"Freekeh, roasted green wheat, is a specialty of the Arab world and never fails to inspire me with its versatility," says Malouf. "This is a simple dish, but it has everything: it's nourishing, starchy and soothing, with mushrooms adding earthiness and pumpkin bringing sweetness." Begin this recipe a day ahead to drain the yoghurt.
- 600 gm Greek-style yoghurt
- 200 gm (1 cup) wholegrain freekeh (see note)
- 50 ml olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 250 gm field mushrooms, wiped and sliced 5mm thick
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 1 tsp Turkish chilli flakes (see note)
- 50 ml dry sherry or dry vermouth
- 200 gm peeled butternut pumpkin, coarsely chopped into 2cm chunks
- 500 ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 1Drain yoghurt in a sieve lined with muslin set over a bowl in the refrigerator (overnight).
- 2Rinse freekeh twice and cover with plenty of cold water to soak (30 minutes), then drain.
- 3Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms, and sauté until onions are soft but not coloured (3-4 minutes). Add spices, stir until fragrant (about 30 seconds), then add sherry, pumpkin, freekeh and stock to completely cover. Season to taste and bring to the boil, then cover and simmer over low heat, without stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated and freekeh is tender (30-40 minutes).
- 4Just before serving, stir in lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil, then serve topped with strained yoghurt and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.
Wholegrain freekeh is available from select delicatessens, supermarkets and health-food shops. Turkish chilli flakes are available from Middle Eastern grocers.
Drink suggestion: Orange skin-contact white wine. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.