The best-ever Turkish kisir recipe to serve at your next dinner gathering. This salad is filled with chewy little balls of bulgar that are massaged in a savory red paste, spices, and aromatic herbs. You are going to love kisir!
What’s in a Turkish Kisir Salad?
Well, i’m glad you asked :).
This Turkish Kisir salad is made up of ingredients you probably already have in your fridge like tomatoes and cucumbers.
There are some ingredients you may be unfamiliar with like pomegranate molasses, bulgar, and Turkish red pepper paste.
Furthermore, whether you are trying a new ingredient for the first time or want to try a new spin to the old classic. One thing is for sure, this recipe uses whole foods and no crazy ingredients.
By the way, I have a few special tips for making the best bulgar salad every time.
Tips for making the best Turkish Kisir Salad
Tip 1: make sure to remove the insides of the tomatoes. This will prevent your salad from being too soggy with excess juices.
Tip 2: make a super-concentrated flavor-bomb paste out of the spices, tomato paste, and red pepper paste (more information in recipe card).
Tip 3: chop your tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions the same size. The uniformity will provide the best eating experience because each spoonful will contain all the ingredients, resulting in one flavorful bite.
Tip 4: when soaking your bulgar in hot water, you can do one of two things if you are left with excess water.
Solution one— drain the excess liquid (simple, right?).
Solution two—pop the bowl of bulgar (covered with a lid) into the microwave for around 2 minutes and cook out the remaining liquid. Tada!
Final tip: after the bulgar is nice and fluffy, add the paste you made, and the finely chopped onion in with the bulgar. Massage very well until those chewy little grains are completely covered. I like to go overboard and massage for like 2-3 minutes to really incorporate those flavors.
Finally, add the chopped parsley and other ingredients.
Without a doubt, this is a bowl of confetti deliciousness.
Without further ado, let’s make epic Turkish Kisir Salad!
FOR THE BULGAR
- 1 ½ cup medium size bulgar wheat
- 3 cups boiling hot water
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp red pepper paste
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp dried garlic powder or 2 cloves minced garlic
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- pepper to taste
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 cup tomatoes seeds and innards removed, small dice
- 1 cup Persian cucumbers small dice
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- 10 mint leaves chopped, (1 tbsp packed)
- 1. Bulgar: In a large bowl, add the bulgar, salt, and boiling hot water. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and allow it to steep for 15-20 minutes. The bulgar should double in size.
- When ready, drain any excess water left in the bulgar, hopefully, the bulgar will be left dry and fluffy. Allow the bulgar to cool, now let’s make the kisir paste.
- 2. Kisir paste:In a mixing bowl, add the pomegranate molasses, tomato paste, red pepper paste, olive oil, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper, and mix really well until a thick paste-like sauce forms.
- Add the paste/sauce to the warm bulgar along with the onions and message generously with your hands. I like to massage for 2-3 minutes just to make sure every grain is fully coated to its full potential. Next, add the mint and parsley, mix and combine.
- Place the bowl of bulgar into the refrigerator for an hour or so, just until the bulgar has cooled before adding the vegetables.
- 3. Serve: When ready, add the chopped tomatoes and cucumbers.