Pumpkin and Carrot Barley Risotto
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 1 cup chopped Pumpkin
- 1 large Carrots
- 4-5 Garlic pearls
- 1 Onion
- 1 Green chilly
- 1/2 tsp. Black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
- Salt as required
- A pinch of Saffron
- 1 tbsp. Olive oil
- Basil leaves to garnish
- Water about 4 cup
- Rinse and soak pearl barley for 1-2 hours or overnight.
- Add 4 cups of water in a vessel and bring it to a boil, add saffron into it and take it off the heat.
- Peel pumpkin and carrot and dice in fine cubes. Peel and finely chop onion and garlic.
- Heat 1/2 tbsp. oil in a pan and add diced pumpkin, carrots, onion, cover the lid and cook until soft.
- Put cooked pumpkin and carrot into a food processor and make fine puree.
- Heat 1/2 tbsp. oil in the same pan and add finely chopped garlic, sliced green chilly and sauté for a few seconds.
- Add soaked barley into the pan and let it cook on medium heat. The barley pearls will turn glossy in a few minutes.
- Add a ladle of warm saffron water into the pan and let it simmer. Keep adding more water and stirring till the barley become tender but still have a bite in the centre.
- Add pumpkin and carrot puree, crushed black pepper, salt, lemon juice in the pan, combine well and cook it for 2 more minutes.
- Do not overcook barley as it will release too much starch and make the risotto soggy and loose its texture.
- Remove the pan from heat and serve the barley risotto with more cracked pepper, low-fat cheese, toasted nuts and a drizzle of olive oil.
My Tip: Add vegetable stock to make the risotto more flavorful.
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