From my side of the desk, TS kept telling me about kısır, about how Turkish ladies get excited about kısır. Of course, all the while, not really describing what the dish was.
I was quite intrigued by kısır when I read about it on Give Recipe. I liked how the post provided some cultural or social background regarding the dish: mostly, that Turkish ladies get excited about it! =D
Give Recipe: Let's Gather for Kisir
Taste-wise, I had imagined it would be a more bulgur-y tabbouleh (as opposed to a parsley-y tabbouleh), and I was quite looking forward to tasting it. Besides, when we were narrowing down our choices for Turkish dishes to make, I couldn't leave out making something with bulgur! It seemed quite a large part of Turkish diet.
To make kısır, we start with the bulgur.
I used fine bulgur wheat (there was coarse, medium and fine available). It was a simple 1:1 ratio of bulgur and hot water.
In this case, I followed the recipe from Almost Turkish Recipes and added tomato paste and red pepper paste to the hot water. I combined the bulgur, hot water and the pastes in a bowl, covered it, and let the liquid soak for about 10 minutes. Afterwards, I fluffed it up with a fork.
Then, it was just a matter of adding the ingredients and mixing them all together.
In went olive oil, green onions, cucumber and lemon juice.
The recipe called for kneading an onion with salt, rinsing the salt off, and squeezing away the excess liquid. I, of course, was too lazy to do that, so I simply added the onions raw.
I also didn't have any banana peppers on hand, so I used some pickled pepperoncini instead.
The rest of the ingredients were dried mint flakes (which we shopped for in preparation for making Turkish food), a little cumin, Hungarian hot paprika (the recipe called for "red pepper flakes" but I wasn't sure if it was the normal red pepper flakes; hence, the paprika), salt and pepper, and a whackload of parsley.
(Yes, those are bits of parsley stuck to my hand. I was trying to hurry as the sun was already steadily setting, ushering in the "dark times".)
The "secret" ingredient: pomegranate syrup.
Kısır is served with lettuce, tomatoes, and/or pickled peppers.
Reading the ingredients, I thought I knew what this would taste like. But, I was wrong!
I liked the tartness it got from the lemon juice and the slight "crunch" from the cucumbers and green onions. It was savory, yet was very refreshing. It wasn't spicy at all but there is a nice heat and warmth from the paprika and red pepper paste. Then, the pomegranate syrup gave it a totally different dimension, making this unlike anything I've tasted before. It gave the dish a certain je ne sais quoi that, well, I can't describe!
Kısır would be great to have around in the fridge to be pulled out for an instant snack, like in afternoon tea. And, in Turkish manner, enjoyed in the company of friends.
Recipe used: Almost Turkish Recipes Kısır
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