I was couchsurfing in Istanbul with my friend Burak and his lovely fiancee Seda. For the vegan potluck picnic, Seda taught me how to make kısır, a simple traditional Turkish recipe, based on bulgur.
How to make kısır
- Mix 3 mugs of bulgur with 3 mugs of hot water. Use a big bowl, the bulgur will grow. Leave it to rest and grow.
Cut and squeeze 4 lemons. Rough chop parsley in a bowl. Dice 3 large spring onions, 3 large cucumbers, 3 tomatoes (peel the cucumbers and tomatoes first) and a red pepper. You can also use green pepper if you like.
Mix everything into the bulgur by hand. Add tomato and cucumber last because they are very watery. If you like, you don’t have to add them in but can keep them separate. Add 1 small cup (approx 200ml) olive oil, 4 spoons tomato purée, 2 spoons pepper sauce (acı biber salçası – get it from a Turkish shop), soy sauce (not traditional but Seda likes to use it) and pomegranate sauce to taste. Add salt, dried mint (a handful, or you can use fresh mint, well-cut), 7 spice and whatever else you like.