“Sending this entry to Ahlan Ramadan –The Healthy Way”
'You Are What You Eat' is the commonly heard saying associated with proper way of eating that comprises balanced diet, drinking eight glasses of filtered water and regular exercises to ensure sustainable healthy lifestyle. Fast food restaurants are mushrooming around the big cities by promoting quick and easy way of eating for busy professionals and swiftly changing food culture with sudden emerge of sophisticated and luxurious way of cooking. People to be more creative and whimsical in their style of cooking which sometimes I perceive could cause hazardous to an individual's health. Continual practice of incorrect way of eating indeed could seriously affect ones health. Nevertheless, there are few inspiring sites taking more efforts in spreading health awareness and introduce the benefits of proper eating and cooking method which are commendable.
However, I'm more than exhilarated when Hasna, Huma and Rafeeda from Kachuss Delights, Gheza-e-Shiriin and The Big Sweet Tooth food blogs hosted "Ahlan Ramadan- The Healthy Way" from 25th June to 6th August, 2014 that opened a new doorway to venture every possibility of healthy cooking. Barley is a wonderful versatile cereal grain which I love to incorporate in my regular cooking when time constrain attacks. Barley uniquely has rich nutty like flavor, an appealing chewiness and pasta-like consistency. Its appearance resembles wheat berries, although it is slightly lighter in color. Barley's insoluble fiber helps to keep the blood pressure level low, manages diabetes, prevents osteoporosis, gallstones, asthma and cancer. It also keeps colon and intestine in a healthy condition and immensely supports our immune system by eliminating harmful toxins and rejuvenate body from continuous heat.
Below is my all time favorite Spiced Vegetable Barley Porridge that is packed with lots of nutrients and easy to whip up at short amount of time. I have added some spices and stock to elevate the taste of barley. Usually, I add diced sweet potato, carrot, broccoli, green peas or butter nut squash to this porridge but this time I keep it simple. The more vegetables you add to this porridge will not only add good flavor but also provide all the essential vitamins needed by the body. For protein, you could also add steamed chicken pieces or seafood of your choice. It's always comforting to have one pot meal with all the goodness and tasting great too.
|Spiced Vegetable Barley Porridge|
Small green chillies : 4 or as per your liking
Large ripe tomato : 1
Water : 5 cups
Chicken stock/mutton stock/vegetable stock : 2 cups or more
Cauliflower : 1 cup
Snow peas :9
Baby corns : 12
Spring onions or coriander leaves : 3 tbsp (for garnish)
Pearl barley : 2 handfuls
Yellow moong lentils : 1 handful
Kurma spice powder or biryani spice powder : 1 tsp or as per your liking
Black pepper powder : 1/2 tsp (optional but I have added as I like spicy food)
Salt : as needed
To Grind (coarse paste):
Small rose onions :6
Garlic : 3 cloves
Ginger : 1 inch
To Temper :
Cinnamon stick : 2 inches
Star anise : 1
Cloves : 2
Olive oil : 1 tbsp
1. Soak barley and yellow moong lentils for 5 hours. After that, by adding 5 cups of water cook it in pressure cooker until the barley is soft and yellow moong lentils mashed slightly. Keep that aside.
2. Blanch cauliflower, snow peas and baby corns in salted hot water for 10 min. Then, discard the water and strain it well.
3. In a pan, when the olive oil is slightly hot, add all the ingredients under 'To Temper' section followed by ground ingredients under 'To Grind' section. Fry till the raw smell dissipates.
4. Now add slitted green chillies and diced tomato, fry them till the tomato is mashed well.
5. Chuck in blanched vegetables of your choice with a tsp of kurma or biryani spice powder, black pepper powder (optional), salt, cooked barley and lentils along with its water from the pressure cooker. You may also add 2 cups or more of chicken or mutton stock depending on how much liquid you prefer in your porridge. Taste for the seasoning and make necessary alteration if needed.
6. Simmer gently on low flame for 10 minutes. Switch off the stove and garnish with chopped spring onions or coriander leaves.
|Spiced Vegetable Barley Porridge|