Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pearl Barley with Stir-fried Vegetables

I started cooking with pearl barley in early spring this year ever since I first heard about this from a fellow blogger. I'm always looking for ways and means to replace carbohydrates with low GI, unrefined grains that has higher percentage of protein. Barley is a good alternative to brown rice/rice.

Barley has low GI and helps to control blood sugar, reduces blood pressure, reduces the cholesterol levels and helps to control weight. Barley being high in fiber digests slowly which in turn helps to control hunger.

I first tried it with spring vegetables like asparagus and green peas. (Link to my first experiment) However eventually moved onto adding this wonder ingredient into salads, soups and also made fried rice (replacing barley).

Out of all my trials this turned out to be the best, as nutty taste of barley goes well stir fried vegetables and adding peanuts gives a crunch this recipe. You can be creative and add vegetables of your choice such as mushrooms, sweet corn to this recipe.
Print recipe here
Serves 2

100g Pearl Barley
1 vegetable Soup cube
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 green chilies (optional), diced
1 Red & Yellow pepper, deseeded & diced
1 Fennel, diced
1 carrot, diced
handful of sun dried tomatoes, diced
1 stalk spring onion,diced
50g Peanuts, roasted

Cook pearl barley according to packet instructions. Add 2 times water into a saucepan along with vegetable soup cube, cook till water is absorbed and barley is soft.

Separately in a large pan, heat oil add garlic and green chili, stir till its fragrant. Add diced vegetables except spring onion, mix well for 2-3 minutes till vegetables are partly cooked, however retains its crunchiness.

Separately roast peanuts in oven. I roasted at 200c 5-10 minutes.

Add cooked barley, mix well with vegetables. Sprinkle diced spring onion and peanuts and serve.

Hiking is one of the popular summer time sports in Switzerland. Coming from Kandy, the hill country in Sri Lanka surrounded by hills, valleys and rivers; I've always enjoyed being out in nature. However hiking is relatively new and I started it since I moved here. If you're a nature lover hiking is the best way to see Switzerland. Switzerland facilitates this activity very well with well marked hiking trails (close to 65,000km) and excellent public transportation. (You can get to even a remote location in approximately 3hrs) I invite you a take a virtual tour around spectacular landscapes of Switzerland clicked during my summer hikes. Visit my facebook page to see more.
Matterhorn (Toblerone) Mountain by Stellisee

Hiking along the foot of Matterhorn (Toblerone) Mountain

Friday, July 5, 2013

Red Lentils Soup

Red lentils curry is a staple side dish in Sri Lanka. Most of the Sri Lankans will have it for all three meals; with bread for breakfast, with rice for lunch and with string hoppers (steamed noodles with rice flour) or pittu (steamed couscous with rice flour) for dinner. Dhal curry is a versatile dish that can be served with many different main meals.

Sri Lankans call all our side dishes as curries. It could be a stir fry vegetable with grated coconut or yellow curry with coconut milk and turmeric or even a curry with a curry sauce. However here in Western cultures, curry is a term used only for meat or vegetable served in a spicy gravy. However in Sri Lanka any side dish that is served with rice or any main meal is called a curry.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Banana Peppers & Potatoes in Coconut Curry Sauce

Have you ever got excited over a vegetable or an ingredient. I have, specially over banana peppers, because it reminds me of delicious curries made with them back home. My mom used to make different kind of dishes with them. Apart from this curry, she makes a stir-fry with banana peppers and potatoes and made a filling for toasts, then the other type is a starter i.e. deep fried stuffed banana peppers.

Banana peppers has a strong peppery flavor hence it's also good for quick Chinese stir fries. You can stir fry them with tofu or use it with other vegetables when making noodles. Added benefit is banana peppers are rich in Vitamin C.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spicy Noodles with Multi Colored Vegetables & Tofu in Spiced Corn Flour Sauce

Noodles has always been on our weekly dinner menu. But method of making noodles is evolving. My mum made it very simple, she served noodles tossed with stir fried leeks and carrot to add some color. I tasted different varieties of noodles when I lived in Southeast Asia. Some of these mouth watering varieties are mee goreng, hokkien mee, chow mein, lo mein, pad thai etc., Each of these varieties has its own unique ingredients and sauces.
The Beauty of Broccoli

Friday, February 22, 2013

Coconut Sambol (Grated Coconut Salad with Chili)

This is a staple dish in Sri Lanka. This salad is served with most of the main meals. Sri Lankans eat lot of rice and food made with rice flour. Typical Sri Lankan main meals are rice, bread, pol roti (flat bread made with wheat flour and grated coconut), string hoppers (steamed rice noodles), pittu (steamed rice couscous with grated coconut) and hoppers (half moon shaped pancakes made with fermented rice flour)

Although coconut is not as big as Ceylon Tea plantations it is also one of the main agricultural crop in Sri Lanka. Hence coconut is used liberally in Sri Lankan cuisine along with locally available spices. All our curries are made with coconut cream and we add grated coconut to our vegetable stir fries and raw vegetable salads to add sweetness and texture.

Sambol is made with freshly grated coconut and is blended along with onion, curry leaves and chili powder. Traditionally it is blended using a mortar and pestle. It is believed that using a stone pestle to blend them gives a special taste.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pumpkin Risotto


Best Wishes for the New Year everyone. (I know it's late, but better late than never) I've gone missing for sometime, But I'm back invigorated from my holidays back home in Sri Lanka. It's always great to be back with your loved ones, someone to pamper with all good food cooked with love and mere company of my parents. It's never enough and always feels very difficult to get back to routine in this foreign land.

You may wonder if I had cooked all the recipes in this blog. Some of these recipes are my experiments, whereas most of the others are regular food I make and there are also some that I have made purely for blogging. Today's recipe is also one of them. I tasted this at a Swiss home and thought I have to share this with my readers.

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