Kamut – History and Cultivation

Just like emmer and einkorn, kamut belongs to the ancient grain varieties. It is similar to durum wheat and is also known as Khorasan wheat. Kamut, the more commonly used term, is in fact a registered name that was patented by the grain’s largest producer in the US. The grain did not, however, originate in the US, it was in fact first cultivated 6,000 years ago in the area between Egypt, Turkey and Iran. Much like its fellow ancient grains, kamut was close to being forgotten until its revival in the 70s.

The ancient grain can now be found in lots of recipes, thanks to its mild and slightly nutty flavour. In comparison to other wheat varieties, it is particularly rich in protein, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins, vitamin E and selenium. Whether cooking kamut, baking with kamut flour, or including kamut flakes in your daily muesli, the ancient grain is a versatile addition to the kitchen.

Food Facts Food Facts

Kamut

Class

Triticum

Calories

384 kcal per 100 g

Nutrients

68.2g carbohydrate, 4.5g fibre, 2.6g fat, 19.6g protein per 100g

Season

available year-round

Storage

store sealed and in a dry, dark, cool place

Shelf life

at least one year if stored correctly

Kamut – A Long Journey

Kamut supposedly originated in Khorasan, a province in Iran, and the reason behind its original name, Khorasan wheat. The grain found its way to the USA thanks to an American pilot who, during the Second World War, took a few seeds with him from Egypt to America. It took a few decades, however, until one farmer began to grow the grain. He decided to call the grain kamut, which means “soul of the earth” in Ancient Egyptian. Nowadays, some of the largest cultivation areas are located in both Southern Europe and the US.

Kamut – Recipes and Ideas

The seeds of the Egyptian grain are bigger in size and more yellow in colour than that of durum wheat. Although it is not gluten-free, it is supposedly better tolerated by those with a gluten intolerance than other wheat species. Instead of differing flour types, the only distinction made between kamut flour is white or whole grain. When it comes to using kamut flour for baking bread, the dough requires more time to rise than recipes with other wheat flours. Baked goods with kamut therefore stay fresher for longer and have a certain lightness to them. Pasta dough made from kamut flour can be a tasty alternative to the traditional pasta, and can be found in most supermarkets.

The unground seeds can be integrated into many dishes. Similar to rice, kamut can be a carbohydrate-rich accompaniment to meat, fish and vegetables. The seeds can also be a satiating component in a salad with, for example, orange, peppers, lamb’s lettuce and red chicory. Simply soak the grains overnight in boiling water and cook in broth the next day. Then, fillet the orange, chop the peppers and the salad leaves, and mix everything together. Lastly, cover the salad with a dressing made from lemon juice, honey, oil, salt and pepper.

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