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.