Turkey’s favourite salad! It’s so famous they consider it their national dish. Kisir is a hearty, healthy and delicious recipe. It’s full of flavour and infinitely customizable; however, your family likes it! I like to eat it on its own with a spoon, with lettuce leaves or as a starchy side with chicken or beef.
Simply bursting with flavour, this tomato-y, super easy kisir recipe is inspired by one of our favourite Turkish side dishes.
Healthy, Easy, Delicious.
In other words, this Kisir recipe is our very favourite combination of things! Each and every grain of bulgur is seasoned with spicy Biber Salçasi, juicy tomatoes and an abundance of fresh herbs and spices making for a big bowl of goodness to enjoy during the long summer nights. It’s no wonder the Turkish people love it so much!
Kisir is an easy, flavorful vegan recipe that you can eat as an entree or side dish, the best way to enjoy this recipe is on a leaf of remain lettuce and a healthy amount of pomegranate molasses drizzled on the top.
What is bulgur (bulgar)?
Bulgur is the whole grain of wheat that has been parboiled, dried, and cracked into different coarse grades. Thanks to the parboiling progress, the bulgur wheat cooks fast and easy. Therefore, making it a perfect grain for salads and quick dinners.
In traditional Middle Eastern Mediterranean cuisine, they eat a lot of bulgur! It’s a healthy staple used in every kitchen and is often preferred over rice due to the affordability and many uses of the grain.
What is Biber Salçasi?
Biber Salçasi is a famous mild red pepper paste that’s very popular in Turkish cooking. It’s made with mildly spicy red peppers that have been deseeded, and then it’s grounded into a paste and mixed with salt. The pepper paste is sundried until it achieves a thick paste consistency⏤ don’t worry, it’s not too spicy! Just a very mild heat and adds nice sweet notes to foods.
Where do you find Biber Salçasi?
You can find Biber Salçasi online, in a well-stocked grocery store or a Middle Eastern food store. Depending on where you live and how big the ethenic community is in your city will give you the indication on which you’ll be able to find this at your local stores or not. So, you may have to order this product online, but don’t worry, this paste has many uses.
What are other uses for Biber Salçasi?
Biber Salçasi can be used in pilaf recipes, pizza sauce, an add-in for any tomato-based dish, and it can even be used in a salad dressing. In conclusion, you’ll be surprised at how wonderful this paste is at adding a surprising flavour boost to your favourite recipes.
Lots of Mediterranean flavours From Pantry Ingredients
Really good Mediterranean food is all about basic ingredients and a little technique. We’ll get to the technique stuff in a minute, but first here’s what you’ll need to make this easy kisir recipe.
- Bulgur #1 fine grade
- Tomato paste
- Biber Salçasi
- fresh tomatoes
- green onions
- fresh herbs (mint, parsley, & dill)
- spices (cumin, paprika, & salt)
How To Make Kisir?
OK, now it’s time for a little technique! Just a few moments of attentiveness will ensure that your savoury kisir salad is just as fluffy and flavorful as it would be at the Turkish restaurant of your dreams! Here’s how easy it is to make kisir:
- Draw out the nutty flavours of the bulgur by toasting the grain in olive oil.
- Add hot water to the bulgur, simmer for 3 minutes. Once finished Kill the heat
- Cover and Now, walk away! For 15 whole minutes. No peeking!
- Prepare the rest of the ingredients for the salad.
- Fluff time! This is the fun part. Grab your fork and open that lid, dig in
- Roll up your sleeves, mix everything together and give the salad a nice massage to blend all those flavours together.
- Let it rest! This salad benefits from some relaxation. One hour is good, but if your hungry you don’t have to wait.
- Scoop onto a lettuce leaf and drizzle some pomegranate molasses. Yum!
Frequently asked questions
You can find bulgur at most well-stocked grocery stores. You can find out more about my post about how to cook bulgur.
This may be a specialty item, you can usually find it in the middle eastern section, but you may have to order it online.
I don’t recommend substituting the Biber Salçasi it gives the dish its signature flavour, without it losing the traditional taste profile. However, if you cannot access this ingredient, then I would recommend increasing the tomato paste and adding a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Pomegranate Molasses is pomegranate juice that has been boiled down to a thick syrup. You can simply make it at home by buying 100% pure pomegranate juice and boiling it down until it becomes a thick syrup.
Please don’t confuse pomegranate molasses for grenadine syrup, which is a sweet pomegranate-based syrup used to flavour and add colour to cocktails.
More Bulgur recipes to try!
Kisir – Turkish Bulgar salad
- 1 cups fine #1 bulgur
- 1,5 cups hot water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Biber Salçasi Turkish pepper paste
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried mint
- 1 tsp Salt
- 4 green onions finely diced
- 2 to matoes finely diced
- 2 mini cucumbers finely diced (1/2 English cucumber)
- 1/2 cup parsley finely chopped
- Pomegranate molasses. as needed
- 2 tbsp dill finely chopped optional
- 2 tbsp fresh mint finely chopped (optional)
- lemon optional
- Toast. In a medium-sized pot (3.5qt) over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil, allow to heat up, then add the bulgur and toast the grain for 2-3 minutes. You'll notice a nutty smell coming from the grains.
- Add the liquid. Add hot water and salt to the pot of bulgur. The water will sizzle at this point, be careful. The grains will quickly soak up the liquid. Give it 2 minutes to bloom and stir the pot.
- Kill the heat. Leave the pot on the hot element. The bulgur will soak up all the water. Keep the pot covered and allow the bulgur to rest 10 minutes. ⏤ The bulgur will continue to cook in the residual heat.
- Meanwhile, gather and prepare all your salad ingredients, put them aside for use once the bulgur is done.
- Let's fluff! Open the lid, get your fork it's time to fluff the bulgur.
- Prepare the salad. Add the cooked bulgur to a large bowl, use a spoon to mix the tomato paste, Biber Salçasi, spices, and olive oil in the bulgur and you may need to allow it to cool a bit Then, add the tomatoes, parsley, green onions, & cucumbers. Now, message all the ingredients together with your hands.
- Let it rest! If you wish. The salad definitely benefits with a little rest time, but it's optional. You can dig right in if you can't wait.
- You're done! Time to serve, add to some lettuce leaves give a squirt of lemon juice and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses. Enjoy! You eat it with a spoon, but don't leave out the lemon and pomegranate molasses.⏤It's the best part 😍!