Turkish Kısır Recipe // Do All Things With Love

As most of you know, Onur is Turkish. I am attempting to learn Turkish (Türkçe) which is challenging. I’m also trying to learn how to cook Turkish cuisine, but he happens to be an amazing chef, so usually I get kicked out of the kitchen pretty quickly. However, he agreed to let me try to document one of the many dishes he makes that he makes without a recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 Persian cucumbers (pickles will work if you can’t find persian cucumbers)
  • 2 to 3 red tomatoes
  • [Optional] spicy green pepper (Onur called this a ‘turkish bell pepper’, which he hasn’t been able to find in the states)
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp red pepper sauce (Ajvar)
  • 2 1/2 cups water or broth
  • 2 cups fine bulgur (#1)
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh italian parsley
  • Green onions
  • Fresh mint
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Romaine lettuce for serving

Directions:

  1. Finely dice the onion, sauté in a large pan using 2 Tbs olive oil on med-low heat.
  2. Dice or garlic press the garlic cloves, add to the large pan with the onions.
    Turkish Kısır Recipe // Do All Things With Love20131008-180343.jpg
  3. Once garlic and onions are translucent, add tomato paste and red pepper sauce (Ajvar), increase heat to med and stir for 1 minute.
  4. Add broth or water (your choice), increase to med-high and bring to a boil.
  5. After the liquid boils, turn off stove.
    Turkish Kısır Recipe // Do All Things With LoveTurkish Kısır Recipe // Do All Things With Love
  6. Pour bulgur into a large bowl, add liquid and mix until all the bulgur is saturated. Cover, and let the bulgur rest for 20 minutes or so. After 20 minutes, taste it, if the grain is too hard, add more water and let sit an additional 10 minutes.
    Turkish Kısır Recipe // Do All Things With Love
  7. While bulgur is resting, finely chop about 1/2 cup italian parsley, five green onion stalks, and four mint leaves.
  8. You can chop and add a spicy green pepper if desired (making sure to remove all seeds).
    Turkish Kısır Recipe // Do All Things With Love
  9. Chop persian cucumbers (we were using pickles instead) and tomatos but cutting only the tomato exterior off for use, discarding the liquidy center.Turkish Kısır Recipe // Do All Things With LoveTurkish Kısır Recipe // Do All Things With Love
  10. Add all chopped items to the now-saturated bulgur, squeeze the juice of one lemon over the bulgur and mix.
  11. Pour lots of olive oil over the bulgur. Use one turkish teacups worth (not helpful, I know…) Onur thinks maybe around 2/3 cup?Turkish Kısır Recipe // Do All Things With LoveTurkish Kısır
  12. Season: use only a little bit of salt, black pepper to taste, paprika, little bit of oregano, and dried mint. Mix, and serve with lettuce leaves.
Dinner is served! Kısır, lentil soup and whole wheat pita bread. All homemade!

Dinner is served! Kısır, lentil soup and whole wheat pita bread. All homemade!

After writing this up, I did find this recipe posted by a turkish PhD candidate (who is also at Stanford!) and she also did a really nice job writing a kısır recipe a few years ago.

Also, if you want to really get into a Turkish mood, drink some çay (tea) and watch some soap operas while you cook! It’s a hilarious way to learn a language.

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