Easy to cook, healthy and vegan lunch idea. Tender and chewy Barley in mild spices with nuts on a wonderful and relaxed afternoon. A treat that I like to give myself once in a while. Often times in healthy eating it gets difficult for us to come up with lunch ideas. We try to lower the carb, salads just sounds uninteresting, yet we want something freshly cooked and filling and low in calories and high in nutrition. The idea of rice is always so tempting but when we are trying to lose weight we avoid the white carbs so while strolling through the aisle of the grocery store my eyes fell on Barley.
In India we usually consume barley water due to its immense health benefits. It helps in curing urinary tract infections, flushes out toxins from the body and helps in losing weight. Here, In United States, I got barley rice which has the cooling effect in stomach and it is consumed in rice form in many countries. I did not know if I wanted to try this form as I was never a big fan of barley water. I decided to try it.
When I cooked Barley and consumed it turned out to be quite tasty and wanted to experiment more with it. I started with Barley Pilaf because I knew this innovation of mine is on a safer side and a great way to introduce Barley to my family. I decided to cook with Indian flavors and I combined the mustard seeds, fresh curry leaves and fresh cilantro to give it a distinct flavor. I added nuts to enhance the pilaf. I decided to go for mild spices so that Barley does not lose its original taste and yet Barley Pilaf is flavorful. A wonderful one pot dish that can be served just as is and my family enjoyed it. 🙂
- Heat oil in a wok/skillet in a medium flame.
- Add mustard seeds. As soon as it starts to splutter add curry leaves, cilantro, peanuts, cashew nuts and sauté well.
- When the cashew nuts and peanuts start browning add onions and sauté until translucent.
- Add turmeric powder, chili powder and salt and again mix well so that the spices are well blended.
- Add barley and mix properly. Cover and cook for few minutes.
- Lastly add lemon juice. Mix properly. Simmer, cover and cook for 2 minutes.
- Garnish with more cilantro and serve hot.
Note: To cook Barley take 2 ½ cups of water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add 1 cup barley and cook until almost all the water is absorbed and the barley is soft, tender and chewy. For pilaf recipe drain the left over water.
This pilaf is a one pot dish and can be served as is.