Kısır is a traditional Turkish dish, similar to the Lebanese Tabbouleh, but with much more bulgur and slightly different ingredients. It is a great side dish, great to have in summertime, and excellent for potlucks.
Here is how I make kısır in the North Americas. The key ingredients are bulgur (a kind of rice) and salça (tomato and/or red pepper paste, we use both). Along with sumac, the spice, these should be easy to find in any Mediterranean or Middle Eastern store.
Serves: 8 people
Calories per serving: 190 kCal
Takes: 45 minutes - 1 hour
2 cups extra fine bulgur (*)
3 tbsp of salça "tomato and red pepper paste" (*)
3 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp of thyme
1 tsp of sumac (*)
t tsp of powdered red pepper
1 cup cherry tomatoes
2 small cucumbers, peeled
6 stalks of green onion
(*) Go to a Middle Eastern or a Mediterranean store for these ingredients.
Cooking the Bulgur
First, fry 1 tbsp of olive oil with 1 tbsp of salça in a frying pan on medium heat. After a few minutes, add in 2 cups of extra fine bulgur and exactly 2 cups of water. (Do not pre-treat the bulgur like you would with rice, extra fine bulgur soaks up the water immediately.) Turn down the heat to low, cover the pan, and let it heat for 20 minutes - until the bulgur soaks up all the water. Stir to make sure that the salça is distributed evenly and to make sure that the bulgur does not stick to the pan.
Adding the Spice Mix
Move the cooked bulgur to a mixing bowl. With 2 tbsp of olive oil, fry another tbsp of salça, 1 tsp of sumac, 1 tsp of powdered red pepper and 1 tsp of thyme for a few minutes. Add this mixture to the bulgur. Add the last 1 tbsp of salça uncooked. Stir for a few minutes to make sure that everything is distributed evenly. Put this mixture in a fridge to cool, this is a dish best served cold.
Dice the cherry tomatoes, peel and dice the cucumbers and slice finely the green onions. Add them in to the mixture and stir some more.
This is it. Serve your awesome kısır with some lettuce leaves for awesomeness.