Kisir plays a much loved role in Turkish cuisine. Similar to Levantine Tabbouleh, Kisir is nuttier and more substantial. Its hastily scooped up into lettuce leaves and devoured, always with an extra squeeze of lemon juice. Its an easy no cook dish which I always make in mass quantities. Everyone has their own slightly varied version and below I share with you mine… It’s a dish reminiscent of late afternoons spent nattering with female in-laws, over a big bowl of kisir and Turkish tea.
Serves 8 – 10 as Meze, or 4 – 6 as a light meal.
1 cup ‘Ince’ Bulgur Wheat (fine, cracked wheat)
1 cup boiling water plus a third of a cup extra.
1 medium white onion – finely chopped
3 tbsp tomato / red pepper paste
2/3 Cup Olive oil
A handful of chopped hazelnuts
A handful chopped flat leaf parsley
A handful chopped fresh dill
4/5 salad onions – chopped
1 tbsp dried mint
2 tomato – seeds discarded & flesh finely chopped
1 cucumber – seeds discarded & flesh finely chopped
1 ½ tsp Salt
Fresh lemon juice
Extra seasoning to taste.
Optional – Pomegranate molasses & dried chili flakes
Lemon wedges and lettuce leaves to serve.
Mix bulgur wheat in a bowl with salt and cover with boiling water. Cover bowl and set aside. When all water soaked up the wheat is ready to be dressed.
Meanwhile fry the white onions in plenty of olive oil. When soft, add tomato or pepper paste and a third of a cup of water. Stir to make a sauce then add this to the wheat, mixing in thoroughly with a fork until colour becomes uniform.
Add all remaining ingredients and serve with lemon wedges and lettuce leaves.
Pomegranate molasses adds a sweet, sour note and dried chili flakes a firey southern Turkish twist.