Freekeh recipes for a new taste of the old farik grain

roasted green wheat

Folks seeking new taste sensations are going wild over the flavor of freekah, frikeh (Arabic: فريكة‎) or farik, an Arabic smoked green wheat – a staple in the Middle East for thousands of years.

Where wheat grows in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, people set aside part of the harvest to make freekeh. Its young wheat is gathered before the grain matures. Dried and briefly toasted over open fire, the freekeh grain gains a smoky, almost-sweet flavor and a greenish-gold color. It also delivers a powerful supply of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Modern chefs in Israel and the States are now discovering dozens of ways to highlight this traditional slow food‘s  unique flavor in cooked dishes and salads.

The Atlantic‘s Nomi Abeliovich gives a recipe for freekah and sweet potato salad.

The Lebanese-cuisine blog, Taste of Beirut, shares a vegetarian recipe for squash stuffed with freekah, bell peppers, and spices.

The site also features a mouth-watering recipe for lamb with freekah and tomato sauce.These recipes are in the  spirit of traditional Lebanese flavors.

And here’s an original freekah pilaf from the Harmonious Belly blog – freekah from the Western point of view.


If pure freekeh is too smoky for your taste, try mixing it with rice, as Sarah of the Foodbridge blog did: Farik with Rice.

Look for freekeh in ethnic Arab stores, health food stores, and your local shuk. Try combining it with cooked root vegetables, as salad. Or as a stuffing for vegetables or meat, instead of rice. Or even as a hot breakfast cereal with chopped dried fruit and nuts.

Just remember that 1 cup of the smoky-flavored grain needs 2 to 2 1/2 cups of water to cook thoroughly and still be a little chewy, as for pilaf. 3to 4 cups are needed for the freekeh to burst open and become soft, as for hot cereal.

More on traditional Middle Eastern food from Green Prophet:


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