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When I make Eetch, the recipe I use calls for sautéing the onions and then adding the tomato products and simmering for a short time before adding to the bulghur.

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A woman my husband works with told him that she also makes it but that she does not heat any of the ingredients. She just prepares and mixes everything together.

All of the recipes I've seen call for pretty much the same method I use which does include the sautéing and simmering steps. (Note that I am not saying that there aren't any that are different, just that I have not seen them.)

It seems like it would be a time saver to skip the sautéing and simmering steps. That is unless it would take additional time for the bulghur to absorb the liquid.

Are there really any time or other benefits to either method?

I'm also wondering if anyone has tried using quinoa instead of the bulghur and, if so, what were the results? We're any adjustments needed to the recipe, e.g. more or less liquid or seasonings, etc.?

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    I'm not familiar with the dish, but if you don't cook onions before you add acidic ingredients (like the tomatos), they won't soften ... or will take considerably longer to soften. So the simmering might not be needed, but the sauté will affect the final exture. – Joe Aug 26 '14 at 20:13
  • @Joe If you like tabouleh or other bulghur dishes you may want to try Eetch. It has become my favorite of such dishes. I actually stumbled upon it by accident when ordering other items from a bakery in Massachusetts. So glad I tried it! Here is a link to the recipe I use. You can adjust to your liking. I do use fine or extra fine bulghur. – Cindy Aug 27 '14 at 8:39
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Okay. I tried this two different ways. First I tried just combining the ingredients without the simmering and sautéing step. The flavors didn't seem to come together as well and it did take longer for the liquid to absorb into the bulghur.

So then I tried just adding the chopped onion without sautéing first but I did simmer the tomato products. This worked equally as well as when I sautéed the onion, added the tomato products and simmered. The onion is finely diced so the residual heat from the simmered tomato products was enough to very slightly soften it.

I haven't had a chance to try it using quinoa rather than bulghur but when I do I will update the answer.

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