Armenian bulgur salad (Itch)


Itch salad

You may be still in the throes of Winter where you are, but here in Lebanon Spring has arrived; the mountains are getting covered in wildflowers and fruit trees have started to show their blossoms. Winter was barely felt this year. 

This salad is extra flavorful and when I make it, I end up gobbling most of it; it has tomato, red pepper paste, pomegranate molasses and lots of herbs (plus peppers). It is hearty enough to be lunch, on its own. 

If you soak the bulgur in boiling water, you are already half-done. 

INGREDIENTS: 6 servings

  • 1 1/2 cups bulgur (coarse if possible) soaked in 3 cups of hot water
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 of each: red pepper, green pepper, yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • a few sprigs of mint or 1 Tbsp dry mint powder
  • 1 lb tomatoes or a can of tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp of red pepper paste (can use hot if you like)
  • 1 Tbsp of pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt, to taste


  1. Rinse the bulgur under running tap water and place in a bowl; soak in very hot water (or near boiling) for 30 minutes; the bulgur will swell up. Meanwhile, get the veggies ready. 
  2. Heat the oil and fry the onions for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, red pepper paste, cumin, pomegranate molasses and stir a bit to combine. Add the drained  bulgur and cook the mixture for a few minutes until the bulgur is done (soft and still chewy) and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the herbs, salt to taste, and serve at room temperature. 

flowering prune

fields of flowers

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  1. Posted March 11, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    My favorite dish with bulgur! Love the herbs, spices, pomegranate molasses in it. So flavorful and appetizing! I love to pair it with pickles. YUM!

  2. Posted March 11, 2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Oh, Lebanon must be beautiful in spring! This saladdis wonderful.



  3. Posted March 11, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    A beautiful salad to celebrate the arrival of spring.

  4. Nancy
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    i will try some today. so when do you add the red, green yellow peppers? do you add them with onions.. thanks

  5. Joumana
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    @Nancy: I added them raw at the end, but you can also fry them with the onion is you prefer.

  6. Posted March 11, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I love your beautiful photos! Lebanon looks like a gorgeous place! Your salad sounds amazing…the ingredients work so well together!

  7. Posted March 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    This dish looks very flavorful! I love my Turkish nar sauce! Spring is full swing here in Istanbul as well. Enjoy!

  8. Ed Habib
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Looks very good. With lent coming for the Eastern Orthodox this is something i will definately try

  9. Posted March 12, 2013 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    My family has been making Itch for years and it is one of my favorite lunch items, though I’ve never added pomegranate molasses. Sounds interesting!

  10. Posted March 12, 2013 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    What glorious spring photos! I know our spring will arrive soon but we still have plenty of snow on the ground to melt so I’ll have to enjoy spring vicariously through your shots.

    What a hearty and delicious salad!

  11. Posted March 12, 2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Doesn’t matter what the weather looks delicious!

  12. Posted March 13, 2013 at 3:48 am | Permalink

    Oh, I can just picture the beauty of spring blooming in the Lebanese mountains, after seeing what it looks like in places like Sicily and Mallorca…

  13. Sylvia
    Posted March 13, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    This is a refreshing spring salad that is so fresh,and so healthy. My family and I are major lovers of itch, For the ladies it is practically a staple at lunch. There are as many different ways to make itch salad, but as for me, I seem to like them all..

  14. Posted March 14, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Une délicieuse salade bien gourmande…

  15. Posted March 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    As always when I visit your blog there is something new and delicious looking to be added to my growing list of must try recipes.

  16. Sahar
    Posted May 18, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    I made this today. It was delicious :) Thank you for the recipe. Is the recipe’s name pronounced itch–as itch would be pronounced in English? Or is it pronounced eetch or something else?

  17. Joumana
    Posted May 18, 2014 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    @Sahar: I will ask an Armenian friend for the exact pronounciation and let you know; glad you liked it :)

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