I made this Pilau or Pilaf to go with the Turkish Fasulye/ Barbunya Pilaki that I made last week. The recipe is from ‘The Middle Eastern Vegetarian‘ cookbook by Sally Butcher. The original recipe uses Freekeh is young green wheat and has been used for centuries in the Middle east. It is a versatile and nutritious grain and can be used in soups, salads, cakes and bread, as a cereal and can be used in place of rice.
After all that information on freekeh which I thought I had in my pantry, I was bummed to see I used it all. So I went to plan B and used bulgur instead. Roasted buckwheat can also be used instead of freekeh. The pilaf turned out delicious even with the substitution.
This pilaf is spicy, sweet and nutty. The addition of plump currants (or black raisins in my case) adds a nice sweetness to the dish. I was wondering how the whole combination of sweet, spicy (from cinnamon and allspice) and herbs (dill & parsley) work together, but I shouldn’t have been worried. the dish tasted amazing and even my husband enjoyed it.
In a heavy bottom pan, heat 2tbsp olive oil and add the garlic, carrot and scallions. Once he carrots start to soften a little bit, add allspice and cinnamon, followed by freekeh and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Pour in the stock and add salt, bring the mixture to a boil; lower the heat and cook covered until the freekeh is cooked through and tender. Turn off the heat and set aside covered for a few minutes.
Melt 2tbsp butter in a small pan, toss in the nuts. Drain the currants and add these to the nuts. Cook until the currants puff up and the pine nuts turn golden brown.
Season freekeh with salt and butter, gently stir in the nuts and chopped herbs. Serve along side some veggie side dish like this Turkish Everyday Beans.