Kısır is a Turkish staple side dish made from fine bulgur. The brand I’ve been using is called Durum and the type of bulgur is called Koftelik Bulgur (kısırlik) which I assume means the finer grade of bulgur used for making kısır.
It’s so easy to make and tastes great, a bit like cous cous, as either a side dish or healthy snack served with lettuce leaves used to “spoon” and eat. This is the basic recipe (serves 4) I’m using:
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 medium tomatoes roughly chopped
- 1 cup fine bulgur
- 1 tablespoon sweet pepper paste (biber salca) or tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- Juice of half a lemon
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Half tsp cumin (optional)
- 2-3 cups hot water
- few sprigs of favourite herbs (parsley, dill, mint)
- half a cucumber
- Lettuce leaves
Chop onion and garlic and lightly fry in olive oil in a saucepan. Add chopped tomatoes and mix for a couple of minutes. Add bulgur, pepper paste, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses. Raise heat to high. Add hot water and bring to boil. Add salt, pepper, and cumin (other spice or chilli to your taste). Simmer for 10 mins, adding hot water as needed to avoid burning. When juices absorbed, take of heat and stand for 5 mins. The challenge, as with rice, is to cook until light and fluffy. Soggy kısır is not good practice. Stir through with chopped herbs and cucumber. Ready to serve with lettuce leaves. Afiyet olsun!
I’ve tasted kısır made from the Black Sea, Sivas and Southern Turkish regions, but not witnessed the preparation. I’ve been told that the pomegranate variation comes from the spicier Southern culinary hotspot of Gaziantep. I’ve seen recipes suggesting pouring boiling water on to the bulgur and leaving to soften before adding the other ingredients and working into a “dough”. Basically, you can throw in whatever herbs, spices and chopped vegetable you like.
Anyway, tastes so healthy and delicious to me. Look forward to hearing more variations on this recipe.