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The Severnshed’s Bazargan

A Syrian vegetarian recipe from Sophie Grigson. Inspired by the dish from Severnshed in Bristol, this bazargan is made up of bulgar wheat, cauliflower and nuts.

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Bazargan is a traditional Syrian dish, adopted by the Damascene Jewish community and generally associated with Friday dinners, but this version has been updated by Raviv Hadad, head chef at the Severnshed in Bristol. The surprising combination of cauliflower, bulgar (cracked wheat), nuts, spices and pomegranate molasses is inspirational.

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350g (12oz) bulgar
¼ cauliflower, broken into small florets
8 rosy red radishes, quartered
A handful of fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped
110g (4oz) hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
50g (2oz) pine nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
150g (5oz) walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
For the dressing:
½ tsp allspice berries
1 tsp each cumin and coriander seeds
1 red chilli (or more)
225ml (8fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
75ml (3fl oz) pomegranate syrup
150ml (¼ pint) tomato purée
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon


Place the bulgar in a bowl, season with salt and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for about 1 hour, until al dente (tender but still with a slight chewiness to it). Drain thoroughly, squeezing out excess water.

While the bulgar is soaking, dry-fry the spices for the dressing until they begin to release their fragrance, then let them cool. Pound to a powder in a mortar, or grind in an electric spice/coffee grinder.

To make the dressing, seed and finely chop the chilli (or chillies if you are using more than one). Whisk the oil with the pomegranate syrup, tomato purée, lemon juice and zest, spices and chopped chilli. The dressing will keep, covered, for 3–4 days in the fridge, so you can prepare it in advance.

Mix the drained bulgar with the cauliflower, radishes, parsley, nuts and the dressing. Spoon into a serving bowl, and place on the table. Serve it as a starter, or even a vegetarian main course on a summer’s day, with good bread.


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From the book: My Kitchen Table: 100 Vegetarian Feasts

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