A traditional Middle Eastern Dish…
Freekeh is an ancient grain that is very popular in the Middle Eastern cuisine, the taste is close to barley but a bit smokier. It is made from green wheat that is picked young and goes through a roasting process, and then it’sÂ sun dried and threshed – so the process is very naturalÂ asÂ it only uses fire/sun and air. Freekeh has been recently labeled as superfood, it’s based on wholegrain and contains a lot of protein and fiber, and if you compare it to brown rice, freekeh contains 4Â times the amount of the protein and 2 times the amount of fiber! It’s also rich in magnesium, selenium, and potassium, and is low in glycemic index.Â
TheÂ texture of freekeh is nutty and pleasantly chewy, and it was discovered accidentally by farmers about 2,000 years ago in the Middle East.Â Because Freekeh is rich in fiber it fills you up and keeps you full for longer which can help with weight loss. It is also very popular among vegans and vegetarians.
There are many ways in which you can have Freekeh; toss it in a salad, soups, pilafs, to make stuffing for chicken or poultry, or simple drizzle with maple syrup and add fresh fruits, yogurt and nuts!
You can buy Freekeh in 3 different sizes: fine, medium, and rough. Fine freekeh (cracked) is best to make soups (Jordanian Cuisine), medium and rough Freekeh (whole) is great to toss in salads, or to cookÂ with meat, chicken or to make stuffing.
Freekeh is very easy to prepare, it takes 15-20 minutes to soften (cracked freekeh), you will need about 2 1/2 cups of water to cook 1 cup of Freekeh. You can also use your rice maker and choose the brown rice option.
This recipe is for Freekeh with chicken that we usually have for lunch or dinner in my family. We also add softly fried onions and top with fried nuts. Serve with plain yogurt on the side and a simple Arabic salad.
- 2 cups Freekeh
- 3 cups water
- 1 maggi cube (chicken)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- a pinch of salt
- For the Chicken:
- chicken (breast or whole)
- onion (chopped and fried in olive oil)
- group black pepper
- bharat (All spice mix)
- In a saucepan combine freekeh with water, chicken stock cube, salt, and olive oil. Bring to boil, cover and then allow to simmer for 35-40 minutes or until water is absorbed.
- to grill the chicken simple chop and fry an onion, then place it in a baking dish along with the chicken pieces tossed in spices, olive oil, and add some water. Grill until chicken is cooked and golden brown.
- Fry fairly long slices of onion in olive oil and top the freekeh with some fried pine nuts, and walnuts. Serve with plain yogurt on the side.