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14
Aug

kissir-close-up-copy.jpg
Close-up of kissir — the burghul here is even finer than the one i buy in London. I got it in Aleppo and the cook who buys it for me calls by a special name which I forgot just now!

You remember my recent post on tabbuleh and what is or isn’t the right amount of burghul? Well, I am almost sure that Kissir, a Turkish salad where the main ingredient is burghul, is why people get tabbuleh wrong. Someone must have given a recipe for kissir as tabbuleh and the misinterpretation stuck until recently that is, when some writers and chefs started using less burghul and more parsley, although still not getting the ratios quite right, at least by Lebanese standards. In any case, Kissir has hardly any parsley, a lot of tomatoes, a fair amount of onion and a tiny amount of green pepper for crunch. You can season it with lemon juice or pomegranate syrup — I prefer the latter — and the main spice is Aleppo pepper, or Isot biber, (also known as Urfa biber but this will have to be a whole new post), the Turkish equivalent. Of course, there are lots of variations. Mine is an adaptation from a recipe out of Nevin Halici’s Turkish cookbook, one of my favourites. It is sadly out of print but try to get it on one of the used books sites if you can. You’ll love it. Kissir is just as moreish as tabbuleh, and the advantage is that it is much quicker to make: 15 minutes flat from beginning to end. Here is a whole picture of the salad and a recipe. Enjoy.

Kissir
Turkish Burghul Salad

kissir-copy.jpg

Serves 4-6

200 g fine burghul
200 ml boiling water
2 small spanish onions, very finely chopped
5 medium firm ripe tomatoes (about 500 g), deseeded, diced into 1 cm square cubes
1/2 small green bell pepper, deseeded and diced small
few sprigs flat-leaf parsley, most of the stalk discarded, finely chopped
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons pomegranate syrup, (or 3 tablespoons lemon juice)
sea salt to taste

1. Put the burghul in a large mixing bowl and stir in the water a few spoonfuls at a time. Cover with a kitchen towel and let sit for 15 minutes.
2. When the time is up, add the onion to the burghul and mix well. Add the other ingredients together with the seasonings. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately.

Tagged : 13


There is 13 comments on this post


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    When I still lived in Edinburgh, I had a Kurdish friend who made kisir regularly. I loved it!!! She didn’t use pomegranate syrup, just plenty of lemon juice (Claudia Roden recommends pomegranate in her recipe, too).
    Thanks for reminding me of that great dish. Will make it soon after our trip to France..


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    how does this salad compare to eeach (or each?, iech?). I haven’t had eeach in ages, and was trying to do some research on it, but I couldn’t figure out how to spell it in English or in Arabic. is it
    ايج او ايش او يج
    كتير صعب…
    🙁
    this salad looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    i love kisir, and just from looking at those pictures i can taste the sweet juices of the tomatoes. i always order kisir when i’m at ‘iznik’ in highbury (which, sadly, isn’t very often).


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    tony, am not sure which salad you are referring to. aysh, eish, whichever way you want to transliterate it means bread in arabic, from life. am not aware of a salad by that name but will double check and will let you know.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    tony, i now know what you are looking for: armenian Itch, which is similar to kissir. my friend nayla (whose mother is armenian) told me about it. just google itch + armenian salad and you’ll find several entries. in any case, nayla is sending me more information which i’ll share once i have it.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    the armenian itch is exactly what I was looking for. I grew up eating it in Venezuela, but when we moved to the States my mom usually prepared tabbouleh instead. I read through a couple of the google entries, but if your friend has a family recipe and doesn’t mind sharing it, I would love to try it out 🙂 thanks for looking into this! and thank your friend Nayla for me, too!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    I had something similar at an Armenian restaurant in Beirut. It was awesome! I did not detect any green peppers in it though. All I know is I could not stop gulping it!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    By the way, just read about your previous comment. I think your friend Nayla is the same Nayla I used to go to school with in 1975. We’d ride a service together and go lunch at her house; her mom was Armenian and her dad was a MP from the south. Her mom forced her to eat “escalopes panées and malfoof salad” every day because she thought she had a few pounds to lose. We were not really friends though, just eating buddies. I go to her restaurant now in Beirut and buy her pastries and ice creams. I guess she did not like to be on a diet either.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    how amazing joumana. it is the same nayla. i will let her know, and ask her mother about the escalopes panees and malfuf salad.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Thank you Anissa for reminding me the kisir. I just made it last night and added finely chopped lettuce, and fresh mint. I saute the onion if I am going to refrigerate it, since raw onion does not taste well after refrigeration. I had sweet-sour mandarin at home, I used the juice of the mandarin for adding extra taste for my kisir. Another tip, adding sauted chopped walnut ( of course in olive oil) will add a nutty flavor to this wonderful bulgur salad.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    thanks filiz. will try it with your recommendations. i love the idea of the sweet-sour mandarin juice, and the sautéed walnuts. can’t wait to be back in Gaziantep to share lovely meals and friendship with you.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Hello Anissa i am turkish but i live in Germany. I Know Kisir, my mother made it when my aunts comes together and talk about the familly. The first thing you should know about Bulgur is, that is parboiled (like Rice) Wheat which get shredded into Bulgur and if it is finer they called düh or so. It is simple parboiled and fine shredded Wheat (There different variations) the cool thing about düh is you dont need to build it, simple put boiling water over it and wait some minutes and ready. I hope i can help a llittle bit with my cruel english.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    thank you mehmet. i knew that burgul (or bulgur) is parboiled but i didn’t know about düh 🙂

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