Freekeh

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This article is about the Middle Eastern dish. For the village in northern Syria, see Farikah.
Freekeh
Freekeh with roasted vegetables.jpg
Course Main
Main ingredients Green wheat
Cookbook:Freekeh  Freekeh

Freekeh (sometimes spelled frikeh) or farik (Arabic: فريكة‎ / ALA-LC: farīkah) is a cereal food made from green wheat that goes through a roasting process in its production. It is an ancient Arabian dish [1] that is especially popular in Levantine, Arabian Peninsula, Palestinian and Egyptian cuisine, but also in North African and other neighboring cuisines.[2][3] The wheat is harvested while the grains are yellow and the seeds are still soft; it is then piled and sun-dried. The piles are then carefully set on fire so only the straw and chaff burn and not the seeds. It is the high moisture content of the seeds that prevents them from burning. The now roasted wheat undergoes further thrashing and sun-drying to make the flavor, texture, and color uniform. It is this thrashing or rubbing process of the grains that gives this food its name, farīk or “rubbed.” The seeds are now cracked into smaller pieces so they look like a green bulgur.[2]

History[edit]

A similar food made from barley is mentioned in the Bible.[4] Freekeh is mentioned in an early 13th century Baghdad cookery book as farīkiyya. In that recipe, meat is fried in oil and braised with water, salt, and cinnamon bark. Then dried coriander is stirred in with young wheat ("freekeh") and is cooked. Finally, the meal is served with cumin, cinnamon, and fresh lamb tail fat.[2]

In Egypt, freekeh is served as ḥamām bi’l-farīk (pigeon stuffed with green wheat). Freekeh is also prepared in Egypt with onion and tomato, and sometimes with chicken. Shūrbat farīk bi’l-mukh is a freekeh and bone marrow soup from Tunisia. Freeket lahma, a green wheat pilaf dish with roasted lamb, spring peas, and pine nuts comes from Syria and shūrba al-farīk is a Palestinian soup with green wheat and chicken.[2]

In Syria the freekeh is usually prepared with lamb, onion, butter, almonds, black pepper, cinnamon, cumin and salt.[5]

In Israel, traditional Druze populations still make freekeh in the old ways.

Nutritional value[edit]

Freekeh
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,471 kJ (352 kcal)
72 g
Dietary fiber up to 16.5
2.7 g
up to 12.6
Trace metals
Calcium
(5%)
53 mg
Iron
(35%)
4.5 mg
Potassium
(9%)
440 mg
Sodium
(0%)
6 mg

Freekeh has several nutritional attributes that are comparable to other cereal foods.[7] Some people consider it a superfood.[8] Cancer Research UK say that "the term 'superfood' is really just a marketing tool, with little scientific basis to it".[9] It compares well to other healthy grains such as quinoa and farro. Freekeh has at least four times as much fiber as some other comparable grains, consisting mostly of insoluble fiber. It also has a low glycemic index so is suitable for managing diabetes.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Guttman, Vered (2012-01-19). "Introducing freekeh, the hip grain of 2012". Haaretz.com. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  2. ^ a b c d Freekeh - Farik - Green Wheat Clifford A. Wright.
  3. ^ Anissa Helou, "Freekeh", in Alan Davidson, ed., The Oxford Companion to Food
  4. ^ Leviticus 2:14
  5. ^ "Freekeh recipe on shahiya". Shahiya.com. 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  6. ^ "Greenwheat Freekeh Nutritional Profile". Greenwheatfreekeh.com.au. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  7. ^ http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/6413?qlookup=20071&max=25&man=&lfacet=&new=1
  8. ^ "Healthy Superfood Grains - Freekeh, Farro, Amaranth, Chia". Oprah.com. 2011-01-13. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  9. ^ http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/healthyliving/cancercontroversies/superfoods/
  10. ^ "Health and Nutrition". Greenwheat Freekeh. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 

External References[edit]