Kisir - Turkish Bulgur Salad Recipe

Bulgur salad garnished with fresh mint leaves, pickles, sliced cucumber and tomaotes in an oval plate.

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Bulgur salad with herbs, cucumber and onion sauce makes a perfect light lunch or dinner. You can serve it as a side too. This salad also makes a perfect food for potlucks.


  • 1 cup fine bulgur, better if brown
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup hot water
  • ½ cup and 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ tablespoon pepper paste, optional
  • ½ lemon, squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 cucumber, finely chopped
  • ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped
  • A few fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Lettuce to serve


  1. Put bulgur and spices in a large bowl.
  2. Pour hot water over them, give it a stir. And cover the bowl with a lid or with a kitchen towel. Let it sit until bulgur rises, about 10 minutes.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté finely chopped onion until translucent. Add in tomato paste (and pepper paste if you are using) and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. When the soaked bulgur rises, pour the cooked onion mixture over it and stir well.
  5. Add in lemon juice and pomegranate molasses, stir well.
  6. Toss in all the chopped herbs, tomatoes and cucumber. Give it a good stir.
  7. Serve it on plates with lettuce leaves on the side. 
  8. Also you can serve pickles, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers on the side too.


  1. Fine bulgur is a must for this recipe but if you can’t find it, use medium bulgur. These types don’t need to be cooked. Soaking is enough. If it is not softened and still has a hard texture, pour a splash of boiling water on it and let it sit for another 5 or 10 minutes. 
  2. Pepper paste, biber salçasi in Turkish, is one of the staple ingredients in Turkish cuisine and you can look for it online. If you can’t find it, substitute tomato paste for it.
  3. Make sure to mix the soaked bulgur with the cooked onion and tomato paste sauce really well. All the bits should be well coated with this sauce. 
  4. If you can’t find pomegranate molasses, you can increase the amount of lemon juice. 
  5. You can always play with the amount of lemon juice. Taste it when it is ready and add more if you want. This is supposed to be a tangy salad.
  6. If the salad looks dry at the end (this might happen depending on the bulgur type you use), add a little more olive oil and mix well.
  7. Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.