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How to Make Curried Barley Pilaf

This colorful dish of Curried Barley Pilaf can be served as a hot side dish. Or, if you want, serve it chilled or at room temperature as a salad.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/sf_foodphoto]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/sf_foodphoto

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 45 to 55 minutes

Spice meter: Mildly to moderately spiced

2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 small red or green bell pepper, chopped (optional)

1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 to 3 teaspoons homemade or good-quality curry powder

1 cup medium pearled barley, rinsed and drained

3 to 3-1/2 cups heated chicken broth or water

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or cilantro (optional)

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until the vegetables are softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 7 minutes.

    Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

  2. Add the barley and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add 3 cups of the broth and bring it to a boil.

  3. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer gently until the barley is tender and the broth is absorbed, about 35 to 45 minutes.

    Taste a grain to see when it’s tender. Add more liquid if too much has evaporated and the barley is not cooked. If excess liquid is in the pot, remove the covered pot from the heat and let the barley stand for 5 minutes.

  4. Season with salt and stir in the mint.

Omit the bell pepper and substitute 1-1/2 cups rinsed and drained basmati or white rice for the barley. Use only 2-1/2 cups broth. Follow the recipe, cooking until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Test a grain to see if it is tender. Add 1/2 cup of raisins about 5 minutes before the rice is finished. Omit the mint.

Per serving: Calories 266 (From Fat 86); Fat 10g (Saturated 4g); Cholesterol 19mg; Sodium 1,192mg; Carbohydrate 41g (Dietary Fiber 8g); Protein 6g.

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