Bulgur salad, also known as "Kisir"; is a cold dish or appetizer in Turkish cuisine whose main ingredient is bulgur, tomato paste, tomatoes, pomegranate syrup, parsley, and garlic, and in some regions, pomegranate syrup is also added.
Bulgur salad prepared with few ingredients at home is one of the healthiest and tastiest dishes. Bulgur salad, which is prepared without cooking and is ready in no time, is served especially when guests come. As a quick and convenient meal, kisir can be easily eaten at any time of the day. The most important thing is to know the tricks in preparing it. If the tricks are known, kisir can also be prepared quickly and deliciously.
After the bulgur salad is prepared, you can put it into a cake mold. The kisir formed in a cake pan can be served as it is. Also, the pot is placed in a small bowl. The bulgur salad in the bowl is served upside down on the serving plate. Lemon slices or parsley leaves can be placed on top of the stew. In this way, kisir is presented stylishly. Usually, it is accompanied by potato salad and cake. Therefore, you should take great care in the presentation. The bar should also look stylish and beautiful. With its sparse appearance, it also has an appetizing quality.
Ingredients for Mediterranean Bulgur Salad Recipe
- 2 cups fine bulgur
- Hot water to pass over
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
For kisir Sauce;
- 2 onions (I used purple onions)
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of chili paste
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon of Pomegranate Molasses
- Dried mint, black pepper, ground pepper
- 1 pinch of fresh mint
- 1 pinch of parsley
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 spring onions
How to Prepare Mediterranean Bulgur Salad Sauce
Start preparing the bulgur salad dressing by sautéing the onions in a pan with olive oil until they soften. Then add the sliced garlic and tomato paste and turn off the heat once the smell has gone.
Meanwhile, finely chop the scallions and parsley. Add all the spices, the juice of 1 lemon, and 1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses to the cooled sauce and mix until homogeneous. Add the chopped scallions and parsley to the sauce. Save this sauce to add when the bulgur has cooled.
How to Make Mediterranean Bulgur Salad
Put the bulgur that you will use for the kisir in a deep pot. If you like, you can also simply soak the bulgur. In this recipe, we do not just soak the bulgur, we add the spices first and flavor it during the soaking phase. Add the spices to the bulgur in the amounts listed above and mix. Add enough boiling water to cover the bulgur you mixed, close the lid of the pot and let it swell.
When the bulgur is swollen, open the lid and mix it. You can use a lot of olive oil at this stage. Then add your fantastic sauce and the dish is ready!
Bulgur salad is a great addition to any appetizer table, as it adds both flavor and filling to your appetizer spread. In this case, it's best served with a small scoop of baby gem salad. Or keep it simple and serve it in a bowl with lettuce for guests to choose from.
The Tips for Mediterranean Bulgur Salad
The most basic ingredient of kisir is, of course, bulgur. Fine bulgur is the most ideal type of bulgur for kisir. Thick bulgur does not absorb water easily and does not swell immediately, and it is not a very suitable variety for use without cooking. For this reason, we first need fine bulgur for the production of kisir. For 1 glass of fine bulgur, 3/4 glass of hot water (1 fingerless than 1 glass of water) will be sufficient. After adding this water, cover it tightly and airtight and leave it at room temperature to absorb all the water. If you add more water than this, you can add some more bulgur. If your bulgur has taken a lot of water and has not swelled, you can add a little more hot water. Make sure the water you add is hot.
When you add a tomato or cucumber, you will make its consistency a little juicier. Therefore, we recommend that you do not put it. Like some meat dishes, it is a dish that becomes more flavorful as it waits, and all the flavors come together. If you add cucumbers or tomatoes, it may lose its fresh appearance during the waiting period. If you want to put it, we recommend that you remove the core parts inside and add them to the bulgur salad.
In addition to the fine bulgur described above, you will need to buy Turkish hot pepper paste and pomegranate syrup. In a pinch, you can use tomato paste and chili flakes instead of hot pepper paste. But whatever you do, don't miss the pomegranate syrup.
Unfortunately, commercially available pomegranate molasses varies wildly in quality. The cheaper varieties are usually a mix of glucose syrup with lots of artificial sweeteners and just a small piece of real pomegranate. These are often too sweet and will not give your Turkish or Middle Eastern cuisine adventures the right flavor. For this reason, it is very important where to buy pomegranate molasses.
How is Mediterranean Bulgur Salad Different From Tabbouleh
Kisir is a simple, tasty Turkish bulgur salad. It has some similarities with tabbouleh, but it has a distinctive and delightful sour-salty flavor.
It is quite possible that Kisir shares its origin with Tabbouleh, a Lebanese herb, and bulgur salad.
Contrary to what many believe, including Lebanese and Palestinians, tabbouleh began its life as a bulgur salad in the mountains of Lebanon. Over time, however, the dish has morphed into its current form. Nowadays, at least in the Middle East, it is mainly an herb salad. Bulgur now plays only a minor role.
Turkish kisir salad itself is thought to have evolved from an early form of tabbouleh. Bulgur remained the main ingredient in Turkey. Kisir is a strong bulgur salad in which herbs play only a minor role.
If you look at the ingredient list, you will probably find that many of them also contain tabbouleh. But there are two important differences:
The dressing for kisir is much thicker. It still contains lemon and olive oil, but also tomato paste and often pomegranate molasses.
Although some versions of tabbouleh you see overseas are predominantly Bulgarian-based, it is traditionally a very herb-rich salad. In Kisir, much fewer herbs, cucumbers, and tomatoes are used.