Chewy and nutty wheat berries bowl for a perfect and nutritious breakfast. Wheat berries cooked to tenderness then loaded with nuts and milk for a better start of your day.
Wheat berries breakfast recipe
I remember my sweet mom making Belila in cold winter days to warm us up in the morning and to give us enough energy to go through the day. Belila is the frugal version of the hot cereal that almost everybody can afford in Egypt- without the nuts of course.
During the holy month of Ramadan, Belila is also served in the "sohoor" which is the meal before start fasting at dawn. I also remember my late grandmother urging me to take Belila in sohoor - when I visited for sleepover- stressing on the fact that it fills you up, gives energy and keeps you hydrated. So Belila for me is not just another Egyptian recipe, it is a recipe I like to make for its sweet memories with the loved ones.
What kind of grains to use for Belila?
I am used to making belila with pelted wheat berries like what I did in the Ashure recipe. Recently, I've been making belila with wheat berries as it is much easier to find in nearby stores. Wheat berries are loaded with vitamins and fiber and have a pleasant chewy texture.
Soaking Wheat berries
The original recipe requires you to soak the wheat first over night, then discard the water and cook for almost 20-30 minutes. But because we are always in a hurry and forget such things you can just cook them in enough water, although it will take longer about 45-60 minutes.
How to serve wheat berries (Belila)?
There is really no right or wrong here. Serve Belila bowl with any sort of milk you like. Sweetened with sugar, honey agave and perfumed with cinnamon, rose water, orange blossom water, fennel, nutmeg, anise or vanilla. Add a crunch using nuts of your choice, raisins for sweetness or dry cranberries for some tartness. This wheat berries bowl is always served hot for breakfast or as a snack.
Wheat berries in the instant pot
You can cut the time of cooking drastically by cooking the wheat berries in the slow cooker. Cover with cold water and pressure cook for 30 minutes.
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- Or probably sweet tahini halva with freshly baked pita.
- Take your boiled eggs to the next level with this authentic dukka.
- Baghrir is the Moroccan style pancakes with a distinctive shape and texture. Made with semolina flour and served with honey and butter these pancakes are sure to impress.
Wheat Berries breakfast bowl (Belila)
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Wheat berries recipe, Egyptian Belila
- 1 cup Wheat berries washed thoroughly with cold water.
- 5-6 cups of water.
- Milk sweetener of your choice, dried or fresh fruits and nuts.
- Rose water cinnamon, orange blossom water, vanilla, nutmeg or any extract you like.
- In a deep bowl add the wheat berries and cover with almost 4 cups of cold water. Let it soak overnight. Note1
- Drain wheat berries, and place in a pot, add the remaining 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for almost 30 minutes or for them to soften and splay.
- Drain keeping about ¼ cup of water in the pot to keep the wheat berries moistened.
- Enjoy with hot milk and you favorite serving options.
Thanks for sharing this easy recipe, Amira! I grew up with my Egyptian father making Belilah for the family on the weekends and I love the way it would make our kitchen smell delicious so delicious. I regret I never got his recipe before he passed away from covid in 2021. So I'm incredibly thankful for your recipe. It almost tastes just like his and it warms my heart every time!
Do you also have a recipe for baklava? He left 4 versions of his behind but it's like trying to put together a puzzle!
Heel Nadia, I am so sorry for your loss but I am glad that you find comfort in some recipes here. For the baklava I have a recipe on the blog here is the link. I hope you will like it.