Bulgur salad with tomatoes and herbs ( Kammoonet al-banadoora)


A fellow  taxi driver in Beirut was describing the kammooneh (from kammoon, cumin) and talking about his village in the south, near the border with Israel. He was  mentioning the delicious cumin spice that goes in that dish. My curiosity  was piqued  and I was planning to try it. Luck would have it that  Dana, from Plano, Texas, who was reading this blog, told me that she too is originally from the south and she shared her family’s recipe with me. Thanks so much Dana and I hope you approve of my version!  I tried to stay close to yours but could not resist adding some red pepper to it, as was indicated in Marlene Mattar’s book, as well as some fresh basil.

This salad is delicious: it is light, moist, fragrant with herbs and the taste of tomatoes and onion, with a nice zing from the hot pepper and cumin. A perfect  appetizer for a summer evening. I followed Dana’s suggestion and served it with a dish of labneh, pita bread and olives. My son, who is vegan, loved it and I was happy.

INGREDIENTS: This quantity will yield up to 8 servings

  • 2 pounds (1 kilo) of heirloom or vine tomatoes
  • 1 cup of fine bulgur or burghul#1
  • 1 bunch of green onions or 1 medium white onion
  • 1 cup of fresh basil (about 2 ounces), a handful of fresh mint,  about 4 tablespoons of fresh marjoram,
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (optional)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 red chili pepper or 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Spices: white pepper, cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon each. 1 teaspoon paprika. 2 tablespoons ground cumin. Salt, to taste.
  • Cabbage or lettuce  or grape leaves to serve the kammoone (optional)


  1. Peel and chop and seed the tomatoes and set aside in a bowl.
  2. Chop the red pepper and chili  pepper and set aside.
  3. Cover the bulgur in water briefly and drain, pressing with a spatula to remove the excess moisture.
  4. Chop the green onions and set aside.
  5. In a food processor, place the fresh herbs, onion, bulgur and spices. Process for a few seconds.
  6. Add the tomatoes, red pepper and chili pepper. Process a few seconds more.
  7. Through the feed tube, add the olive oil.
  8. Taste for seasoning. Set the mixture aside for a couple hours, so that the bulgur has a chance to absorb all the spices. Refrigerate if not serving right away.
  9. When ready to serve, blanch a cabbage in boiling water for a few minutes. Cool and cut in half. Take one leaf and set a few tablespoons of kammoone on each leaf. Serve as an appetizer or in a bowl with some olives, pita bread and labneh or cheese. Sahteyn!




















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  1. Posted September 29, 2009 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM,……..what a marvelous meal!!!

  2. Joumana
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Thanks Sophie! I do hope you try it someday!

  3. Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Looks delicious – reminds me of a similiar Turkish spread called Acuka.
    Nice blog! Will be back often!

  4. Joumana
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much!

  5. Dana
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Sahtein, Joumana! Glad that your son liked the recipe. My mom adds red pepper and a rind of orange when preparing koument banadoora as well :-)


  6. Joumana
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    A rind of orange? What a great idea! I think it is a great combination.

  7. Posted November 17, 2009 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    I cannot stop reading all these recipes. This one sounds so, so, good.

  8. Posted April 24, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    this is a very tasty dish, unfortunately my husband is not a great fan of cumin,
    and I love it extra in my food.

    very good as a mezza with Arak .

  9. Moudi
    Posted January 2, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink


    I made this two days ago and didn’t have all the ingredients, so I substituted a few ingredients of my own.

    Anyhow, it came out really spicy, what can I do to tone it down? I dont want to throw it away.

  10. Joumana
    Posted January 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    @Moudi: you can add yogurt; also some diced cucumbers if you have some; make it into a kishke. That should take care of it.

  11. Moudi
    Posted January 3, 2011 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much Joumana!

    I just made manoushi and it is wonderful! for a starving lebanese student that has never cooked before coming upon your website, this is the best blessing of the year. My partner loves the food, and thanks to you, we are now enjoying a manouchi!

  12. Joumana
    Posted January 3, 2011 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    @Moudi: So glad, you actually made my evening! :)

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