Come Summer, our ancestors used to drink Barley water to keep their body cool. Otherwise Barley gruel or water is used mainly during illness- diarrhoea, urinary tract infection. As it is a natural diuretic, it increases urination and helps to flush out any toxins or infection causing bacteria from the body. Here I have used this super cool grain in making Pongal, south Indian breakfast dish.
Barley has two varieties, one is with outer cover which is called hulled barley and other one is more processed, without outer cover and is called De hulled or pearl barley. Compared to hulled, pearl is little less in fibre but cooks faster and is ideal for our day to day cooking.
Barley is known for its low glycaemic index, which makes it an excellent option for diabetics. Over all it is good for all and we can include it in our day to day cooking in one form or the other and take a benefit from this age-old grain for sure.
Although Barley is very good for health, it contains gluten and people who have sensitive digestive system or are allergic to gluten should avoid this grain.
Recipe is like this-
Barley Rawa/ grits – 2 cups
Green gram/moong dal – 1 cup
Green chillies – 2
Ginger – ½ inch
Grated coconut – 3 table spoons
Ghee – (to serve)
Ghee – 1 table spoon
Mustard – 1 tea spoon
Cumin – ½ tea spoon
Hing – ¼ tea spoon
Curry leaves – 1 spring
-Dry roast moong dal for 2 to 3 minutes.
-Wash moong and barley grits together and keep aside for a while.
-In the meantime, prepare for the seasoning.
-Take one cooker vessel, do seasoning, heat ghee, splutter mustard, add cumin, hing, curry leaves, chopped green chillies, chopped ginger (slivered) and fry for two min.
-Add water (around 8 to 9 cups) and boil. Add salt, coconut gratings and keep it for boiling.
-Add soaked dal and barley mixture and close the cooker lid.
-Cook for 3 whistles and switch off the gas.
-When pressure releases, open the cooker lid, give a stir and adjust the consistency.
-Pour a couple of spoons of ghee to enhance the taste or you can completely skip the ghee if you are into low calorie diet.
-Serve with coconut-ginger flavoured chutney.