Green Freekeh(pronounced free-ka) ,the little known ancient grain of the Middle East(Eastern Mediterranean) has all the nutritive benefits to qualify as a super grain alongside Quinoa,Farro,Spelt and Amaranth.This green wheat is made by picking the wheat before its fully mature ; parching ,roasting and smoking in wood fire finally threshing and drying it.Since its picked young and involves less processing,Freekah has it all,to make a dieter's dream come true.Its a low carb(low glycemic index < 55) food high in fiber,has more protein, vitamins, and minerals than other grains commonly consumed like White rice,brown rice or wheat.The grain is also unbelievably rich in calcium and iron.
Discovered by chance during our monthly shopping at the Middle eastern store,this unique grain is also available in health stores.
Vegetable Pilaf is a flavorful recipe with this versatile grain,here is the list of many other ways to cook up freekeh.
2 cups Green Freekeh,broken or whole(cooking time varies)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup Green or Red or Yellow peppers,chopped
1/2 cup chopped Broccoli(use any other like carrots,peas or green beans)
1 big clove garlic,finely chopped
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil,divided
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Chilly powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
pinch of turmeric
1/4 cup chopped cilantro and parsley
2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime\lemon juice
Wash and soak the wheat in cold water for 15-20 minutes.Drain.In a large saucepan with tight lid place 4 cups of cold water and the soaked Freekeh with a teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.Cover and bring to boil on medium heat, stirring occasionally.Lower heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes if using cracked grain, and 40-45 minutes for whole grain until all water is absorbed.
Heat a big skillet over medium flame. Add extra-virgin olive oil and onion,Saute until translucent about 2-3 minutes;before adding garlic and spices then add vegetables and season with salt,saute until vegetables are tender about 5 minutes.Mix in the cooked freekeh and allow flavors to infuse for about 2-3 minutes.Stir in the lime juice and serve with baked meat or lentils\legumes gravy.
This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, host this week is Susan from The Well-Seasoned Cook.