Begin with washing and draining your freekeh, two to three times, and picking out any foreign debris. Then cover it with fresh water to soak for 20-25 minutes, then drain and set aside.
In a large pot, add the olive oil and diced onions and sauté with a pinch of salt until the onions caramelize (10-12 minutes) & stir frequently. When nicely browned remove half of the caramelized onions and set them aside in a bowl to use for the tomato topping mix
In a blender, combine the parsley, cilantro, chile, and salt with the 2½ cups of water. Blend on high until completely blended (the water will turn into a green color) and set aside
Put the pot with half of the caramelized onions back on medium-high heat, add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds then add all the spices: 1 tsp cardamom, 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp paprika, ¾tsp allspice, ¼tsp fennel, black pepper, ⅛tsp cinnamon, ⅛tsp turmeric, and bay leaf.
Stir the spices around until fragrant, then add the freekeh and the blended herb water. Bring it to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, then cover the pot, reduce your heat, and cook for another 25-30 minutes or until well cooked.
For the TOMATO TOPPING
For the tomato topping, combine the chopped tomato, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, pinch of salt, the remaining half portion of caramelized onions, and the pomegranate seeds if you choose to add them
In a saucepan, roast some almonds with a drizzle of oil until golden brown.
After 25-30 minutes remove the freekeh from the heat, uncover and fluff with a spatula, then cover again.
Garnish with the tomato topping, toasted almonds & optional pomegranate seeds.
Rich in nutrients, protein, and fiber this Freekeh Salad-like dish will leave your taste buds dancing with intense flavors!
A nutty & smoky taste, a healthy Nutrilicious Delight!