Recipes from Burundi: Boko Boko Harees (Chicken with Bulgur Wheat)

Recipes from Burundi

Boko Boko Harees

Country: Burundi
Course: Main
Makes: about 12 servings


  • 3 1/3 cups bulgur wheat
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 large onion, grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 sets chicken giblets
  • 1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings
  • 2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 5 cups water
  • 6 tsp ghee, divided


  1. Soak the bulgur wheat in water for 3 hours. Note: bulgur wheat absorbs a ton of water, so err on the side of too much.
  2. Drain the wheat and place in a pot with the chicken breasts and enough water to cover.
  3. Add 1 tsp salt, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Let cook for about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cut up the chicken giblets into very small pieces.
  5. In a small pot, mix the turmeric powder with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until you get a thick paste. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Transfer the giblets to a small pot and simmer with about a half cup of water and 3 tbsp of the turmeric paste. Add a pinch of salt and the sugar. Simmer for 10 or 15 minutes, or until the giblets are cooked.
  7. Fry the onions in the remaining ghee until they are crispy.
  8. Take the chicken breasts out of the pot and shred them, then return the to the bulgur wheat. Add 3 tbsp of the ghee and stir until well-incorporated. The wheat should be soft and the dish should be the consistency of a thick dough; if it's not, keep cooking until it reduces down, or add more water if necessary.
  9. Serve with the turmeric sauce and fried onions.