Basic Kamut: An Ancient Wheat (B-)

April 4, 2006 at 2:00 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Grains, Rebecca Wood)

My journey to conquer all the known grains is one step closer to completion. Kamut is an ancient form of wheat. The story of how it was discovered was quite interesting, as is the fact that many people with a wheat allergy can eat kamut (but not those with gluten sensitivities).

I followed the directions in Rebecca Wood’s Splendid Grain cookbook and toasted it first, but as usual, I flaked out and ended up burning some of it. Ah, when will I learn. After toasting I did a “quick soak” by bringing it to a boil and letting it sit for an hour. Many of the grains popped open at this point, so I’m not sure if the soak was necessary. Then I cooked it until soft by boiling then covering and simmering just like rice. The cooked kamut had great flavor–I thought it tasted like a cross between peanuts, corn, and brown rice, but maybe the peanut association was because I burnt it slightly.

1 cup kamut berries
1.5 cups water or unsalted stock
salt to taste

Toaste the kamut in a saucepan or wok over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes, or until you hear many grains popping and the kamut is aromatic and turns a shade darker. Rinse and rain well. Put the kamut in a medium saucepan, add the water, and let soak for at least 1 hour or overnight. Bring the kamut, soaking water, and salt to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the grains are tender but still a bit chewy. Remove from the heat and let steam, covered, for ten minutes. Serve hot with gomasio as a side dish.

Put any leftover kamut in a glass bowl, loosely cover with a cotton cloth, and leave out at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Within 4 hours of cooking, the kamut may be used in salad; thereafter, use in a stir-fry or stuffing.

I made one dish with kamut and tofu in a leek and mushroom sauce that was very tasty, and also used it with coconut and other spices to stuff bitter gourd. More about that adventure soon.

Rating: B-

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