Bulgur and Chickpea Salad (Safsouf)

A rustic salad of simple flavours. This bulgar wheat recipe from the Arabesque cookbook lends itself to a delicious vegetarian side dish or as part of a feast.

From the book Arabesque
Claudia Roden


This rustic salad from the Bekaa Valley does not feature on the standard restaurant menu. It began originally as the leftover meatless filling for vine leaves. Make it with fine-ground bulgur.

Serves 6


200g fine-ground bulgur
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Juice of 2½-3 lemons
salt and black pepper
7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
A large bunch / about 250g of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
A large bunch / about 90g of mint, chopped


Soak the bulgur in plenty of cold water for 20 minutes until tender, then drain and squeeze out the excess water. In a bowl, mix the garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and oil. Soak the drained chickpeas in this for 10 minutes, then stir in the bulgur.

Chop the herbs finely and mix them in when you are ready to serve.

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