Tasty Pearl Barley.

I am always up for trying new things in the kitchen, and pearl barley is turning out to be one of those trials that have become a staple in my kitchen cupboard.

Pearl barley is the polished and processed whole grain barley. It may not have all the nutrients that whole barley has but it cooks faster, and still rich in calcium, protein, minerals and fibre. It is a fine alternative to rice and pasta; can be used in soups, stews and salads.

You can prepare it in your instant pot, or on the stovetop, just follow the instructions on the pack. I like using it as a salad for the kids lunchboxes, or a starch for dinner. The high fibre content makes one full for longer, and the soft but chewy texture holds up quite well however you use it.

I like making mine like a kind of pilau dish. Simmering it in stock flavoured with different spices.

Here is a simple recipe for 4. Some onion, garlic, ginger, dhania, turmeric, cumin seeds, ground coriander and cumin and garam masala. You can add nuts too or raisins if you wish.
Heat your oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds…
Add the onion, once soft add a tbsp of cashew nuts if using. Once browned, add your ginger garlic paste and the coriander stalks. Mix well.
Add the spices, let them cook well then add the pearl barley as well as some salt and pepper.
Add your stock or water. 2 cups for 1 cup of barley does it. Let it simmer for 30-45 minutes.
After about 40 minutes the water will have drained and the barley soft.

It is now ready to serve with your sides of choice.

I served it here with some leftover kala chana curry and greens with some mince, and avocado on top.
I served it here with an eggplant and potato curry and rogan gosht.

If I am using it for a salad, I only use a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper when simmering, so it can absorb the other salad flavour components well. It goes well with a shredded chicken, cucumber and tomato salad, or a simple tomato and avocado salad.

How do you prepare your pearl barley?