Freekeh pilav with lamb, wild greens, chickpeas and sweet spices

Freekeh pilav with lamb, wild greens, chickpeas and sweet spices

By
From
Turquoise
Serves
6
Photographer
Lisa Cohen and William Meppem

Freekeh is a relative newcomer to Western kitchens, although it has been used in Turkey and around the Middle East for millennia. Freekeh is made from whole wheat grains that are harvested while still immature and green. They are fire-roasted, which burns the chaff but leaves the young kernels intact and imparts a rich, smoky flavour.

You do need to spend a bit of time sorting through and cleaning freekeh wheat, as there are often bits of debris and tiny stones lurking. You’ll probably have to soak and rinse it several times to ensure you get rid of any foreign matter. It may seem like too much effort, but its smoky, almost meaty flavour is unique and worth it.

Serve this dish with a bowl of creamy yoghurt alongside.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g freekeh
50ml olive oil
1 large purple onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 long green chillies, seeded and shredded
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
400g lamb, cut into 2 cm cubes, (from the leg)
long strip peel from 1/2 lemon
few sprigs thyme
400g canned chopped tomatoes
800ml * chicken stock [rid:9962]
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch chicory, roughly sliced, leaves only
350g cooked chickpeas
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, shredded

Method

  1. Pick through the freekeh to remove any debris and grit, then rinse it thoroughly under running water and leave to drain.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy-based casserole dish. Add the onion, garlic, chillies and spices and sauté over a medium heat until the onion starts to soften. Add the molasses and then the lamb and increase the heat. Sauté for a few minutes until the lamb starts to colour and any moisture evaporates.
  3. Stir in the freekeh, peel, thyme, tomatoes and stock, then season. Bring to the boil, skimming away any fat and impurities that rise to the surface, then lower the heat immediately. Cover the pan and simmer very gently for 45 minutes, skimming from time to time. Add the chicory and the chickpeas and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring from time to time to ensure nothing catches. If the lamb isn’t really tender by this time, continue cooking for up to another 30 minutes, again stirring from time to time.
  4. When the lamb is tender, remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice and parsley. Serve straight away.
Tags:
Turquoise
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Turkish
Turkey
Mediterranean
European
Middle Eastern
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