Tabbouleh, also called tabouli, is a salad from Levant which is made of bulgur mixed with various types of seasonings. Seasonings for the dish usually include parsley, mint, spring onion, tomatoes along with lemon juice and olive oil. It is also known as ‘tabaouli’ or ‘tabouleh’.
History of Tabouli
Tabbouleh is known to have originated in the mountains of Lebanon and Syria. Edible herbs called qadb that are used in tabbouleh recipes even today, were eaten by Arabs since Medieval times. It is a part of the Arab food culture today, just as much as baba ghanouj, hummus and pita.
Here are the commonly used ingredients for the dish-
Bulgur: It is a cereal made from various species of wheat, commonly form durum wheat. It is a common element of food items in Middle East, Bulgaria and Greece. Salamouni is a variety of wheat from Mount Lebanon and Hawran region that is considered preferred wheat to make bulgur.
Parsley, Tomato, Mint, Spring onions, Lime juice and Olive oil make up the seasoning mix for Tabouli.
Method of Preparation
To prepare tabbouleh, bulgur is first treated with boiling water, after which it is drained and various seasonings are mixed into it. Seasonings used may vary from one recipe to another. The Lebanese recipe uses more parsley than bulgur in the dish.
It is served as a salad. It is served with lettuce as a part of the mezze (collection of small dishes in the Middle East, for lunch or dinner).
Popular Tabbouleh Variations
Tabbouleh is prepared in different ways in different parts of the world. Here are some examples-
Eetch is a dish from Armenia which has a closely similar recipe to Tabbouleh or tabaoli.
Kisir is a Turkish dish made of bulgur, tomatoes and parsley, which is very similar to tabaoli.
Tambouli is the variation from Cyprus, where the Lebanese are known to have introduced the dish.
Health and Nutrition Facts
Bulgur, the principal ingredient of the dish, is a rich source of fiber, protein and essential minerals. It is a filling ingredient that is low in calories and fat. Tabbouleh is hence a very healthy food option.