Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

April 26, 2017

© Linda Pugliese

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Wheat berry and nut porridge

Classic confections that'll transport you to the Middle East

Sinn means “teeth” in Arabic — snayniye is prepared to celebrate babies’ first teeth and the beginning of their ability to eat proper food. The porridge is not given to the baby, but is offered to friends and family.

Hulled wheat is used here, but you can also use barley. The soft, chewy texture of the cooked wheat offers a lovely contrast to the crunch of the soaked nuts, the whole enhanced by the fragrant waters. This delightful sweet snack also makes a delectable breakfast.

Soaking the nuts the night before you want to make this.


2/3 c. (100 g) blanched almonds
2/3 c. (100 g) walnuts
1/3 c (50 g) pine nuts
1¼ c. (250 g) hulled wheat berries
1½ tsp. (7.5 ml) ground aniseed
1 c. (250 ml) organic cane sugar
2 tbsp. (30 ml) orange blossom water
2 tbsp. (30 ml) rose water


Place the almonds, walnuts and pine nuts in three separate small bowls and pour in enough water to cover. Let soak overnight. If you have the patience, peel the soaked walnuts, discarding the skins.

Rinse the wheat berries and put them in a large saucepan. Add 1 quart (1 L) water and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil; lower the heat and let simmer for 1 hour, or until the wheat berries are completely tender and have opened up a little. The cooking water should be a thick broth.

Add the ground aniseed, sugar, orange blossom water and rose water, and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

Drain and rinse the nuts, keeping them separate. Divide the wheat berries among six individual bowls. Scatter the nuts over the top and serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.

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