Have you tried Tabouli salad-Tabbouleh? This classic Middle Eastern dish is popular in Greece and worldwide with its fresh and flavorful taste. Tabouli has lots of chopped parsley, mint, tomatoes, shallots, pomegranate, bulgur wheat, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil. It is a colorful and vibrant salad that is both healthy and delicious.

If you love this Tabouleh, you will also love this Horiatiki-Greek tomato cucumber salad,  Maroulosalata-Lettuce salad, or Cauliflower-Broccoli salad!

Tabouli Salad-Tabbouleh in a yellow bowl on a table, at the back lettuce leaves, a lemon  and pita bread.

Why this recipe sings

  • It is good for you. Our tabouli salad is full of fresh, lovely ingredients with high nutritional value.
  • It is easy. Tabouli is ready in less than 30 minutes.
  • It is delicious. This vibrant, fresh Middle Eastern salad is proof that food doesn’t need to be complicated to taste good. Our recipe the cookbook Jerusalem from Israeli-born British chef Yotam Ottolenghi and Palestinian chef Sami Tamimi.
  • It is the perfect side dish. Enjoy it with grilled fish and meat, or as part of a lovely family style dinner.

Where is tabouli-tabbouleh from?

Tabbouleh is also called taboulehtabboulitabouli. It is believed that tabbouleh originates from Lebanon and Syria, however, it has become such an integral part of Palestinian heritage that its true origin is often forgotten. A well-made tabbouleh consists of an ample amount of fresh flat-leaf parsley and mint, carefully hand-shredded to prevent bruising. It is then mixed with some tomato and al dente bulgur wheat. The proportions of parsley to bulgur may vary depending on the region. Lebanese tabbouleh has the least amount of bulgur, while the Palestinians add a bit more. It is important to note that this dish is essentially a parsley salad and not a bulgur salad. The other ingredients should be added carefully to maintain the perfect balance of flavors.

What is baharat seasoning?

There are almost endless spice blends available in Middle Eastern cuisine, each varying in accordance with the local tastes, spice availability, and intended use. The ‘Baharat’ spice blend, which translates to ‘spices’ in Arabic, is an excellent choice for seasoning meats, fish, stews, and various pulse and grain dishes. It is a blend of cumin, cloves, coriander, all spice, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg.


Here is what you need

In front of a window on a table are bunches of parsley, a bowl with bulgur wheat, tomatoes, a lemon, pomegranate seeds and mint.
  • Fine bulgur wheat. If you cannot find finely ground bulgur wheat or if the package doesn’t specify the grade, you can soak it in boiling water for a few minutes, then drain it and let it dry in a fine sieve.
  • Tomatoes. Ripe but firm tomatoes are best.
  • Shallots. Substitute with spring onions.
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley. Lots of it! Like Yotam and Sami say, this dish is essentially a parsley salad and not a bulgur salad.
  • Fresh mint. Substitute with fresh spearmint.
  • Fresh lemon juice.
  • Extra virgin olive oil. This salad deserves the best extra virgin you can afford.
  • Pomegranate kernels. My favorite part in this salad. I love these jewel like seeds, they add a sweet fresh surprise bite.
  • Baharat blend, all spice and sea salt and black pepper

Baharat spice blend

Baharat spice blend is so fragrant and ads so much flavor to salads, meat marinades and grains. Consider making your own and store it in a sealed jar for up to eight weeks.

I highly recommend using in a spice grinder for making this blend. If you’re using a pestle and mortar, you may want to use ground cardamom instead of pods, as the latter can be difficult to grind by hand.

  • One teaspoon of black peppercorns*
  • One teaspoon of coriander seeds
  • One small cinnamon stick, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon whole cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • Two teaspoons of cumin seeds
  • One teaspoon of cardamom pods
  • ½ whole nutmeg, grated

Place all the spices in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind until they are a fine powder—Store Baharat seasoning in an airtight container for eight weeks.

*Please see the recipe card for ground measurements

How to make tabouli

Bulgur wheat in a sieve and water running on it.

