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kisir in mixing bowl


  • Author: Amélie
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Soaking
  • Cuisine: Turkish
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Kisir is a very refreshing Turkish bulgur salad. A close cousin to tabbouleh, it’s sweeter, tangier, and combines a lot more crunchy vegetables with less parsley. It’s the ultimate summery side as it would fit right in on any picnic table!


  • 325g fine bulgur (köftelik bulgur) (1 ¾ cups)
  • 2 tsp fine table salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried mint (nane), or finely chop the leaves of 5 sprigs of mint
  • pinch of red chili flakes (pul biber)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste (domates salçası)
  • 1 tbsp mild pepper paste (tatlı biber salçası), or replace with tomato paste
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 small cucumber, or half of a long one
  • 1 bullhorn green pepper, or use a small green bell pepper
  • 5 spring onions
  • 5 big pickles
  • 15 sprigs of parsley
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 55ml extra virgin olive oil (¼ cup)
  • 2 tbsp pickles juice, from the jar
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses (nar ekşisi), or replace with 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar


  1. Prepare the bulgur. Place the bulgur in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt, spices and pastes. Give everything a good stir with a wooden spoon until properly combined. Pour 295ml (1 ¼ cup) of just-boiled water over the bulgur and stir again. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap, a tea towel or a plate and let the bulgur sit for 15 min. By this time the bulgur should have absorbed the water.


  2. Chop all the vegetables and set them aside. Cut the tomatoes in halves using a small sharp knife and cut under the seeds to remove them. Discard the seeds and cut the flesh into 5 mm (¼ in) cubes. Partially peel the cucumber skin into strips and cut the cucumber in half lengthways. Scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon and discard them. Cut the flesh into 5 mm (¼ in) cubes. Cut the green pepper in half lengthways and remove the seeds and the white membranes using the small sharp knife. Discard and cut the flesh into 5 mm (¼ in) cubes. Chop off the root ends of the spring onions and the green leaves and discard. Cut the bulbs and the stems into 5 mm (¼ in) cubes. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems, gather the leaves into a mound and finely chop them. Finely dice the pickles.


  3. Combine everything. Uncover the bulgur and fluff through it with a fork to separate the grains. Pour the lemon juice, olive oil, pickle juice and pomegranate molasses over. Stir with a long wooden spoon. Add all the chopped ingredients and mix well. Taste to check the seasoning and adjust accordingly (you could add more salt, lemon juice, pickles juice or pomegranate molasses). Serve straight away or cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours. I usually eat kisir as is but it’s very common to serve it spooned on top of romaine lettuce leaves.


You can keep any leftovers for up to 4 days in the fridge stored in an airtight container.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 495

Keywords: bulgur salad, side dish for picnic, summer vegetable salad, cold side dishes for summer