Kisir (Kısır or qisir) is a traditional Turkish side dish made with bulgar, tomato paste, spices and some salad ingredients such as cucumber, onions and tomatoes. In my version, I’ve swapped the bulgar for quinoa to make it gluten-free whilst keeping a similar taste and texture. This dish has so much flavour – fresh herbs mixed with the warmth of the peppers and cooled down by the savoury quinoa and hydrating cucumber. It’s very moorish and makes the perfect side dish to serve with olives, falafel, flatbreads and dips.
I made this recipe as part of a ‘World on a Plate‘ challenge curated by Expedia. They asked me and a few other bloggers to create a recipe orginiating from Turkey and supplied us with a lovely hamper of “Turkish delights”! I love Turkish cuisine so this challenge really suited my taste buds and reignited my desire to travel to Istanbul some day…
- 340 g / 2 cups dry quinoa
- 1 litre / 4 cups water
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp chili paste
- 1 bunch salad onions, finely chopped
- 1 small white onion, finely chopped
- 1 to mato, chopped
- 1 small cucumber, chopped into small chunks
- 1 red chili pepper, finely chopped (use more if you want more spice)
- 1 tbsp pomegranate syrup
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- 2 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil, or ordinary olive oil and 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
- Black pepper, to taste
- Rinse the quinoa well and add to a pot with the water. Cook on a low heat for approximately 20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed by the quinoa.
- Stir in the tomato and chili paste and leave the quinoa to absorb any excess liquid for a few minutes.
- Mix in the rest of the ingredients with a fork to keep the quinoa nice and fluffy.
- Serve at room temperature. This salad can be kept for up to 2 days, covered, in the refrigerator.
More Turkish delights: