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Flickr - cyclonebill - Tabbouleh.jpg
Place of originLebanon and Syria
Region or stateLevant, Middle East
Serving temperatureCold
Main ingredientsParsley, tomato, bulgur, onion, olive oil, lemon juice, salt
VariationsPomegranate seeds instead of tomato

Tabbouleh (Arabic: تبولة‎, romanizedtabbūla; also tabouleh, tabbouli, tabouli, or taboulah) is a Levantine salad made mostly of finely chopped parsley, with tomatoes, mint, onion, bulgur (soaked, not cooked), and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and sweet pepper. Some variations add lettuce, or use semolina instead of bulgur.[1][2]

Tabbouleh is traditionally served as part of a mezze in the Arab world. Its popularity has grown in Western cultures.[3]


The Levantine Arabic tabbūle is derived from the Arabic word tābil from the Aramaic root word t-b-l, meaning "seasoning"[4][5] or more literally "dip". Use of the word in English first appeared in the 1950s.[4]


Edible herbs known as qaḍb[6] formed an essential part of the Arab diet in the Middle Ages. Dishes like tabbouleh attest to their continued popularity in Middle Eastern cuisine today.[7] Originally from the mountains of Lebanon and Syria,[8] tabbouleh has become one of the most popular salads in the Middle East.[9] The wheat variety salamouni cultivated in the Beqaa Valley region in Lebanon, was considered (in the mid-19th century) as particularly well-suited for making bulgur, a basic ingredient of tabbouleh.[10] In Lebanon, the Lebanese National Tabbouleh Day is a yearly festivity day dedicated to Tabbouleh. Since 2001, it is celebrated the first Saturday of the month of July.[11]

Regional variations

In the Middle East, particularly Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq, it is usually served as part of a meze. The Syrian and the Lebanese use more parsley than bulgur wheat in their dish.[12] A Turkish variation of the dish known as kısır,[9] and a similar Armenian dish known as eetch use far more bulgur than parsley. Another ancient variant is called terchots. In Cyprus, where the dish was introduced by the Lebanese, it is known as tambouli. In the Dominican Republic, a local version introduced by Syrian and Lebanese immigrants is called Tipile.[13] It is also popular in Israel on regular and holiday occasions.[14]

Like Hummus, Baba Ghanoush, Pita bread, and other elements of Arab cuisine, tabbouleh has become a popular food in the United States.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Sami Zubaida, "National, Communal and Global Dimensions in Middle Eastern Food Cultures" in Sami Zubaida and Richard Tapper, A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East, London and New York, 1994 and 2000, ISBN 1-86064-603-4, p. 35, 37; Claudia Roden, A Book of Middle Eastern Food, p. 86; Anissa Helou, Oxford Companion to Food, s.v. Lebanon; Maan Z. Madina, Arabic-English Dictionary of the Modern Literary Language, 1973, s.v. تبل
  2. ^ Oxford Companion to Food, s.v. tabbouleh
  3. ^ a b Zelinsky, 2001 p. 118.
  4. ^ a b Mark Morton (2004). Cupboard Love: A Dictionary of Culinary Curiosities (2nd ed.). Insomniac Press. p. 302. ISBN 978-1-894663-66-3. tabbouleh dictionary meaning.
  5. ^ "Aramæische Pflanzennamen / Von Immanuel Löw mit Unterstützung der K. Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien". 1881. Retrieved 2021-06-30.
  6. ^ "Tabouli Parsley and Bulgur Salad". Arousing Appetites. Arousing Appetites.
  7. ^ Wright, 2001, p. xxi.
  8. ^ Madison Books, ed. (2007). 1,001 Foods to Die For. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-7407-7043-2.
  9. ^ a b Basan, 2007, p. 180-181.
  10. ^ Nabhan, 2008, pp. 77-78.
  11. ^ A Complete Insiders Guide to Lebanon. Edition Souk el Tayeb Press. December 2008, pp 266-267.
  12. ^ Wright, 2001, p. 251. "In the Arab world, tabbouleh (tabbūla) is a salad usually made as part of the mazza table (p xx) especially in Syria, Lebanon and Israel."
  13. ^ Brown, Isabel Zakrzewski (1999). Culture and Customs of the Dominican Republic. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 56. ISBN 9780313303142.
  14. ^ Degutiene, Nida (2015-08-18). A Taste of Israel – From classic Litvak to modern Israeli. Penguin Random House South Africa. ISBN 978-1-4323-0654-0.