This pilaf is often made not with plain bulgur (hondros in Crete) but with xynohondros, the traditional tangy ‘pasta’ of Crete, which is prepared early in the summer by simmering cracked wheat in goat’s milk that has been left to sour for 3-4 days. Tablespoons of the porridge-like mixture are spread on cloths and left in the sun, turned over a few times, until bone-dry. Usually the pieces are crumbled before drying completely, to facilitate the cooking. Kept in cloth bags xynohondros is used all year round for pilafs, soups, and added to stews with vegetables, meat or poultry.
To imitate the xynohondros flavor I suggest you serve the pilaf with dollops of yogurt and/or crumbled feta.
I developed this recipe for EATING WELL magazine;
part of a piece about the healthy Cooking of Crete (March 2020).
Makes 4 servings (more…)