Tabbouleh; also (tabouleh or tab(b)ouli) is an Arabian vegetarian dish (sometimes considered a salad) traditionally made of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, bulgur and onion, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Some variations add garlic or lettuce, or use couscous instead of bulgur.
Tabbouleh is traditionally served as part of a mezze in the Arab world. Variations of it are made by Turks and Armenians, and it has become a popular ethnic food in Western cultures.
The Levantine Arabic tabbūle is derived from the Arabic word taabil, meaning seasoning. Use of the word in English first appeared in the 1950s
To the Arabs, edible herbs known as qaḍb formed an essential part of their diet in the Middle Ages, and dishes like tabbouleh attest to their continued popularity in Middle Eastern cuisine today. Originally from the mountains of Jordan , Syria and Lebanon, tabbouleh has become one of the most popular salads in the Middle East. In Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, the wheat variety salamouni cultivated in the region around Mount Lebanon, Beqaa Valley and Baalbek was considered (in the mid-19th century) as particularly well-suited for making bulgur, a basic ingredient of tabbouleh.
Tabbouleh and other vegetable-based mezze dishes popular in Syria were mocked by Baghdadi women and cooks when they were first introduced to them, because they were seen as being a means to scrimp on the use of meat.
In the Middle East, particularly Syria, Lebanon and Jordan it is usually served as part of a meze, with romaine lettuce. The Lebanese use more parsley than bulgur wheat in their dish. A Turkish variation of the dish is known as kısır, while a similar Armenian dish is known as eetch. In Cyprus, where the dish was introduced by the Lebanese, it is known as tambouli. In the Dominican Republic, a local version introduced by Lebanese immigrants is called Tipile.
Like hummus, baba ghanouj, pita and other elements of Arab cuisine, tabbouleh has become a popular “American ethnic food”.