Kisir is essentially tabbouli with extra pizazz. I like to make a batch and then we eat it for lunch or supper during the hot summer days. It keeps in the fridge for a few days and the flavors meld together beautifully. Here is how to make it:
- 2 c. fine grain bulgur
- 2 3/4 c. (or more) very hot water
- 1 T. tomato paste
- 1 T. pepper paste (available at Middle Eastern markets)
- 1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 1 bunch green onions, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 ripe tomato, finely chopped
- 1-2 fresh hot peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 T. dried mint or 1/2 bunch fresh mint, chopped
- 1-2 T. Pomegranate molasses (available at Middle Eastern markets)
- lemon juice to taste- at least 4 T.
- 1/4 c. fruity olive oil
- 1 T. sumac, optional
- salt to taste
- 1/2 t. cayenne pepper or 1 T. red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp cumin
- optional: toasted walnuts, 1 chopped onion sauteed in olive oil, chopped cucumber
Place the bulgur in a bowl with room enough for the hot water. Add the minimal amount of water first, along with the tomato paste and pepper paste (if using). Stir well and let rest for 20-30 minutes or until the water is completely absorbed. If the water is gone in 10 minutes, add more hot water. After 20-30 minutes all the water should be absorbed. If you add too much water, you will need to drain it off or add a spoonful or more bulgur.
While bulgur is soaking, chop the parsley, fresh mint, tomato, peppers, and green onions and place in serving bowl. MIx together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, cayenne pepper or hot pepper flakes, allspice, cumin and sumac. Pour over the mix. Stir in the soaked bulgur and mix well. Can serve immediately or refrigerate for a few hours. Serve by itself or with romaine lettuce leaves to make kisir-romaine wraps.
Adapted from Turkish Family Favorites by Helen Akinc.