This could be considered the Levantine equivalent of oatmeal pudding, even though it is traditionally served on certain holidays such as New Year’s eve or St Barb or on the occasion of a baby’s first tooth. This version is flavored with orange blossom water only. Other versions include anise and cinnamon.
It is of the utmost simplicity: Wheat berries are cooked in water, sweetened and flavored. Served with nuts and (if available) candied chickpeas and pomegranates. For this pudding, I used almonds, pistachios, walnuts and some dried cranberries (imported from the US!).
One recommended step is to soak: First the wheat berries overnight in water, then the nuts in individual bowls; soaking removes impurities and eliminates toxins.
INGREDIENTS: 4 servings
- 1/2 cup of wheat berries (peeled or unpeeled)
- 3 cups of water
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 tbsp of orange blossom water or to taste
- NUTS: 1/4 cup of walnuts, almonds and pine nuts (can substitute),or pistachios
- Dried fruits: 1/4 cup of dried cranberries or dark raisins
- Honey (to taste) (not traditional)
- Soak the berries in water overnight; the next day, drain and place in a pot with 3 cups of water; bring to a simmer and let it cook gently for about 30 minutes; add the sugar and stir and simmer some more till thoroughly cooked. While the berries are cooking, soak the nuts in warm water for 30 minutes or longer. Drain the nuts and add them to the berries along with the orange blossom water and any dried fruits you wish to add. Cook a few minutes longer and serve warm or at room temperature.