I found this delicious recipe, Freekeh Pilaf by chance last summer on Yotam Ottolenghi’s website  www.ottolenghi.co.uk -if you can’t find it there you will find it on the BBC’s website, under recipes, obviously- and it never fails to please.  In fact this has the wow factor. On the occasions where I have produced it for a groups of friends, there has always been a rush back for more and requests for the recipe flow in. It’s so subtle; and even delicious for a couple of days afterwards. As a busy acupuncturist it’s just the kind of food I need. Even the laziest and most insecure of cooks have tried it with success.


2 medium onions, thinly sliced

25g butter

1 tsp olive oil, plus extra to finish

150g freekeh or bulghar wheat

1/4 tsp ground allspice

270ml good-quality

100g Greek yoghurt

1  1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 garlic clove, crushed

10g parsley, finely chopped

10g coriander, finely chopped

2 tbs pine nuts, toasted and roughly broken

Salt and black pepper



Place the onions, butter and olive oil in a large heavy-based pot and saute on medium heat, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes, or until the onion is soft and brown.

Meanwhile, soak the freekeh in cold water for 5 minutes. Drain in a sieve and rinse well under cold running water. Drain well.

Add the freekeh and spices to the onions, followed by the stock and some salt and pepper. Stir well. Bring to the boil, then cover, reduce the heat to the bare minimum and leave to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave it covered for 5 minutes. Finally, remove the lid and leave the pilaf to col down a little, about another 5 minutes.


While you wait, mix the yoghurt with the lemon juice, garlic and some salt.

Stir the herbs into the warm, (not hot) pilaf. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Spon onto servng dishes and top each portion with a generous dollop of yoghurt. Sprinkle with pine nuts and parsley and finish with a trickle of olive oil. (Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty p24)