Tomato Bulgar Salad aka tablay or eech (pronounced “itch”) is a recipe that my mother learned from an Armenian friend when she was younger.
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This salad pairs so perfectly with meats and fish or just on its own. It’s flavors seem so complex, I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make. A lot of people compare this to tabbouleh but I don’t see the similarity at all. Tabbouleh is 90% parsley and 10% bulgar. This is 90% bulgar and 3% parsley. This has rich flavors of tomato paste and cumin, all which are not available in a traditional tabbouleh salad. Tabbouleh is tart, the more lemons the better. You should cringe from the level of acidity in a tabbouleh salad. Tablay is not tart at all but instead warmer with deeper flavors.
When my mom makes this, she pulls out a large baking sheet. All the ingredients get kneaded on this baking sheet and then left to absorb together. The first time I made it, I immediately reached for a baking sheet as well. I have yet to find out why a bowl isn’t used. But thats just how its done in our house.
I found some recipes online that say to cook the onions and tomatos before adding the bulgar but my mothers friends version is all made off stove. The bulgar should be soaked in water first but the fact that you don’t need to put it on the stove makes it 10 times easier to whip this up. The best part is this taste even better as leftovers. So make it the day before and serve it the next day.
Purple cabbage is typically served with it and used to scoop up the salad. I find that spoons are less messy for a large group and I like to just garnish with purple cabbage. Enjoy your new favorite salad.
Other great salads that have become staples in my home are the arugula avocado couscous salad which my friend shared with me and this fattoush salad which my mother is famous for. The tomato bulgar salad aka tablay is great served alongside this quinoa crusted chicken or chicken shish tawook.
This hearty salad is a refreshing yet cozy salad that works great as a side dish as well. Filled with rich flavors of pomegranate molasses and olive oil this salad is an addicting one that will quickly become a favorite. It stores well in the fridge which makes it a great make ahead salad!
- 1 cup bulgar #1
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon dry mint
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons red onion or white onion diced real small
- 1 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup diced fresh tomato
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
Soak bulgar #1 for roughly 20 minus (do not oversoak because then the bulgar becomes too mushy)
After you soak and drain the bulgar add tomato paste, cumin, dry mint (substitute with fresh mint if dry mint is not handy), salt & pepper to taste, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, and onions
* optional If you want it more on the spicy side add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne or crushed red pepper
Knead it all together for roughly 5 minutes so flavors get real emulsified
Add chopped fresh parsley and diced tomato
Adjust flavor to taste (pomegranate molasses or lemon etc)
add olive oil at the very end
- make sure to take care of all the kneading before adding the parsley and tomato. If you knead after you add the tomato, the tomato will become very mushy. So add the tomato right at the very end right before you add the olive oil