Syrian bulgur salad (Bazergan)
Makes 2 1/2 cups
Looking for something different? This salad is unusual but be careful, it's addictive. P.s., it's also healthy, so no guilt.
It's hard to find this salad already prepared, even in a Middle Eastern grocery store. It's a pity. It is from Syrian Jewish cuisine, traditionally eaten with other small plates (mezze.) Assertively spiced with cumin and seasoned with tangy tamarind, bazergan makes a terrific appetizer with pita bread, or as a sandwich in a pita pocket with cucumber and sliced tomatoes. Once you’ve tasted it, you will want to keep eating it until every last grain has disappeared.
1 cup medium-grind bulgur
1 cup water
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon Maras or Aleppo pepper, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (for garnish)
1. In a medium bowl, stir the bulgur and water together. Let soak for 10 minutes. Set a strainer over a bowl. Pour the soaked bulgur into the strainer to drain excess water.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the cumin, sugar, salt, Maras pepper and black pepper until combined. Add the tomato paste, tamarind concentrate, lemon juice, oil and onion. Stir well to combine. Stir in the drained bulgur.
3. Set aside for at least one hour to let flavors mingle. Mound the bazergan in a shallow bowl and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with pita wedges or chips. Store leftovers in the refrigerator