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
2 cup (10ounces) fine Bulghur
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 This Recipe
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.
I am always on the lookout for innovative recipes, which is why I am just ga-ga over my recently- discovered Food52 with its amazingly innovative and talented contributors. My particular eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, and cardamom.
I am also finally indulging in learning about food history; it gives me no end of delight to learn how and when globe artichokes came to the U.S., and how and when Jerusalem artichokes went from North America to Europe. And that the Americas enabled other cuisines to become glorious. I mean where would those countries be without: Corn, Tomatoes, Chiles,Peanuts, Dried Beans, Pecans, Jerusalem Artichokes??!
While I am an omnivore, I am, perhaps more than anything, fascinated by the the world of carbohydrates, particularly the innovative diversity of uses for beans, lentils and grains in South Indian and other cuisines.
Baking gives me much pleasure, and of all the things I wish would change in American food, it is that we would develop an appreciation for sweet foods that are not cloyingly sweet, and that contain more multigrains. (Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a country of great bakeries instead of the drek that we have in the U.S.?!)
I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me.
I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse write me and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.