Firik or Freekeh is indeed super food and an ancient grain; I love its delicious, nutty taste, similar to pearl barley. I recently made this delicious bulgur pilaf with freekeh and green beans; it turned out to be a wholesome, tasty vegetarian main course for us. We enjoyed bulgur with freekeh and green beans, Taze Fasulyeli, Firikli Bulgur Pilavi, with my Cacik dip of yoghurt, cucumber and dried mint for a complete and wholesome meal. If you are observing Ramadan, this wholesome pilaf with vegetables also proves to be a healthy, easy and delicious meal option.
Freekeh is used a lot at my home town Antakya, ancient Antioch, and pairs with bulgur, vegetables and meat beautifully. Firik, (as in Turkish) or Freekeh (sometimes spelled frikeh) or farik is a cereal food made from green wheat that goes through a roasting process in its production. Firik is a popular and ancient grain used Middle Eastern & Southern Turkish cuisine and also popular in Levantine, Egyptian, Arabian Peninsula and North African cuisine. Here’s some more information on freekeh and my bulgur pilaf with freekeh, eggplant (aubergine) and meat recipe if you’d like to try out.
Runner beans, green beans or dwarf beans would all work well in this recipe; they are delicious combined with red onions, freekeh and bulgur. Bulgur is widely available now in supermarkets and you can find freekeh in Specialty, Turkish or Middle Eastern stores. I like to serve this wholesome pilaf with Turkish red pepper flakes or chili flakes on top, accompanied by a dollop of yoghurt or with refreshing Cacik dip of yoghurt, cucumber and dried mint.
I hope you enjoy this delicious, wholesome meal, Afiyet Olsun,
- 350gr/12oz/2 cups coarse bulgur, rinsed and drained
- 225gr/8oz/ generous 1 cup firik or freekeh, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 300 gr/ 11 oz./ 2 cups green, runner or dwarf beans, trimmed and cut into 3 cm / 1” long pieces
- 400 gr/ 14 oz. can of chopped tomatoes or 3 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
- 60 ml / 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 pints/ 5 cups of hot water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Red pepper flakes or chili flakes to serve
- Dollop of plain yoghurt to serve
- Trim the green beans and cut into 3 cm / 1” long pieces. If you are using runner beans, also slice them lengthways.
- Heat 3 tbsp. olive oil in a heavy pot and stir in the red onions and green, runner or dwarf beans. Stir and sauté gently for 2-3 minutes over medium to high heat.
- Pour in the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil and stir in the garlic, rinsed bulgur and freekeh, combine all well with green beans and red onions.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes and hot water, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to your taste. Combine well.
- Bring the pot to the boil. Then cover, reduce the heat and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.
- Turn the heat off. Cover the pan with a clean kitchen paper towel and place the lid firmly on top (the paper towel will absorb any excess moisture). Rest the pilaf for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Serve the bulgur pilaf with frekeeh and green beans hot with Turkish red pepper flakes, pul biber sprinkled over, if you like. Refreshing Cacik Dip of diced cucumbers and dried mint with yoghurt or plain yoghurt complement this bulgur & freekeh pilaf very well.