My wife and I love to travel and try exotic foods. Whilst this recipe is probably far from the original or real dishes of North Africa and the Middle East, it does remind us of our trip stay in Marrakech. The tabouli is great served by itself as a wonderfully fresh and lively alternative to a leaf based salad to accompany other dishes and goes particularly well with barbeques. The addition of the Moroccan spiced lamb and the houmous makes this salad a healthy and balanced meal in it's own right.
There are no set proportions for this dish as tastes vary. Experiment a bit and see what you like the best and adjust to taste as you go.
To prepare the bulghur wheat add around 1/4 cup per serving to a bowl with enough boiling water to cover. Season with salt & pepper, pour in a generous "glug" of olive oil, and some lemon juice. Mix this all together, then cover with cling film, and set aside (overnight is best) and chill.
Remove the bulghur wheat from the fridge and fluff with a fork and trasfer to a larger bowl. Chop plenty of parsely, it can be either flat leaf or curled (and don't chop it too fine; this is a rustic dish!).
De-seed some tomatoes (about 1 decent sized tomato per person) and a healthy portion of cucumber (about 6-7cm per person), and chop into approximately 1cm chunks. Dice the red onion finely. Add the parsley, tomato, cucumber and red onion to the bulghur wheat. Add a little more olive oil and lemon, seasoning with salt & pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly.
The lamb should be rubbed down with a spice rub. My wife and I were lucky enough to pick up some Moroccan garam marsala in the souk in Marrakech, but shop bought Morrocan spice mix will do just as well. Best if left for 30 minutes or so after rubbing, and then barbeque on a high heat until cooked medium. Stand aside to rest for 5 minutes and then slice thinly.
Optional Mint & Cucumber Yoghurt Dressing. Chop mint coarsely, and de-seeded cucumber finely.
Very finely dice about half a clove of garlic. Add these to some natural yoghurt with lemon juice to taste.
Tips from the author
To serve make a ring of the tabouli in a shallow bowl. Place a mound of houmous in the cenre and lay the slices of lamb over the Tabouli. The yoghurt dressing is optional, but can be spooned over the top of the lamb, and is a re-freshing addition. The Tabouli can also be used as a seperate salad on its own to accompany other dishes. It goes particularly well with barbeques.