Lentils, burghul & pearl wheat
Lentils: Lentils are a part of the legume family, they are high in protein and low in fat, lentils make an excellent substitute for meat, and they can help improve heart health. Lentils provide a steady supply of energy that helps to keep blood sugar levels balanced. I use the brown lentils, they have an earthy flavor, hold their shape well during cooking and are great in Lebanese stew like addas bi hamod and kebbet raheb. Lentils are easy to cook Unlike many other legumes, they don’t require any prior soaking and can be cooked in less than 20 mins. Lentils can be added to a variety of delicious Lebanese vegetarian dishes like moujadara, makhlouta and many more. Burghul or cracked wheat: Burghul is essential in the Middle Eastern cuisine, traditionally used to make tabbouleh and kebbeh which are famous all over the world. It is a healthy dietary choice, it is rich in nutrients like minerals and high in fiber in addition if its light, nutty flavor. Not only is bulgur tasty and quick to prepare but also very nutritious. Burghul is a must in my pantry and available in fine or coarse varieties. The fine one for tabouli and kebbeh in all varieties, meat or vegetarian. The coarse burghul is for many dishes like makhlouta and burghul bi dfeen. I always prefer the dark burghul, it has an amazing taste.
Pearl wheat or Barley:
This adaptable grain has a somewhat chewy consistency and a slightly nutty flavor that can complement an amazing taste to my dishes.
My family loves cooked barley with raisins, cranberries, walnut and almonds in addition of rose water and orange blossom water as a healthy and nutritious snacks also rich in many nutrients and packs some impressive health benefits, ranging from improved digestion and weight loss to lower cholesterol levels and a healthier heart. Barley lessens hunger largely through its high fibre content. I usually use the hulled barley for makhlouta dish, it takes less time to cook.