Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Kisir -Turkish Bulgur Salad

It may sound assertive but so far I have not met anyone ,from any culture, country that did not like Kisir, bulgur salad. I won rewards by this this, at work ,Holiday potluck party and International cooking contest at the university. I make it to the International day celebration at my daughter's daycare, whenever I have friends over, and they all like and ask for the recipe...

It is easy to make, nutritious and yet really delicious...
You can think it is similar to tabbouleh, in a way yes since they both have bulgur in it, but they differ a lot. Tomato (And pepper paste if available) is the key thing!

This is a typical salad for tea time , goes great with borek (salty pastry with fillings especially feta cheese, picture below)

Ingredients for Kisir: 
  • *I should mention I am not picky about the amount of ingredients, especially since this is a salad, you can add things as  much as you wish. 
  • 1cups of bulgur (fine grained) - I recommend Turkish bulgur , you can find at your local Turkish store
  • 1.5  cups of boiled water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 5-6 chopped green onion
  • 1 tbsp pepper paste and tomato paste each (2 tbsp tomato paste if no pepper paste) (Again, I recommend Turkish tomato paste, the taste any flavor is better then American tomato pastes)
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 1/4 small iceberg (or another type of lettuce
  • 1/3 tsp each of  black pepper , red peper and  cumin
  • Red cabbage, corn,carrot, pickles, parsley, cucumber, tomato are common ingredients, add your favorite veggies as you wish, broccoli for instance

How to prepare kisir:
1- Mix bulgur, tomato and pepper paste and hot water, and cover with a lid and set aside for 30 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed.
2- Prepare greens and veggies meanwhile.
3- Add olive oil, lemon, greens, spices , mix well and chill before you enjoy!

Kisir varies from region to region in Turkey:
*Regional recipes use pomegranate sauce in addition to lemon sauce for sour taste.  It is really hard to find in US. So far I could not find any satisfactory pomegranate sauce so gave up.
*At some regions,  the bulgur+water mixture is knead for 5-10 minutes before adding the ingredients. It has a different type , a different story :)
* Whenever I prepare kisir, I make extra so I can save some for lunch the other day.

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