Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Freekeh Pilaf with Garbanzo Beans

Freekeh Pilaf with Garbanzo Beans
Firik (freekeh) pilaf is from the Southeastern part of Turkey. It is an ancient dish originated around 2300 BC in the Middle East . Most commonly it is cooked with lamb, however, often it is cooked as a pilaf to accompany other meat dishes like lamb, beef or chicken. Firik (or freekeh, frikeh, farik) is a grain made from young, green wheat. Wheat grains are harvested while wheat is still full of moisture, soft and green. It is sun dried before being burned or roasted over an open fire. This process burns the straw and chaff around the grains, however, high moisture content of the seeds protects the grains from burning. The process gives the grain a nutty, smoky flavor. The grains look like bulgur (cracked wheat), expect they are green. It is high in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.

Typically in Turkey, freekeh pilaf is made with 2 parts freekeh, 1 part bulgur so that the smokey flavor of the freekeh is not over powering the flavor of the dish.

Thanks to uncle Meray for the recipe. I cherish his wonderful lessons on Antep and Kilis specialities when his contagious passion for family and food shapes memories of a lifetime for me.


  • 1 cup green Firik (Freekeh, Frikeh, Farik)
  • ½ cup size 4 (coarse) bulgur
  • ½ cup onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water (or chicken or beef broth)
  • 8 ounces cooked garbanzo beans
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tea spoon crushed red pepper for garnish (optional)

Place freekeh on a tray. Remove any chaff or straw mixed with grain. Add bulgur to it. Rinse and drain, set aside. Rinse garbanzo beans, drain and set them aside as well.

Finely chop onions. Place olive oil in a pot, sauté onions in oil over medium heat until onion pieces are translucent. Add boiling water (or broth). Add mixed grains and salt to the pot. When it starts to boil, cover the pot with a lid, reduce heat to slow and let it simmer until grains are cooked, about 10-15 minutes. Add garbanzo beans and black pepper, gently stir and remove from heat. Serve hot. Sprinkle crushed red pepper on the pilaf (optional).

Bon Appetit! Afiyet Olsun!

Remove chaff  (long, brown grains in the picture) from the freekeh

Chopped onions

Canned garbanzo beans are used 
Coarse bulgur

Freekeh and bulgur mixture 
Sautéed onions

Grains added, simmering in the pot 
Cooked freekeh pilaf
Freekeh pilaf with garbanzo beans

No comments:

Post a Comment