Jewelled barley and chickpea pilaf

Serves: 6
Course: Lunch, Dinner
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Prep Time: 10 mins
  • 2 shallots or 1 small onion, finely sliced
  • 2tbs oil
  • 500g barley
  • 80g butter or ghee
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed
  • ½tsp cumin seeds
  • 1tsp turmeric or 1 large pinch saffron threads
  • 50g raisins or cranberries
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained
  • Small handful of parsley
  • 3tbs toasted, flaked almonds
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  1. First fry the shallot or onion over a high heat until crispy and golden. Set aside on kitchen paper.
  2. Place the barley in a sieve and rinse well. Tip into a large saucepan and top up with water. Bring to the boil then simmer until al dente (20-25 minutes). Drain and set aside in a bowl.
  3. Melt the butter in the same saucepan. Sauté the onion until they are soft. Add the spices, raisins and chickpeas. Leave to warm gently for a few minutes before tipping in the barley. Mix well and season with salt to taste. Place the lid on and leave over a low heat for five minutes to allow the flavours to mix.
  4. Fold through the chopped parsley and scatter the toasted almond flakes and the fried shallot or onions on top. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over.

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