Serves 4
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Whether you’d like to have it as a nutritious side dish, or as a light and versatile main, this spiced bulgur wheat dish serves as a great recipe to play around with – be it you’re in the mood for roast chicken, lamb, or even a different mix-and-match of herb, fruit and seeds.

This recipe is featured in Nigella Lawson’s new BBC show which focuses on her favourite recipes for home-cooking. Nigella’s Eat, Cook, Repeat, premieres in Singapore on Monday, 16th August at 7.00pm, on StarHub channel 432 and BBC Player.



  • A small bunch of coriander (approx. 25 g)
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • ⅛ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 375 ml cold water
  • 1 x 15 ml tbsp olive oil
  • 1 orange
  • 200 g bulgur wheat
  • 50 g red lentils
  • 1½ tsps sea salt flakes (or ¾ tsp fine sea salt)


  • 400 g leeks (trimmed weight, or approx. 600 g if you’re buying them untrimmed)
  • 400 g or 2-3 red peppers
  • 200 g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes (or ½ tsp fine sea salt)
  • 3 x 15 ml tbsps olive oil
  • 150 g radishes


  • 150-175 g raw beetroot
  • 200 g full-fat Greek yogurt (or oat-milk crème fraîche if you need it to be vegan)
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic
  • 20 g fresh ginger
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes (or ½ tsp fine sea salt)

You don’t have to start on the bulgur wheat straight away, but as it stands so comfortably once cooked, I tend to do it this way round. Finely chop some of the tender stalks of coriander, just enough to give you about a tbsp; peel the garlic; measure out the seeds and chilli flakes; and have water in a jug by the hob in readiness. If you are in a hurry to eat you could get on with preparing the vegetables now too.


Get out a not-too-large heavy-based casserole or pan that comes with a tightly fitting lid and very gently warm the oil over low heat. Finely grate in the zest of the orange, and stir it into the oil. Mince or grate in the garlic, add your spoonful of finely chopped coriander stalks and stir these into the now golden oil for about 30 secs. Turn the heat up a little, just to medium-low, and add the fennel, cumin and coriander seeds, followed by the chilli flakes, and give everything a good stir.


Turn the heat to high, and quickly add the bulgur wheat and lentils, and stir again, to make sure everything is mixed together. Now add the water and salt and bring to the boil.


Once it’s started bubbling, clamp on the lid and turn the heat back down to low, then leave to cook gently for 15 mins–you can start chopping your vegetables–by which time all the water should be absorbed.


Heat the oven to 220 C (200 C fan-forced). Wash the leeks to remove any mud if needed, and cut them into approx. 3 cm logs, and drop into a sturdy and fairly shallow roasting tin in which, ideally, all the vegetables will sit snugly; I use one that’s 29 x 25 x 5 cm. Cut the red peppers (deseeding, and discarding any pith in the process) into large bite-sized pieces and add them to the roasting tin along with the whole cherry tomatoes.


When time’s up on the bulgur wheat, turn off the heat, cover the pan with a clean teatowel, clamp the lid back on and leave for 40 mins, though it will stand happily for a lot longer than this. I routinely leave this for 2 hrs.


Sprinkle the seeds and salt over the waiting vegetables, then add the oil and schmoosh to mix. Pour 2 tbsps of cold water and 2 tbsps of juice from your zested orange into the tin and roast in the hot oven for 30 mins, by which time the vegetables should be cooked and soft, and the leeks beginning to scorch in parts. While the vegetables are in the oven, halve the radishes from top to bottom.


When the leeks, peppers and tomatoes have had their 30 mins, take the tin out of the oven, add the radishes, and mix. Because the vegetables–ideally–fit so snugly in their tin, they make a wonderful strongly flavoured juice as they cook. However, if you’ve had to use a bigger tin, you may find that they’re going a little dry, and might be sticking to the tin in places; if so add another tbsp each of orange juice and water or more as needed. Put back in the oven to roast for another 10 mins. Take the tin out of the oven and let stand while you put the finishing touches on the bulgur wheat.


Chop the coriander leaves. Remove the lid and tea towel from the bulgur wheat and use a couple of forks to mix everything together in the pan and, importantly, to separate and fluff up the grains.


Tip into a serving bowl or dish, add most of your chopped coriander and fork it in. Add a third of the roasted vegetables and mix in well but lightly with your two forks. Taste for seasoning–I often want to add more salt at this stage. Top with the remaining roasted vegetables, and sprinkle with the rest of the coriander.



Heat the oven to 220 C (200 C fan-forced), cut the tail and stem off the beetroot, and wrap loosely with foil, sealing the edges tightly, and roast in the oven for about 2 hrs, or until it feels properly tender when pierced with the tip of a normal eating knife. Unwrap the parcel, and leave to cool.


Once the beetroot’s cold, you can make the sauce. Put the yogurt in a bowl that you can use a stick blender with. Peel and halve the garlic cloves and drop them in. Then peel the ginger with the tip of a teaspoon, and either chop it roughly or cut it into 3 or 4 pieces, and add these to the bowl. Deseed the chilli and tear it into 2 or 3 pieces and add them to the bowl, too, followed by the salt.


Peel the beetroot, though unless you want more than a touch of the Lady Macbeths, it might be wise to wear gloves as you do so (I use disposable ones, and wash and reuse them). Break the beetroot up a bit over the bowl and drop the pieces in, too. Then blitz to a smooth, shocking-pink cream with a stick blender. You can also do all of this with a bullet blender. Add to the dish when ready to serve.

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