Barley Pulao


BM# 98: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : Dish for each meal

The only time I remember eating barley before was when I was pregnant. My legs used to swell up a lot. I used to feel that my body was a bakery. After all, it produced something similar to a domed up freshly baked bread right there in my feet….Oh! it was that bad. Barley was suggested by many to reduce the swelling, but the doctor told me that barley doesn’t help much with swollen feet. There was no cure except to wait for the baby to come out. I remember looking at my feet a day after Shreyas was born and wondering why the swelling was still there! After all, the doctor said it would be back to normal after the delivery. Thank God the baby kept me busy to worry too much about it, because I carried around my bread feet for almost another two months!!

After that brief stint with barley, I completely forgot about it. It was only when I saw this recipe for barley pulao in the book Deepa’s Secrets by Deepa Thomas that it came back to my attention again. This is a good recipe to start replacing some of the rice from your diet. It is very simple, barley is cooked with spices and then added to sauteed vegetables and that is about it. The list of spices may look long, but these are common spices in an Indian kitchen or just use what you have and skip the rest. The book suggests using whole grain barley here. Recipes don’t have to be tedious to be tasty and this is one example for that.

Read on for the recipe that will make an easy lunch or dinner.




To cook barley

  • 2 cups barley
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 pods cardamom
  • 1″ cinnamon piece
  • salt and pepper to taste

Vegetable saute:

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced thin
  • 1 each red and yellow capsicum, chopped
  • salt and pepper as needed
  • roasted nuts or lemon juice for taste, optional

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pan, add the thinly sliced fennel without crowding. Cook undisturbed for a minute. Carefully turn it over and cook the other side. Take off the heat and move it to a bowl and set aside for now.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil and repeat the same with the pepper. Layer them without crowding the pan and let it cook undisturbed for a couple of minutes. Flip it to cook the other side and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring 6 cups of water to boil in a big pan. Add barley along with the spices and salt and pepper. Let it cook until its done, stirring in between. Once its cooked, add it to the sauteed fennel and  pepper. Top with lemon juice or toasted nuts.



Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#98



6 thoughts on “Barley Pulao

  1. My legs were swollen and they even started to darken during my daughter’s pregnancy and my doctor was even afraid that i may have developed thrombosis. We couldn’t do a thing about it as you mentioned until the delivery. Barley would surely not help in these kind of cases I guess.
    Your version pulao sounds so different with barley and the vegetables you used.


  2. I have never tried barley and the pulav looks yum and so healthy. Pregnancy can have different issues at times, I had to drink wheat grass juice and it was so :-(.


  3. The pulao looks so delicious, never used fennel bulb in cooking but heard hat it lends so much flavour to dishes.. Healthy and an easy recipe.


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