Pharaoh’s Friday #1 Breakfast Wheat (Bileela)

During the month of November, Alf Hana participated in Vegan MoFo.  We spent a month veganizing your favorite Egyptian recipes.  It was a lot of fun, so much so that we decided to set up a regular post for Fridays called “Pharaoh’s Friday”, where we would continue to post veganized versions of popular Egyptian foods.  It’s taken us a while to get started, but here is our first installment of Pharaoh’s Friday!!!!

Who doesn’t love to have something warm for breakfast during the winter months?  One of my favorites is oatmeal!  However, oatmeal is not well-known in Egypt (although it is relatively easy to find!).  If Egyptians are not having foul for  a warm breakfast, then it will be billeela.

Bileela is basically slow-cooked whole wheat.  You can find the whole wheat in packages readily available in stores.  Here’s what it looks like up close:

One of the benefits of eating bileela is that it is a whole food and is full of nutrition!!  In fact, here is an image from Wikipedia that helps explain the insides of the whole wheat grain.

Now, I have finally bought a demassa (the Egyptian version of a slow cooker)!!!! I LOVE IT!!!  Check it out!  Isn’t it cute?

Yes, we have made foul and lentils with our demassa and we also used it to make our bileela!  Here’s the recipe:


1 cup dried whole wheat grain
4 cups water


1.  Plug in the hot plate of the demassa (with the Egyptian demassa, the hot plate is separate from the silver pot and needs to be heated up first).
2.  Add the wheat and the water to the silver pot.  Put the pot on a regular stove eye.  Heat on medium heat until boiling.
3.  Once the mix is boiling, transfer the pot onto the hot plate.  Leave to cook for about 90 minutes.  Stir every half hour or fifteen minutes or so, just to be sure the bileela doesn’t start to stick to the bottom of the silver pot.

Before adding milk or spices


2/3 cup of whole wheat, 1/4 cup soy milk, 1 teaspoon of sugar: just the way we like it!


Serving Suggestions and Variations:
Add water or non-dairy milk.
Add sugar.
Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, or other spices.
Add raisins, dried dates, or other dried fruits you like.
If you don’t have a demassa or a slow cooker, you could probably do the same in a regular pot with a lid.

Alf Hana!!!


2 responses to “Pharaoh’s Friday #1 Breakfast Wheat (Bileela)

  1. Where did you get the “demassa”???
    Is there a more common name for this wonderful slow cooker?
    I’m dying for such a cooker…

  2. Hey Chad….we bought our demassa from a little shop in Roxy….If you’re in Egypt, you can easily find them in any housewares-type store….If you’re outside Egypt, I don’t really know where you could find one, but you could use any pot on very low heat for a similar effect….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s