Place the bulgur wheat in a fine sieve and put under running cold tap water to remove most of the starch. Transfer to a bowl.

Two images. Left chopped tomatoes on a cutting board, right, chopped parsley on a cutting board and a big knife.
  • Dice the tomatoes into 0.5cm pieces and add to the bowl, along with their juices. Finally chop the shallots and add to the bowl.
  • With a large, sharp knife trim off the end of the parsley stalks.Take a couple stalks of parsley, pack them together tightly and chop as finely as possible. Do the same with the remaining stems and leaves. Go over the chopped parsley again if you need to. Add the chopped parsley to the bowl.
  • Chop the mint leaves as finely as the parsley and add to the bowl.
Two hands juicing a half a lemon with a juicer over a tabouli salad, in a kitchen.

Finally stir in the allspice, baharat seasoning, lemon juice to taste, olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve at room temperature.

Partial close view of a tabouli salad and a hand holding a lettuce leaf filled with salad.

How to eat tabouli

Tabouli Salad-Tabbouleh in a yellow bowl and above it a hand holding a lettuce leaf filled with salad

A traditional way to enjoy tabbouleh is by serving it with small cos lettuce leaves for scooping. You can lay them out on a platter at the beginning of a meal and allow everyone to help themselves. In Greece, tabbouli is served as part of a meze spread as it pairs well with most meat and fish dishes. Pair with our souvlaki, chicken chops, meatballs, or traditional lemon chicken. You may also want to serve a tzatziki sauce, fried calamari, and our homemade pita bread.

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Tabouli Salad-Tabbouleh in a yellow bowl on a table.

Tabouli Salad-Tabbouleh

by Jenny | The Greek Foodie
Tabouli salad-Tabbouleh is a classic Middle Eastern dish with parsley, tomato, lemon and bulgur wheat. It is healthy and utterly delicious.
5 from 10 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Course Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine Lebanese, Palestinian
Servings 4
Calories 241 kcal

Equipment

  • sharp chef's knife

Ingredients
  

  • 2 oz bulgur wheat 60 grams
  • 2 tomatoes large ripe and firm, 1⅓ cup / 300g
  • 1 shallot
  • 4 bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley ⅔ cup chopped packed / 160g
  • 2 bunches fresh mint ¼ cup chopped packed /30g
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 teaspoon baharat seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Baharat spice blend

  • 1 teaspoon whole black pepper 1¼ teaspoons ground black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds 1¼ teaspoons ground coriander 
  • 1 small cinnamon stick ⅓ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 cloves ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds 2½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom pods ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ whole nutmeg 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground all spice

Instructions
 

  • Place the bulgur wheat in a fine sieve and put under running cold tap water to remove most of the starch. Transfer to a bowl.
    2 oz bulgur wheat
  • Dice the tomatoes into 0.5cm pieces and add to the bowl, along with their juices.
    Chop the shallots and add to the bowl.
    2 tomatoes 1 shallot
  • With a large, sharp knife trim off the end of the parsley stalks.T
    ake a couple stalks of parsley, pack them together tightly and chop as finely as possible. Do the same with the remaining stems and leaves.
    Go over the chopped parsley again if you need to. Add the chopped parsley to the bowl.
    4 bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Chop the mint leaves as finely as the parsley and add to the bowl. 
    2 bunches fresh mint
  • Finally stir in the pomegranate seeds, allspice, baharat seasoning, lemon juice to taste, olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve at room temperature.
    ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds 1 teaspoon ground allspice 1 teaspoon baharat seasoning 4 tablespoons lemon juice ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil sea salt freshly ground pepper

Baharat seasoning

  • Place all the spices in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind until they are a fine powder.
    Alternatively place the ground versions of the spices in a jar, cover and shake well.
    Store baharat seasoning in an airtight container for 8 weeks.

Nutrition

Calories: 241kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 3gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gSodium: 8mgPotassium: 289mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 602IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 1mg
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Tabouli Salad-Tabbouleh Recipe

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