Having explored the ancient Babylonian freekeh grain in the form of two different salads and a meaty pilaf, I wanted to make a meatless savory side rich in flavor as well as texture. For visual impact, I have included a small layer of plain rice. The crowning glory comes in the form of fried nuts and sultanas. Cashew, almond, and pine nuts, to be exact.
The smoky and chewy properties of the freekeh set it aside form other grains, although the principle of this recipe can easily be applied to other grains.
2 1/2 cups freekeh
1 3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup raw cashew
1/2 cup blanched almond
1/4 cup pinenuts
1/4 cup sultanas
1 cup cooked white rice
Fry the nuts and sultanas each separately until golden.
You need to be careful because the nuts might pop like popcorn and burn you, so it might be better to shallow fry rather than deep fry. Remove the sultanas from the oil when they blow up into balls.
Set aside on kitchen towel to drain from excess oil.
Rinse and drain the freekeh well.
In a pot over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons oil and toss the freekeh for 5 or so minutes.
Add the salt and enough boiling water to cover the freekeh by a finger’s width.
Bring to a boil, cover immediately and reduce heat to low.
Let simmer about 40 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the freekeh is fluffy and tender.
In a concave bowl, put the fried nut and sultana mix.
Top with a cup of cooked warm rice.
Top with the freekeh, pressing down with the back of a spoon.
Place a dish over the top of the bowl and invert onto the dish.
Remove the bowl, admire your handiwork, and serve.