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Freekeh (or farik) is wheat that’s harvested while young and green. Then it roasted and rubbed to create its flavour. The result is an earthy, smoky grain that has a distinct flavour. In fact, “freekeh” is derived from the Arabic word for “to rub.”
It popular in many eastern Mediterranean countries. It has a nice smoky taste and It’s also extremely versatile, and can be made with anything.
Freekeh is a delicious side dish and a great alternative to rice and other grains. Much like other super ancient grains like quinoa and barley,freekeh is extremely healthy for you. it has up to four times the fibre of brown rice and provides more protein than mature wheat and most other grains. It is also a source of probiotics and contains iron, zinc, potassium and calcium. It’s loaded with nutritional benefits, low in fat and high in protein and fiber even more then quinoa. ( 1 cup serving of freekeh has 16 grams of fiber and 24 grams of protein).
Because freekeh has a subtle smokiness to it, it’s perfect for savory dishes (like with BBQ chicken) or as a protein addition in salads and soups. Or you could cook up a delicious side dish of freekeh, broccoli, and rosemary for a great supplement to your weekly dinner.
You can find freekeh in supermarkets, especially Middle Eastern specialty stores or you can buy it online on Amazon. It comes in both cracked and whole varieties, but the cracked kind cook faster like rice. To cook, mix 1 cup freekeh with 2 cups of liquid in a pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
Quick dish – freekeh and vegetables
1.5 cups of freekeh
1 medium onion
1 medium carrots
1 hot green pepper (op
2 celery branches without leaves
5-6 chopped sage leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
A generous pinch of salt
2 glasses of water
1 tsp cumin
Chop celery, onion, garlic and hot pepper. Grate the carrots.
In a large saucepan, put oil, onion, carrots and celery and fry over medium heat until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Add garlic, hot pepper.
Add freekeh and stir. Fry until freekeh is heated. Add salt and cumin, add water, stir.
Cover the pot and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat and cook covered for 10-12 minutes or until the freekeh softens but still “Al Dente”. Turn off the heat. Leave to rest covered for another 10-15 minutes. Serve hot with your main dish.