May 19, 2007

Tabbouleh/ Bulger And Herb Salad

Salad days are here again. As the weekends start to get crowded with the hectic summer schedules and the temperatures slowly start rising, its time to unwind in the patio with someone else doing most of the work. (:)heh! heh! there is no someone else).
The masala based curries are too heat producing in this weather with all their roasting and grinding and slow cooking. So salads seem so refreshing with all the colorful produce cooling the eyes and the palate.

Now is the time when the backyard starts echoing with the intermittent sounds of squeals, laughs and splashes (from our neighbour's pools). The fresh grass has a lush green tone and is soft on the feet. The patio is freshly washed and clean and the flower beds are now sprouting the newly planted flowers and veggies. hmm...Time to take out the grill and whip up a salad. And you can enlist everybody's help for chopping.:) No excuses there!

Tabbouleh is a middle easten salad made with bulgur, scallions and a host of other stuff. It is readily available in the supermarkets but it is too dense with parsley and olive oil. It is also so easy to make that we never end up buying it but make it on a regular basis with rotis and pitas and breads. The olive oil and lemon juice compliment each other without it being too sour. Don't omit the parsley and scallions, the distinctive taste comes from that. The bulgur is also essential but sometimes I substitute it with finely chopped Romaine lettuce.

For the uninitiated, bulgur is a kind of whole wheat grain which is parboiled, dried (usually by spreading in the sun) and then de-branned. Bulgur is often confused with cracked wheat, which is made from crushed wheat grains which have not been parboiled. I do use the Indian cracked wheat (dalia)when I am out of bulgur. The cracked wheat has to be cooked more though.

The first time you make it, go slow with the dressing so that you can add more later as per taste. One festive menu is noted below with the tabbouleh, pita, hummus, kababs and olives. Chicken tikka, any kind of grilled vegetables, paneer, kababs are a natural pairing with this salad.

You Will Need:
Fine Bulgur-2/3 cup
Fresh Parsley- 1 cup
Mint(fresh or dried)-2 tbsp
Scallions-2-3 stalks
Onion-1/2 small one, grated
Green Bell Pepper/Red Bell Pepper-1 seeded

Olive oil-3 tbsp
Lemons-2 or 3 tbsp juice
Salt to taste,black pepper to taste.

Place the bulgur in a microwave safe bowl with double water and cook for 3-4 minutes, till it softens. If the bulgur is fine enough and you like it crunchy,just soak it in cold water for 5-10 minutes and squeeze out the excess water. Drain well and keep aside.
Finely chop the scallions, bell pepper and parsley into tiny pieces of similar size. The white part of the scallions has to be minced or chopped finely.
Place all the ingredients including the bulgur in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Add the lemon juice as needed based on its sourness. Taste and adjust the salt. Refrigerate and serve cold or at room temperature.

Related links:
Chicken Kababs
Griiled Gyro
Stuffed Eggplant
Spicy Hummus
White Bean Hummus


Sandeepa said...

I loved your way of spending a relaxed summer weekend. The salad looks colourful too

Sig said...

I just saw Bulgur burgers at Nandita's and here you have tabbouleh! Bulgur is the "It" ingredient for the month, eh? :D

That salad looks wonderful, here it is not that hot yet, but I totally agree, summer is not that great for our spicy curries.

Sukanya Ramkumar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Hay this salad looks colourful. Nice recipe...I love it.

indosungod said...

Lovely looking Salad Shaheen.

Anonymous said...

i hav no idea what a bulgar is..
it has to be some green leafy thingy, i guess...

Mallugirl said...

sandeepa, wait till ur daughter grows up a bit more. then u will be craving for some time.:)

i am going to nandita's right away. the burgers sound interesting.:)

Sukanya, do try it, it might become ur favorite salad.

Indo, thanks! how do u spend ur weekends?

Ki, Sorry da, forgot to add the info on bulgur. did so now. Its just a form of whole wheat, which adds some crunch to the salad.try this.

Meeta said...

This is just wonderful and perfect for the warmer weather.

Shaheen, sorry to leave this here but it seems you have not been receiving my mails. I have sent you many mails in the past few weeks. I am not too sure how to contact you so that is the reason I chose this method. Maybe my mails are landing in your spam folder but it is regarding the DT and many new changes.

Nabeela said...

oh I love the colors of your salad...I recently made tabbouleh too...but after refrigerating, I didn't like it was much better freshly prepared even though this salad is supposed to be served cold

reena said...

shaheen, you are right. summer means salads and cocktails for me :)):)). i wouldn't mind the grilled and spicy stuff if someone is there to cook for me though;);)

Revathi said...

thank u very muchfor ur comment !!! I somehow think bulgar is only for upma.. hmm will try this !!

Prema Sundar said...

what a colourful salad...haven't tried anything with bulgar...

Roopa said...

Thats a very nice colorfull salad

Mallugirl said...

Nabeela, I like it both ways, cold if it hot outside, warm if its cool around me.

Reena, having someone cook all the stuff does make it more appealing.:)but can't help it.No cocktails for me though. only mocktails.

Revathi, try it. bulgur is versatile. I haven't tried upma though!

Roopa, Prema, thanks!!

babli said...

I love the colorus in your tabouleh. Mine looks evergreen, cuz of too much parsley.Probably I should try your version with less of it.
Shah, you still owe me a call :)

jisha said...

this looks wonderful i will make it in this weekend itself..thank u shaheen

Mallugirl said...

Babli, hmm u are right. Will call u.send me ur no. again please.:)