Saturday, 26 December 2015

Golden Turmeric Barley with Cauliflower

Did you have a good Christmas?

We had a quiet one - just the two of us.

I have lots to share, but I wanted to share something that I have eaten recently that is not particularly festive, but interesting none the less.

Golden Glowing Turmeric is all the rage at the moment.  These days it can be found in soups, smoothies, teas, lattes, hummus, vegan cheese, Tofu scrambles and even sweet and savoury porridge's. However turmeric is not a new and trendy ingredient to me, as a person of South Asian heritage,  I have been eating and drinking turmeric all my life and have even used it as a natural face (beauty) product.  Loving its colour and its medicinal qualities and loathing how it  can taint every thing in its way - not the Midas touch I was expecting. 
A bit like the Turmeric New Potatoes yes I admit this bowl of Barley looks radioactive. I've had and made Turmeric Rice many times in my life, but wanted to ring the changes so when I stumbled upon a recipe made with Barley, I wanted to try it.  I was a bit apprehensive of serving it to D, but I need not have been as he actually welcomed the change from Basmati rice.  Its not a stand alone dish, it  makes for a good accompaniment.  A talking point on the Buffet Table for Boxing Day or even New Years Eve. 
The preserved lemons in the middle are from a jar and are optional.  I actually love the piquancy of preserved lemons, so scattered some chopped wedges over mine, D was less inclined. He likes lemon and citrus things, but is not keen on preserved lemons.  He likes chocolate but not chocolate cake so much.  He likes coffee but not coffee flavoured things.  All this makes sense to him.  I am not going to unravel this mystery. 

Golden Turmeric Barley with Cauliflower 
Serve 6 as an accompaniment
Serves 4
2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 teaspoon black mustard seed
1 black cardamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
200g pearl barley
Optional: Cauliflower florets from 1 medium cauliflower
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a wide pan, add the onions and mustard seeds and cook over medium heat until the onion begins to soften.  the mustard seeds will pop.  Then stir in ll the other spices along with the barley  Coat well and cook for a few minutes for the spices to roast a little.  Then pour over enough water just to cover the barley.  Bring to the boil.  Scatter over the cauliflower florets, then cover the pan reducing the heat and cook for 25 - 35 minutes.  Stirring occasionally to ensure that the water has not run dry.  
When the barley is just about cooked.., stir in the lemon, tweak and adjust seasoning if necessary. 
Serve immediately. Inspired and adapted from The New English Table by Rose Prince.


  1. I like everything about this recipe. I quite often substitute rice with pearled spelt or barley and it's a nice change. I really want to try this recipe soon. And Christmas was good, thanks for asking, might post more about it soon. I envy your quiet one though. :)

    1. Thank you so much VegHog. I have some spelt and will have to try it someday.


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