Freekeh Pilau with Spicy Vegetables
Freekeh Pilau with Spicy Vegetables

Total Time: 60 mins
Prep: 40 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Serves: 4
Difficulty: Medium


  • 2 cups freekeh
  • 2 brown onions, cut in pieces
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 4-6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon baharat
  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Optional – Harissa to your taste
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 eggplant, diced
  • 2 capsicum (1 red, 1 green)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley or baby rocket
  • 1 lemon, quartered


  1. Heat the oven to 170C fan (or gas 5).
  2. Put the zucchini, eggplant, brown onions and capsicum in a bowl. Add the harissa paste and about half the olive oil then mix well to coat the vegetables with oil and seasoning. Put mixture onto 1 or 2 lined baking trays and roast until tender, about 35 minutes.
  3. Now wash the freekeh and remove any burnt grains or stones.
  4. Heat about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the red onion. Fry until beginning to soften.
  5. Stir in the freekeh
  6. Add the baharat and 1 teaspoon of salt and stir through.
  7. Add the hot vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, a little more if you prefer your freekeh softer.
  8. In a large frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat, add the almonds and cook until lightly toasted.
  9. Remove from the pan and repeat to lightly roast the pine nuts.
  10. Spoon the freekeh onto a large serving plate. Place the roasted vegetables on top and finish with chopped parsley and lemon pieces and scatter with the nuts.
  11. This recipe may substitute vegetables in season as you prefer – this is lovely with parsnips and carrots in winter! Or top it with spinach or rocket gently sauteed with garlic! You could even top it with cooked chicken pieces. This recipe can be prepared in advance and re-heated for serving.
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