In the Western Countries when you want to prepare lunch or dinner the main carbs that come to mind are rice, pasta, potatoes or bread. Rarely does anyone think of Freekeh. Freekeh (pronounced: Free-keh), very popular in the Middle East, is smoked green wheat. Freekeh was first discovered about 2300 years before Christ, in a small village in the Levant area.
Time were tough, the village was under siege! So the village folks decided to harvest their wheat crop early and they then burnt their green wheat. Soon afterwards, they noticed that when they rub the burnt outer layer of the wheat, there were green grains inside. These green grains are what we call Freekeh. Now you know why it is called smoked green wheat, as the wheat is burnt to prepare it.
Freekeh has a distinct smoky, nutty flavor that I love!!! While my attempts to get the family to eat healthier food through trying to introduce brown rice and whole wheat pasta have been disastrously unsuccessful (nobody liked the flavors), luckily everyone in my household loves Freekeh!
Freekeh is very nutritional, even more than brown rice as it has 4 times higher fiber content plus more protein, calcium, iron and zinc. On top of that Freekeh has lower fat content. Perfect wouldn’t you say?!?
Freekeh is sold either as larger grains (used in today’s recipe) that are served as a side dish just as rice, or small cracked grains used to prepare soups, check my yummy chicken freekeh soup. Try Freekeh with my Chicken with Onions recipe.
Freekeh RecipePrep time: 10 min Cook time: 1 hour
1/3 cup vegetable oil (corn, sunflower, canola)
2 cups cleaned and washed Freekeh (large grains)
3½ cups chicken stock
salt and black pepper to taste
How to make Freekeh Recipe:
- Clean the freekeh by removing any stones or derbies. Measure 2 cups cleaned Freekeh then wash by rinsing under running water for two minutes. Put washed Freekeh in a colander to drain.
- Heat the oil in the pan, add the washed and drained Freekeh and toss in the oil for about a minute. (Optional: for extra flavor you may sauté a finely diced onion in the oil before you add the Freekeh).
- Add the 3½ cups chicken stock. Based on the saltiness of the chicken stock you may need to add some salt and/or black pepper. Once the Stock begins to boil reduce heat to low, cover the pan and cook until done.
- Freekeh is ready when the cooked freekeh grains are tender and juicy but not soggy. If you find them somewhat dry, add more broth and cook a while longer. Usually the amount of broth listed in this recipe is enough, but some varieties of Freekeh may differ.
Serve Freekeh as a side dish with chicken, or meat.
The traditional way to serve Freekeh, especially in formal events, is to spread it in a large tray and pile the chicken or meat on top, then sprinkle toasted/ fried nuts on top. Just like Mansaf. The Picture below is for chicken served with Arabic-style rice stuffing served in the traditional. Serve it the same way but with Freekeh.
Hope you enjoyed today’s easy recipe: Freekeh; a traditional Arabic food, or to be more precise Freekeh is authentic Levantine food. Bon appetite.
Have you ever tried Freekeh? Which do you prefer rice or Freekeh?
اضغط الرابط لقراءة وصفة الفريكة باللغة العربية