So, when I saw this salad last summer on Soma's blog, I just knew I had to do it. And I've made it several times since then. I love trying out new grains and barley was casually added to the list. I'd bought barley, but hadn't figured out what to do with it. Just when I think this way, Soma, very helpfully comes up with a post :D So, I figured, might as well do what she did.
Its amazing how filling this dish is, and how easily it can be put together. It requires a lot of chopping work, what with the myriad veggies thrown in, but trust me, its all worth it. Now, again, come this summer, I was determined to make it, click it and post it!
As Nandita and I were discussing on Twitter, sometimes, some dishes come out so well. And mostly during dinner at my place thanks to that being the only major meal cooked! Either I find the photos not great, or I just don't take any pictures. While I don't want to put any pressure on myself to take a picture of every thing I eat, I don't want to skip posting great recipe ideas on this blog. What do you guys do? How do you cope?
Here is the recipe!
1 cup barley
1-1.5 cups mixed veggies (carrots, beans, corn- we used the frozen mix :D)
1 cup spinach (fresh leaves) - no need to chop them.
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 star anise
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp red chili powder (or cayenne pepper powder)
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste
1. Cook the barley. We did so in a microwave. Cook until its tender but not too chewy/mushy. We ended up using about 2-3 cups of water. It took us about 15-20 mins. to cook the barley. Once cooked, drain if there is any excess water remaining.
2. While the barley is cooking, add 1/2 tbsp oil to a skillet. When hot, add the cumin seeds and star anise. When they crackle, add the onions and the veggies (except spinach) together. Let them cook for about 3-4 mins.
3. Add the spinach and all the spices and let it cook for another 5-10 mins.
4. When the veggies are almost tender enough to eat, add the cooked barley with remaining 1/2 tbsp oil. This will avoid individual grains from sticking together.
5. Cook for 2 more mins. Let it rest for a couple more minutes.
And you're ready to go!
Make it this summer. This works great as a salad or as a pulao too. We try to create different flavors every time we make this. Last time we made it, we experimented with Thai flavors. When you cook the barley in the microwave like we did, there is no need to soak it even. While I cut the vegetables, this cooked in the MW and it was drained and ready by the time I got done with cooking the veggies. How easy can it get?