I am back! Middle Eastern wheat berry porridge “burbara” recipe

Middle Eastern Wheat porridge

Knock knock! Any body home?
After a couple of months of technical difficulties, I am finally back! I can post new recipes ! YAY!
For some crazy reason, I could access my blog’s front end,the recipes that are already published but not the administrator side of it. I could’t get to my dashboard, write new posts or any of that for weeks!and that was so frustrating! It seems that there was some sort of technical problem between wordpress and the internet service providers here in Jordan. Many emails, phone calls, went back and forth in an attempt to resolve this but it all finally came down to..(we are trying, it can take days, weeks or months and it may never be resolved!!!)

Burbara Middle eastern wheat porridge

I tried to keep in touch with all of you by posting recipes and videos on Instagram and I am really thankful to those of you who follow me there and to those who have reached out repeatedly checking in on me and asking why I had stopped posting on my blog.
As you can tell, the problem is finally resolved! I was jumping with joy like a kid when I clicked write post and it finally went through and a new draft page opened!
I do hope that you are still interested in this little corner of the internet and in what it has to offer because I have SO MANY recipes, stories and pictures to share with you! They will be a bit of a mishmash between winter, spring and summer recipes but they are all wonderfully tasty and worth trying!and I can’t wait to tell you all about the joys and hardships of moving back home 🙂
Spring this year has been miraculous! and if you have followed along my stories on Instagram, you would have seen some of it.I have shared quite a few pictures through out the past few months of all the flowers, trees and beautiful landscape. I am thinking about starting a wordless Wednesday series were I can share a few of those pictures with you,I know they are not food related but they might give you a bit of BTS of what it’s like in this little corner of the world.What do you guys think?

Black iris flowers in Jordan

Enough talk now to the recipe!

Today happens to be the first second day of Ramadan (could not finish the draft yesterday!), so Ramadan Mubarak to you and all your loved ones if you celebrate it 🙂 If you don’t do stick around, there are so many beautiful recipes, stories and traditions around this time of the year and I look forward to sharing some of them with you over the next few weeks.
I thought I would start the recipes off with an easy one, Middle Eastern wheat berry porridge or burbara or kamhieh.

Simply explained, this recipe is based on wheat berries that are cooked in water , then flavored with a wonderful combination of aromatic ingredients. They can be served in two ways:
kamhieh( from kameh which is Arabic for wheat) which are simply those berries topped with nuts, seeds , dates/ raisins and spices . Option no.2 is to add the cooked wheat to a pot and add sugar, water and the above mentioned aromatics and flavorings and then cook it low and slow. The result is more of a porridge. That one is usually called burbara and it is usually served by Christians to celebrate Saint Barbara and her stuggle.

Think of it as a healthy breakfast/ dessert/ suhoor that you can prep over the weekend by cooking the wheat then enjoy through out the week by mixing and matching toppings and flavorings. If you want to go the traditional way, think nuts, chopped dates, raisins, rose water, orange blossom water and spices like cinnamon, anise and fennel. Or you can go with your own favorite toppings like(this is the way my kids enjoy it) with toppings like :apple sauce, chocolate chips, nut butters and seeds. It is really completely up to you!
You can serve this hot or cold. I prefer it warm in the winter months and cold when the heat edges up in the summer. It is really good for you with loads of fiber and nutrients especially if you choose your toppings wisely 🙂

Middle Eastern Wheat porridge
Kamhieh or burbara

Middle Eastern wheat porridge

  • 2 cups wheat berries
  • 8 cups water (2 liters)
  • 1 tablespoon ground anise seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground fennel seeds
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • For the toppings
  • Chopped nuts of choice:walnuts, almonds, pistachios or pine nuts
  • Chopped dates
  • raisins
  • Fennel/ anise candy
  • Rose water and orange blossom water (optional)


  1. You need to start by cleaning the wheat berries because occasionally you may find some small stones mixed in with them. Measure 2 cups cleaned berries then wash very well with water. Put in colander to drain.
  2. Place the wheat berries and the 2 liters of water in a pot over medium heat and bring to a boil then lower the heat to medium low for 40 minutes to one hour. Remember to check on them after 20 minutes and add more water if needed.
  3. When the berries absorb most of the water and are cooked through, turn off the heat and set aside, covered till it cools down completely. The berries will absorb more water and plump up during this cooling period
  4. Add your toppings of choice
  5. If you choose to go the porridge way, add 1 liter of water to the drained berries and 1 cup of sugar (adjust the amount of sugar to your taste. I personally add much less), 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, anise, and fennel.
  6. Cook while stirring till the mix thickens and is porridge consistency (around 20 minutes).
  7. Take off the heat and add rosewater, orange blossom water if desired

القمحية او البربارة

2 كوب قمح

8 أكواب ماء (2 لتر)

1 ملعقة كبيرة من بذور اليانسون المطحون

1 ملعقة طعام من بذور الشمر المطحون  

1 عصا القرفة


مكسرات و قلوبات: الجوز واللوز والفستق أو الصنوبر

تمر مقطع


ماء الورد أوماء أزهار البرتقال (اختياري)

يجب أن تبدأ بتنظيف القمح لأنه في بعض الأحيان قد تجد بعض الحجارة الصغيرة ممزوجة بها.

نقوم بغسل القمح جيدا ثم تصفيته و توضع حبات القمح و 2 لتر من الماء في وعاء على نار متوسطة الحرارة حتى تصل للغليان ثم نخفض الحرارة و نستمر في طهوها على نار منخفضة لمدة 40 دقيقة إلى ساعة واحدة. يجب أن نتأكد من مستوى الماء بعد 20 دقيقة ونقوم باضافة المزيد من الماء إذا لزم الأمر.

عندما تمتص حبات القمح معظم الماء ويتم طهيها (نقوم بتذوقها لنتأكد من استوائها)، نقوم النار وتوضع جانباً ، مغطاة حتى تبرد تمامًا.

سوف تمتص حبات القمح المزيد من الماء وتنتفخ خلال فترة التبريد هذه

للتقديم نيف المكسرات و التمر و الزبيب و القرفة و يمكن ااة ماء الزهر او ماء الورد لو احببتم