This dish is one of my favourite discoveries of the Beirut trip. A number of people told us that we had to have Armenian food while we were there. Armenians have lived in Lebanon for centuries and many now live in the Bourj Hammoud neighbourhood of Beirut.
I did not know what to expect at all as we headed out to Seza, except that the food will be spicier than Lebanese food. It was truly a wonderful meal, the service was delightfully friendly and of course the highlight of the evening was discovering new dishes like Basterma (cured meat), Kibbeh (raw meat), Boerek Maison (cheese pies), Manti (dumplings in yoghurt) and Itch (Bulgur Salad).
Armenians prefer to used Bulgur (cracked wheat) in preference to maize and rice. Bulgur also appears in Lebanon’s famous salad Tabbouleh. When researching recipes for the salad as well as for the tabbouleh, I saw that Bulgur comes in 4 grades of courseness but the only packets I have managed to find locally has not had any reference to the grade. The recipe I have used comes from The Gutsy Gourmet and I liked the idea of the bulgur cooking in the tomato sauce instead of letting it cook in boiling water as this way would really intensify the flavour. The recipe called for a quarter cup lemon juice but I find tinned tomatoes quite sour so I suggest tasting the sauce before adding the lemon to see if it needs more acidity.