The tabbouleh [التبّولة] pronounced tabboulé or tabbouleh in Syrian dialect (well it depends on the cities, there are some who will pronounce it tabbouli, in any case we double the “b”) is a salad of parsley (mainly), bulgur, fresh mint and tomatoes, all generously seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice. And you can add new onion to it.
So much for the explanation of what is the REAL tabbouleh: the aromatic, the fresh, the vitamin (vitamin C especially, contained in parsley, tomato and lemon), the good for health! Nothing to do with the French name which concerns a vulgar “salad” (if we can call it a salad …) consisting of 90% couscous, and which does not contain a single sprig of parsley!
your guide for a traditional tabbouleh
Some rules to make a traditional Levantine tabbouleh (Levantine because it does not belong only to Lebanon ;-), it is also Syrian!):
- The dominant color should be green (more parsley & mint than bulgur & tomatoes).
- Use flat parsley because it is more aromatic than curly and more pleasant in the mouth!
- No couscous but bulgur and we do not cook it! Bulgur (bourghol برغل) is cooked, dried and crushed wheat. Fine bulgur is used, so just let it swell in a liquid. The best is to do it directly in olive oil and lemon juice, the flavor of bulgur will be better than when it has swollen in water.
Authentic Syrian Tabbouleh
Here’s how the Syrian tabbouleh is made, which is the most famous and distinctive taste, as follows:
Mix the chopped parsley with the chopped mint after washing thoroughly.
Soak the bulgur in the water, set aside for 15 minutes, then wash and drain from the water.
Add tomatoes, cucumbers and onions to the bulgur, as well as parsley and mint.
Add lemon juice, spring onions, salt and pepper, and mix all ingredients well.
Gradually add olive oil to the previous mixture and place it in a serving dish after decorating it with lettuce leaves.