Boko Boko Harees (Chicken with Bulgar Wheat)
Boko Boko Harees is a traditional dish originating from the African country of Burundi. It makes a quick, comforting mid-week meal when you just don’t want anything fancy but need to fill the gap!
Make my turmeric chicken with bulgar wheat when you just want to get dinner over with but don’t want to compromise on flavour. Boko Boko Harees is easy to make, so perfect for beginner cooks too.
P.S I cannot say this is completely authentic but all I can say is that I’ve tried my best from the research I have done.
Having an African feast? Serve up some African Fat Cakes from Botswana (Magwinya) for dessert!
Where does Boko Boko Harees originate?
I’m focusing on Burundi in this post but technically Boko Boko Harees is eaten all over Eastern Africa. Burundians don’t eat a lot of meat due to the cost but this is one of the dishes where it features.
Burundi is located in Eastern Africa and is totally landlocked (and very small too). The capital cities (yes, cities) is Giteja and Bujumbura. The official languages are French, English and Kirundi.
What you’ll need for this recipe
Scroll down to the recipe card for exact quantities.
Bulgur wheat – you can find it in most supermarkets this days. Look out for different grades. Mine was medium but fine or coarse would work too.
Unsalted butter (or salted, it doesn’t really matter)
Chicken breast – if you don’t have breast, use thigh.
How do I cook Boko Boko Harees?
Step 1 – Soak the bulgur wheat with enough water to cover and set aside.
Step 2 – Fry the butter in a pan a sauce the diced onion. Remove from the pan and fry the chicken breast until cooked through.
Step 3 – Return the onions to the pan along with the turmeric, salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes.
Step 4 – Drain and add the bulgur wheat. Pour in enough water to cover the bulgur wheat. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until the bulgur is soft.
Small bowl x 2
Measuring spoons and cup
Chef’s knife for dicing onion
Can I use chicken thigh instead?
Yes, you can certainly use chicken thigh instead.
What grade of bulgur wheat should I use?
A fine or medium grade will work. I would avoid the coarse bulgur for this dish.
Can I freeze boko boko harees?
You can freeze boko boko harees but ensure 1. allow the food to cool down completely before freezing, 2. place in a tightly lidded container suitable for the freezer and 3. defrost thoroughly before reheating.
How should I store leftovers?
Leftovers should be stored in the fridge and will keep for 1-2 days.
How can I reheat Boko boko harees?
Re-heat thoroughly until piping hot (70 degrees+). I would recommend using a microwave. If you use an oven, add a tbsp of water to ensure it doesn’t dry the the dish out.
Boko Boko Harees
- Small bowls x 2
- Measuring spoon and cup
- Frying pan
- Chef's knife
- 2 cups Bulgur wheat fine or medium grade
- 15 g unsalted butter
- 1 onion
- 250 g chicken breast
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- Soak the bulgur wheat with enough water to cover and set aside.
- Fry the butter in the pan and saute the diced onion. Set aside. Fry the chicken breast until cooked through.
- Return the onions to the pan along with the turmeric, salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes.
- Drain and add the bulgur wheat. Pour in enough water to cover the bulgur. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until the bulgur is tender.
More African recipes –
Tomato rice (Fat Rice)
Peanut sweet potato stew
Peanut chicken stew
Magwinya (African doughnuts)