Bulgur Salad, which is called Kisir in Turkish, is the favorite food of all Turkish women and it’s like a must to make this salad when you invite your female friends. And I’m not an exception! I LOVE bulgur salad as a meal, side dish or snack. It makes a great picnic food too! What you need to do is just prepare it at home, put it in a food container, put some fresh herbs like lettuce on its top and cover with its lid. A few forks will be enough, nothing else is needed! It’s ready to be taken to your favorite picnic area! It’s the same for a lunch box, you can easily take it to work too!
You don’t need a special reason to make bulgur salad, just make it when you crave for. I sometimes have a very strong craving for it even at nights, and I never feel lazy to make it. Well, maybe because it’s very easy to prepare. It requires no cooking, just soak bulgur with hot water, chop all other ingredients and mix. It’s ready within some minutes! Sometimes, I make it for lunch or dinner in large amounts so that some of it is left for my cravings later that day or the following day.
There are two ways of making Turkish bulgur salad. In the first method, chopped onion is sauted in olive oil as in this Kisir, which I posted in the first year of my blogging. Sorry for the photos, I didn’t know many things about food photography then! In the second method, all ingredients in the salad are raw. I will share this second one with you today, I’ve been making it this way since I learnt it from a friend. It tastes more like a salad and flavors are more distinctive this way.
There are some veggies you must add into Turkish bulgur salad. These are tomato, cucumber, parsley, green onion and onion; all finely chopped. Besides these, you are free to add anything you like. You can add chopped lettuce, fresh dill, garlic, gherkins or even red cabbage. So it’s up to your creativity and taste!
The most common way of serving bulgur salad in Turkey is with fresh lettuce leaves, but I want to share a different serving option this time. That’s how we sometimes serve it in my hometown, Tarsus, Mersin. We use fresh grape leaves instead of lettuce when they are in season. When I saw fresh grape leaves at the market today, I immediately bought some without thinking twice! The first dish in my mind was not stuffed grape leaves, but bulgur salad! Fresh grape leaves are traditionally soaked in hot water for 1-2 minutes before serving, but I love them as they are.
Just put a spoon of bulgur salad in the center of leaves, wrap and eat! There could be nothing better for a light lunch on these warmer days! Do I need to mention how healthy this salad is?
- 1 cup fine bulgur, better if brown
- ½ cup hot water
- 1 tsp dried mint
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- A pinch of cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 lemon, squeezed
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tsp pepper paste
- 7 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 tomato, finely chopped
- 1 cucumber, finely chopped
- ½ bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- Grape leaves or lettuce to serve
- Soak bulgur with hot water in a large bowl.
- Add spices and salt on it and cover with its lid or with a piece of cloth, wait until bulgur rises, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile chop all vegetables.
- When bulgur rises, add lemon juice and pomegranate molasses into it, mix with a spoon.
- Add pepper paste and olive oil and mix until combined very well.
- Toss in chopped veggies and mix.
- Serve it on plates with fresh grape leaves next to it.