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Author Notes: I think of this as a very unusual dish because the tabouleh is saturated with tomato paste, cumin and tamarind in a way I have not seen elsewhere. This recipe comes from Rudee's, a Boston food shop that folded some 25 years ago. . They called it Bazergahn. In my catering business, I called it Mexican Tabooli because of all the cumin and tomato. We served it as a spread w/ taco chips . It is unlike other tabouleh salads because it is bound together by a creamy emulsion of tomato paste, oil and spices. Very addictive, but healthy! Its flavorings resemble those in the Armenian dish, Ech (each) but I haven't found any Bazergahn recipes. —LE BEC FIN
Makes 6 cups
- 2 cup (10ounces) fine Bulghur
- Hot water
- 1/4 Cup Minced Onion (by hand)
- 6 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 8 ounces Tomato Sauce (canned)
- 1 Tablespoon Tamarind Paste* dissolved in hot water
- 4 teaspoon finely ground Toasted Cumin
- ½ teaspoon Cayenne
- kosher salt and pepper
- ½ cup Canola Oil
- ½- 1 cup toasted Pinenuts
- 1 cup Minced Flat Parsley(that has been first soaked and dried )
- In a large bowl, cover bulghur with hot water by 1". Soak ½-1 hour or until all water is absorbed. Pour out any remaining liquid. Squeeze some bulghur in your fist. If liquid results, squeeze it by handfuls to remove extra liquid. (You don't want to end up with soupy bazergahn.)
- Add a little HOT water to tamarind paste and work it with your finger til it dissolves/ blends with the water. Whisk to blend all wet ingredients and spices, whisking in oil at the end. Add this mixture to the bulghur. Adjust seasoning. You might like more cayenne, cumin or salt. Add onion, pinenuts and parsley.
- *The tamarind is essential . The only kind to use comes from an Indian store. It is a very thick paste (like tar) in a red lidded plastic jar with a red and yellow label. Don't use the block form, or the Indonesian loose kind, which are both very different. Tamarind is the acidic taste equivalent to lemon juice but you don't have to refrigerate it. ( I've not tried this, but I bet you could substitute it with some amount of 'Pomegranate molasses'.) Storage: I don't recommend freezing the bazergahn because the texture gets weird mushy. It has a refrigerated shelf life of 1-2 weeks.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Appetizer to Share with Friends
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for Lettuce-Free Salad