Turkish Spiced Bulgur (Kısır)

Kısır is a traditional, home-cooked Turkish side dish.  It’s made of fine bulgur (chopped, hulled wheat kernels), which are high in fiber and protein and low in fat.  After trying kisir and one other Turkish dish (Şakşuka), I fell in love with Turkish cuisine, and insisted Deniz get Turkish recipes from his mom.  Below is Deniz’ mom’s kisir recipe with a few modifications to add depth of flavor.

Turkish Spiced Bulgur (Kısır)

Kisir is a savory bulgur salad that can be a snack or a side dish
Whether you eat it as a side or a snack, this savory bulgur salad is here to satisfy your hunger


  • c of fine #1 bulgur
  • 3 c boiling water
  • 2 Knorr vegetarian bullion cubes
  • T of tomato paste
  • T of red pepper paste*
  • ½ t paprika
  • ½ T of lemon juice
  • ½ T of sumac optional
  • 1 dash cayenne to your hotness liking
  • ½ c olive oil more can be added to liking
  • 1 bunch parsley thick stems chopped off, and chopped finely
  • 1 bunch scallions chopped
  • 1 Persian or ½ Japanese cucumber chopped
  • 2 small tomato (or 1 large tomato) chopped and with a few sprinkles of salt mixed in
  • ½ c walnuts optional


  • Put the bulgur in a container and even it out so it's level in the container.
  • Dissolve the vegetable stock cubes in the boiling water in a separate container.
  • Pour the vegetable stock into the bulgur.  Mix well.  Cover the container and leave for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, fluff the bulgur with a fork.
  • Add the remaining ingredients except for the herbs/veggies/nuts and mix well until uniform.
  • Add the herbs/veggies/nuts last and stir to combine.


*Don't use Asian chili paste.  Red pepper paste can be substituted with tomato paste if you can't find it.
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