Potato Barley

Bought some pearl barley the other day with an intent to try using it inspired by another dish I had at the home of my Turkish friend Fahriye. Ended up with this dish but it needs some tweaking to make it taste better. However, the friend who got to be guinea pig (thanks Laura!) said it was fine the way it was but could use more lime than I had used. So, try it and tell me what you think!

IngredientsPotato Barley

  • 1 cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 2-3 brown, fist sized potatoes, boiled
  • 2-3 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • a handful of any nut (I used peanuts)
  • 1-1.5 limes or lemons juiced
  • Salt to taste
  • Chili powder, to taste
  • Parsley chopped, a handful (or coriander leaves)
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil


I used my trusty pressure cooker to cook the barley. I used water to equal twice the quantity of pearl barley. When the cooker released steam, I reduced it and cooked for 3 minutes. The next time, I will try 1.75 times water and cook for about the same time. I did not follow times and water quantity recommended on various websites which said to use up to x4 the amount of water and 20 minutes of cooking time, at which point, I might have been drinking the barley rather than eating it! I would suggest starting with twice the water, bringing to a boil, covering and simmering on the lowest setting for 10-12 minutes. If all the water gets absorbed before it is cooked through, add 1/4 cup of hot water at a time. Keep track and the next time you make it, add a little less than the total water you added and adjust simmering time. Once cooked, it is easy to assemble it all.

Fluff and put the barley in a large dish. Add small bite sized pieces of cubed, boiled potato, the nuts, grated carrot, salt and chili powder to taste, lime/lemon juice and olive oil. Gently mix, making sure to keep it fluffed and not mashed into a mush! Spread on a platter or a dish and add chopped parsley or coriander leaves to taste.

According to the USDA website, 1 cooked cup of barley contains 193 calories, 4g of protein, 1g of fat, and trace elements. This recipe yields about 5 loosely packed cups of finished product and is pretty filling for 3-4 adults.


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