns out. cheers.

      • Bumsylaw February 16, 2015 at 12:27 pm - Reply

        Yippee! It turned out great.

  26. MatseCooks February 3, 2015 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    Looks so good. thumbs up sis.

  27. ChiO February 3, 2015 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    It looks like rice. The “redness” is enticing. Nne you can cook jare.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 4, 2015 at 10:39 am - Reply

      Hahahaha… redness. thanks much 🙂

  28. Aisha February 3, 2015 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    U are the best .wil try dis

  29. kiki February 3, 2015 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    What Brand of Bulgur did you use?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 3, 2015 at 2:17 pm - Reply

      Just bought it in bulk at my local grocery store.

  30. chopychopy February 3, 2015 at 10:51 am - Reply

    Can I use couscous yo prepare this?And as I don’t eat chicken,can I substitute with beef stock?

  31. Nenye February 3, 2015 at 9:46 am - Reply

    What is bulgur and how can one get it?

  32. ify February 3, 2015 at 8:01 am - Reply

    But where can I get bulgur in 9ja

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 3, 2015 at 2:22 pm - Reply

      In lagos : fighealthstore on the island.

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