Vegetables have yet to take centre stage in Arabic restaurants. One of those is Tabbouleh. It is a Levantine salad dish made of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint with bulgur (or couscous), onion. It is seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. This dish is very popular in Arab countries and personally, I’ve discovered it during my working years in Qatar. Simple, healthy and low in calories. In Lebanon, they traditionally serve in leaves of lettuce.
Together with the traditional Arabic sauce, it is one of my favourite side dishes!
“Edible herbs known as qaḍb formed an essential part of the Arab diet in the Middle Ages. Dishes like tabbouleh attest to their continued popularity in Middle Eastern cuisine today. Originally from the mountains of Lebanon and Syria. Tabbouleh has become one of the most popular salads in the Middle East. The wheat variety salamouni cultivated in the region around Mount Lebanon, Beqaa Valley and Baalbek. In the mid-19th century, it was as particularly well-suited for making bulgur, a basic ingredient of tabbouleh.
Tabbouleh and other vegetable-based mezze dishes popular in Syria were mocked by Baghdadi women. (Source Wikipedia)
Tabouleh needs a lot of chopping, that a fact. Before start chopping your ingredients, it advisable to use chilled Veggies. The only difficulty is the chopping. You need to chop them into very thin pieces. Blending the veggies in a blender is not advisable.
The Best Traditional Lebanese Tabouleh
- 100 grams chopped parsley
- 5 Tbsp chopped mint
- 1 Tbsp bulgur
- 1 small cucumber
- 2 Tbsp warm water
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 60 grams olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tomato
- 1 piece of lettuce
- Mix Bulgur with water and keep aside for 30 minutes.
- Cut the tomatoes and cucumber in half, remove the seeds and drain them.
- Cut the tomatoes and cucumbers into very small pieces.
- Chop the parsley and mint into very small pieces and keep them aside.
- Put the chopped vegetables in a bowl and mix well.
- Add the bulgur and mix again.
- Add the lemon, salt, pepper and mix well.
- Place Tabouleh in the piece of lettuce and serve.