Recipe: A Fresh and Casual Member of Turkish Cuisine — Kisir (Kısır)

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If you’re a fan of Middle Eastern tabbouleh and other dishes made with bulgur, we believe you’ll definitely love this classic Turkish recipe for cold bulgur and a vegetable salad which is called kısır (Kus-UHR’). Kisir can also be referred to as Turkish bulghur salad!

Bulgur, sometimes referred to as cracked wheat, is a must-have in Turkish cuisine and is one of the most common ingredients in Turkish foods. It’s used to make side dishes like bulgur pilaf, added to thicken soups, kneaded into meatballs and, one of my favourites, included in cold salads like bulghur and fresh herb salad and kısır.
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There is a variation cook of Kısır
There is a variation cook of Kısır

One of the Most Popular Dishes

Kısır salad is by far one of the most popular dishes in Turkish cuisine. Every home cook makes a variation of kısır, and you’ll also find it in many restaurants serving casual, homestyle Turkish fare. What makes kısır so popular? For one, it contains fresh, nutritious and inexpensive ingredients. It’s also very easy to make, and a little bit goes a long, long way. Kısır is great for entertaining—its flavour gets better as the salad rests so that you can make it well beforehand. It will keep very well in the refrigerator for several days.

Perfect fit with the lettuce
Perfect fit with the lettuce

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You’ll recognize kısır as soon as you see it. The pepper paste gives the bulgur a lovely orange level of colour, and the mixed vegetables and fresh herbs add festive colour. Kısır is most often served, believe it or not, at tea time along with other sweet and savoury pastries. However, as it complements grilled meats and chicken, it’s also perfect as part of a barbecue menu.

Using Diverse Vegetables and Herbs

Every Turkish household makes kısır with a slightly different mix of vegetables and herbs. Some like it spicy and some like more onions and garlic. The best thing to do is to get creative with ingredients like coloured peppers, green onions, crushed nuts, even chopped beets, and pickles. Anything goes as long as it’s fresh, colourful and crunchy.

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Yummy food Kısır
Yummy food Kısır

You can find pepper paste in most Middle Eastern, Greek or Turkish grocers or small markets at the end of your street. Another alternative is to finely grate fresh red peppers of your choice and strain out the juice to make your own pepper paste. This recipe calls for lemon juice or pomegranate sour, which is a thick syrup made of 85 percent pomegranate giving it a very concentrated taste. If you want to include this unique ingredient, look for it where Turkish foods are sold.


  • 2 cups fine bulgur
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 heaping tbsp. sweet red pepper paste
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 2 medium cucumbers
  • 6 to 8 green onions
  • A handful of — fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice or pomegranate sour
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. hot red pepper flakes, more or less to taste

Delicious and easy to cook
Kısır is very delicious food and  its very easy to cook

How to Make It (Here is the Steps):

  1. Put the bulgur in a large mixing bowl. Pour the boiling water over it. The water should completely cover the bulgur by about 1/4 inch (add a bit more boiling water if needed). Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap, then wrap it in a towel. Set it aside for about 15 minutes to allow the bulgur soften.

  2. While the bulgur softens, prepare your vegetables. Begin by peeling the onion and garlic and chopping them as finely as you can. Mix the chopped onion and garlic with the pepper paste and set aside.

  3. Chop the tomato, cucumber, green onions, parsley, and mint in the same manner and put them in a separate bowl. The finer you chop them, the better your salad’s texture will be.

  4. Remove the cloth and cover from the bowl of bulgur. Wearing rubber gloves, fluff the bulgur up with your fingers. Drizzle lemon juice or pomegranate sour and the oil over the top and toss it through with your fingers. Next, add the pepper paste mixture and work it evenly through the bulgur.

  5. Add the chopped vegetables and herbs and continue tossing with your fingers until all the ingredients are evenly dispersed. Add salt and black pepper and taste for seasoning.

  6. You can serve your kısır salad right away, or you can cover and refrigerate it for several hours. Make sure to fluff it up with your fingers again just before serving.

    ⇒ If you get hungry after reading our Article on how to make Kısır, you can also check The Best 25 Turkish Food article on our website! ⇐
    Bon appetit!


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