Sunday, June 28, 2009

"Most Undutch" Turkish Dish

"Among the things you served us tonight, this is the thing most undutch" Inge had told me while she, Hans, Johan and I were tasting my bulgur salad (called natively Kısır) in my place in Funenpark as part of a Ramadan Dinner in September 2007. (Bulgur is broken wheat, commonly used in Turkish cousine)

(The photo is from last week where I made kısır for the site commander of my military unit as well as for other officers in the unit.)

Then I have made it a couple of times for other dinners in my place and for parties we had at Funanpark roof. I remember how people liked it during my German neighbours' BBQ party. It was then when Sara asked me the recipe. "Your bulgur salad has been one of our favorite dishes" she told me later "I make it almost every week". She also published the recipe in an iranian blog. It is in persian, but the photos worth checking.

The original recipe is from a turkish cooking blog "Portakal Ağacı", meaning "Orange Tree".

So here is the recipe for those who want to taste this "most undutch" turkish dish:

  • 5-6 spring onion
  • half bunch of parsley
  • 2-3 layers of iceberg salad (optional)
  • 4 gloves of garlic
  • 1 onion (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of red paprika paste (or 2 tablespoons of tomato paste if not available)
  • 2 glasses of hot water
  • 1 dessert-spoon of salt
  • 2 glasses of fine-bulgur (Beware: it must be the fine version, can be found in turkish supermarkets)
  • 1 tablespoon of dried mint
  • half tablespoon of chilly pepper (can be 1, if you want it hotter)
  • half tablespoon of black pepper
  • half glass of lemon juice
  • half glass of olive oil
  • 2 tomatos (optional, for decoration purposes)
  • a handful of fresh mint leaves or parsley leaves (optional, for decoration)
  1. Fınely chop onions, spring onions, parsley and iceberg salad. Put them together into a container and cover the top.
  2. Fry the chopped garlics with the olive oil and tomato and paprika pastes
  3. Put bulgur into a container and add the hot water on top of it. Add the salt and the mix with the mix in (2). Mix occasionally till bulgur sucks all the water and the mix looks homogenous. (10-15 mins)
  4. Add the chopped vegetables of (1), lemon juice, and spices to (3). Mix till it gets to a homogenous mixture.
  5. Decorate with tomotos sliced in half-circles and with the parsley and/or mint leaves.
  6. Put into refrigerator for a while. It is better to eat it cold.
My first trial of Kısır in Amsterdam
It was again a Ramadan dinner where we fast during the day, and have dinner when it is getting dark. I had invited my turkish friends from Delft and the one from The Hague. When they tasted my kısır, one of them said "the taste is OK; but it would be better if you did not use coriander". I was shocked "what? What is that thing? I never used that thingy" was my reaction. "It is a vegetable similar to parsley" they told, and suddenly I got enlightened :D

I remembered how I felt while I was preparing the bulgur salad. The "parsleys" I got from turkish supermarket at Javastraat was somehow pale. And they had really a different strange smell while I was chopping them off. I thought: "probably those parsleys got deteriorated. But I have no time to buy new ones, and since I will mix many things, my guests will not get its bad taste anyway". That is, I never realized that it could be some other vegetable :D

So, since we do not have corianders in Turkey, I never knew that they were being sold in Holland, and they were so similar to parsley :)

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