Did Genghis Khan’s Soldiers Eat Tabbouleh?

Did Genghis Khan’s Soldiers Eat Tabbouleh?

One of Genghis Khan's Soldiers

Mongol light cavalryman/archer, Chinese miniature, 15th to 16th century, Ming dynasty. ink and color on paper. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.


No, probably not exactly. The tomato was not known to them, but bulgur, green onions and parsley were.


My previous post was a lowcarb recipe for tabbouleh, and as written there – the original recipe for this salad is based on bulgur.



Taizu or Genghis Khan

Taizu, better known as Genghis Khan,14th century. Portrait cropped out of a page from an album depicting several Yuan emperors, now located in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Original size is 47 x 59,4 cm. Paint and ink on silk.

Bulgur has a long and interesting history. According to assistant professor, Dr. Mustafa Bayram of the university of Gaziantep, Turkey, the armies of Genghis Khan, AD1162 –1227, the feared founder, Khan (ruler) and Khagan (emperor) of the Mongol Empire loved to eat bulgur. It made them strong and fearless.


Bulgur may in fact be one of mankind’s first processed foods. Actually, in the Bible we can read that bulgur was prepared by ancient Babylonians, Hittites and Hebrew people over 4000 years ago, and recent research dates the use of this food as far back as 8000 years ago.


Bulgur is made by boiling the wheat grain, dry it, remove the bran and ground it into coarse particles, a parboiling process. This makes bulgur easy to store and easy to consume, you only need to soak it in hot water.


The name bulgur is from Turkish bulgur, which is from Arabic burghul, which is from
Persian barghu-l, and means parched crushed wheat.


Genghis Khan started the Mongol invasions that would result in the conquest of most of Eurasia, and his empire became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death.


13th century size of Genghis Khans empire

Genghis Khan empire, 13th century. Map by Bkkbrad (CC)


About ImaKalya

I write about : Food, Health, Thoughts, Herbs and Spices for Body, Soul & Mind
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