In a small bowl, combine the bulgur wheat with 1⁄4 cup of warm water and set aside. If using quinoa, follow box instructions to cook, then set aside to cool.
Peel and dice onion and garlic and pulse about 8-10 times in the food processor until the purée is wet. Move the purée to a fine strainer and set over a container to catch liquids as they drain off the mixture. After about 10 minutes, lightly press the mixture with a spatula to push out remaining liquid.
In a medium mixing bowl, add the onion purée, chopped parsley, cumin and a few grinds of black pepper, about 1⁄2 teaspoon. In the container with the onion water, add salt and harissa paste and stir to incorporate.
Using your hands, combine everything together and massage until well mixed and smooth. Form into oblong shaped balls and grill over high heat until medium or to your liking.