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
Place of origin Mediterranean Basin
Main ingredients Green durum wheat
Cookbook: Freekeh  Media: Freekeh

Freekeh (sometimes spelled frikeh) or farik (Arabic: فريكة‎‎ / ALA-LC: farīkah) (pronounced free-kah) is a cereal food made from green durum wheat (Triticum turgidum var. durum) that is roasted and rubbed to create its unique flavor. It is an ancient Arabian dish derived from Levantine and North African cuisines,[1][2] remaining popular in many countries of the eastern Mediterranean Basin where durum wheat originated.[3]

The wheat is harvested while the grains are yellow and the seeds still are soft; it then is piled and sun-dried. The piles are carefully set on fire so only the straw and chaff burn, not the seeds. In these controlled conditions, the high moisture content of the seeds prevents them from burning. Next, the roasted wheat is subjected to threshing and sun-drying to make the flavor, texture, and color uniform. This threshing or rubbing process of the grains gives this food its name, farīk or “rubbed”. Finally, the seeds are cracked into smaller pieces so they resemble a green bulgur.[1]

History[edit]

Freekeh is mentioned in an early thirteenth-century Baghdad cook book as farīkiyya.[1] 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.[1]

Culinary[edit]

In Egypt, freekeh is served as ḥamām bi’l-farīk (pigeon stuffed with green wheat). Freekeh also is 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 Jordan, and shūrba al-farīk is a Jordanian cuisine soup with green wheat and chicken.[1]

In Syria, freekeh usually is prepared with lamb, onion, butter, almonds, black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, and salt. In Israel, it may be used as part of a Hamin stew along with chicken, tomatoes, potatoes, red chili peppers, and beans.[citation needed]

In Tunisia and Algeria, freekeh is usually prepared as a main ingredient in a tomato-based soup called "chorba't frik", which is considered a traditional national dish.

Nutritional value[edit]

Freekeh (green durum wheat)
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,418 kJ (339 kcal)
71 g
2.5 g
14 g
Vitamins
Thiamine (B1)
(37%)
0.42 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
(10%)
0.12 mg
Niacin (B3)
(45%)
6.7 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
(19%)
0.94 mg
Vitamin B6
(32%)
0.42 mg
Folate (B9)
(11%)
43 μg
Minerals
Calcium
(3%)
34 mg
Iron
(27%)
3.5 mg
Magnesium
(41%)
144 mg
Manganese
(143%)
3.0 mg
Phosphorus
(73%)
508 mg
Potassium
(9%)
431 mg
Sodium
(0%)
2 mg
Zinc
(44%)
4.2 mg
Other constituents
selenium 89 ug
water 11 g

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.

Freekeh's nutritional attributes are comparable to other cereal grains, especially durum wheat, from which it is derived, depending on the durum cultivar.[1][4] Durum is notable for its high content of protein (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV), dietary fiber, B vitamins, and several dietary minerals, especially manganese (143% DV) (table). Before roasting, freekeh is 11% water, 71% carbohydrates, 2.5% fat, and 14% protein (see table displayed at right).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Freekeh - Farik - Green Wheat Clifford A. Wright.
  2. ^ Anissa Helou, "Freekeh", in Alan Davidson, ed., The Oxford Companion to Food
  3. ^ Jenkins JA (1966). "The origin of cultivated wheat". Can J Genet Cytol 8: 220–32. 
  4. ^ Velland E (14 July 2015). "Grilled Halloumi and Freekeh Salad". The Globe and Mail, Food and Wine, Toronto. 

External links[edit]