Freekeh is an ancient superfood: Ancient because it has been referenced in an book from the 13th century, and superfood because it is super. And food because you can eat it. *
Before sharing a traditional freekeh recipe (pronounced freak-eh but can also be pronounced freeky, frikeh, and a number of other ways), let me enlighten you on the topic.
Freekeh is an immature green wheat, which is used mostly throughout the Levantine area and North African countries, but has been rapidly increasing in popularity in the world due to its excellent nutritional values—high in fibre (double that of quinoa), high in protein, low glycaemic index, and other fantastic elements which you can read about here.
This is my grandmother’s recipe, which is super easy, suitable for vegans and vegetarians, and perfect for cold weather.
1 medium onion
¾ cup freekeh
½ cup mix of blanched almonds and pine nuts, according to your preference
Olive oil, 1 tbsp
cardamom, 1 tsp
all spice 1 tsp
cinnamon 1 tsp
pinch of salt and black pepper
In the sink, place freekeh in large pot, add water and let the water flow. The bad grains raise to the top and spill over, let the water go until all the bad grains are out. (This is easier than cleaning the freekeh grains one by one). Rinse and throw out the water to clean the freekeh. Strain freekeh and let it sit.
Finely chop the onions, add to a large hot skillet or pot with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the spices (you can always add more or less) and let the onions turn brown on low fire.
Add the freekeh, and mix for a few minutes.
Then, add boiling water roughly 3 inches above the freekeh. Lower the heat to minimum, cover the pot, and let it cook for about 20-30 minutes (depending on the grain type).
While the freekeh cooks, toast the nuts on a pan, with low fire cooking them until they’re golden.
To check on the freekeh: texture would be in between the fluffiness of rice and hardness of barley.
Add the nuts to the top of the plate, and voila!
This dish is usually eaten with chicken and/or sour greek yoghurt.
For Halloween/pumpkin season, you can add some spiced pumpkin cubes on top of the dish!
Any Middle Eastern market, Whole Foods, or other natural stores would carry freekeh.
* (Superfood, otherwise, is just a marketing term to make you read this article, and has no scientific meaning for dieticians/nutritionists.)