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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spicy Barley - Lentil Stew

The barley-lentil stew

When trying out new grains and that too when I am not sure how well our palates are going to receive the new textures, I prefer to go back to my own cuisine to borrow ideas. The south Indian cooking - the familiar zone seems so comforting and forgiving like a Mother. When I have to deal with the unfamilar grains for the first time, I prefer to combine the typical ingredients used in my (south Indian) kitchen and add spices for more layers of flavor. This barley dish is a proof of it.
Though barley is available in India, it was never used in our kitchens (my mother's or MIL's or any of the relatives'.) The first time I used barley was when I bought some to prepare this bread for Kiran's event. The barley I have been left with has gone in to the preparation of typical Indian style dishes.
Barley cooked till tender has a chewy texture that I am not very fond of. I have therefore allowed the barley to cook until it reached a fall apart stage, where you don't feel its texture at all. As I mentioned above, this dish relies on South Indian style cooking and is somewhat a cross between Karnataka's Bisibelebhath and Tamilnadu's Kadamba Saadam. I simply called it a stew since I didn't want to wreck my brains in search of a perfect name for this dish.
A wholesome healthy dish that was liked by everyone at our home.

 Ingredients for 4 servings:
1/2 cup barley
1/2 cup toordal
1 cup chopped mixed veggies (I used carrots, green beans, potatoes, peas)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 - 3 Tbsp thick tamarind juice (extracted by soaking about lemon sized tamarind in water) 
For tadka: 2 tsp ghee / oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, few curry leaves

For spice powder, dry toast and powder: 2 Tbsp chanadal, 1 Tbsp uraddal, 1 Tbsp coriander seeds, 1/4 tsp methi seeds, 8 - 10 red chillies, 2 Tbsp coconut flakes, a few dagad phool / rathi puvvu

Soak barley for at least an hour and this step is optional if you are using a pressure cooker. 
Add barley, toordal, vegetables, turmeric powder and about 2 cups of water to a pressure cooker and cook till it is done. If you cook rice for 3 whistles, then let this go for 12 - 15 whistles.
When the valve pressure is gone, remove the container. Check the barley and if you wish to cook it further, add the mixture and extra water needed to a pan and cook further till the desired consistency is reached. Also if you prefer your veggies crunchier, you can cook them separately instead of adding them to the pressure cooker.
Then add salt, tamarind puree and the spice powder to the barley mixture and simmer for a couple of minutes more.
Heat the ghee / oil in a pan. Toast the mustard seeds and curry leaves and add to the barley mixture.

This goes to
1. Nivedita's "Only" - Original recipes, an event created by Pari.
2. Sanjeeta's Wholesome Wholegrain Cooking - hosted by Priya this month with the theme Barley for Breakfast.



Hari Chandana P said...

Interesting and healthy recipe.. looks really good suma.. awesome shots too .. thanks for sharing !!

Indian Cuisine

Chitra said...

Looks nice & new to me..

Unknown said...

That was a healthy and full meal looks yum suma.

SMN said...

thats a perfect bowl and a full meal too...luks so yumy

Priya Suresh said...

Simply delicious, wat a healthy and filling dish..

Sharmi said...

very new and nice recipe!

harini-jaya said...

Contrary to my belief that besi beli bath is always almost irrestible, it is not popular with my husband and so rarely gets into our menu :( Some people just don't have the taste, do they? Meanwhile I can drool over these pictures and maybe make some for myself during the weekdays:)


Suji said...

Simple, new and interesting :)

Aruna Manikandan said...

looks healthy and delicious dear :)

KrithisKitchen said...

Very healthy and tasty..


Sravs said...

Simply delicious and healthy !!!

Nammaruchi.blogspt.com said...

Very new to me...looks very delicious and healthy...

swapna said...

Healthy and yummy....lovely clicks!!

KrithisKitchen said...

Suma, badaga/Vengaya vadagam is a mix prepared with onions for tempering purposes...I haven't tried making this on my own till now, but my aunt/grandma make this back in India..
I googled and found this link, which may interest you..
I also found one in Savitha's kitchen

Shanavi said...

intersting, I've a big can of Barley left ..was breaking my head what to make out of it.. now i got it...yum

Unknown said...

I too love this kind of thing. I call it my barley khichdi :)

Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

looks tooo yumm!
healthy comfort food....too good!
nice post!
Smitha's Spicy Flavors

Preety said...

lovely click and so tempting too

Lifewithspices said...

very tempting n looks exactly like bisebelabath..