Put bulghur in a heatproof bowl. Bring water to a boil and pour over bulghur. Let bulghur stand 1 hour.
While bulghur is soaking, in a large bowl stir together onion, salt, allspice, and dried mint, if using (do not add fresh mint now), and let stand 30 minutes. Drain bulghur in a sieve, pressing hard to extract as much water as possible, add to onion mixture with remaining ingredients including fresh mint, if using.
Toss salad well and season with salt and pepper.
*available at natural foods stores and many supermarkets