Recipes: Barley to Keep Your Sugar in Check This Festive Season

Simple barley recipes you need in your diet to stay healthy

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Recipes
4 min read
Switching to barley (jau) as your main grain for sometime is a perfect solution to keep your sugar level in check.
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The festive season is here, with ongoing navratras and Durga Puja and Diwali not too far away either. In fact October-November for a lot many of us will be the months of excess.

Besides gaining weight, it’s the overload of sweets that I believe might prove more damaging. So whether you are a diabetic, or a pre-diabetic, or even with a normal sugar count, my advice would be to take proactive steps to keep your sugar levels in check. Switching to barley (jau) as your main grain for sometime is a good solution.

This grain has a lower glycemic index. It is rich in soluble fibre that has the ability to form a gel when it mixes with liquids in the stomach. This slows down the emptying of the stomach, which prevents carbohydrates from being absorbed too quickly and raising blood glucose levels. Plus it is a rare vegetarian grain source of complete protein - it has all eight essential amino acids, and is loaded with manganese, selenium, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium and has some calcium too.

You can of course make barley rotis, but to keep the interest up try these recipes too.

Homemade Sports Drink

Barley drink
Barley drink
(Photo: iStock)

Rinse pearl barley (jau) under cold water a few times. Now place it in a pan with lemon peel and water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-30 minutes and then strain mixture into a bowl. Keep the barley aside and use it to make another dish. Add some honey to barley bowl and stir in juice of 2 lemons and then let mixture cool to room temperature. Chill and drink.

Cold Barley Salad

Barley Salad
Barley Salad
(Photo: iStock)

Boil pearl barley, strain and keep aside Sauté red and yellow bell peppers, mushrooms, baby corn and French beans. Mix with the barley, add chopped coriander, and sliced boiled eggs. Season with salt and pepper and oregano and red chilli flakes. Chill the salad and eat.

Boil pearl barley, strain and keep aside Sauté red and yellow bell peppers, mushrooms, baby corn and French beans. Mix with the barley, add chopped coriander, and sliced boiled eggs. Season with salt and pepper and oregano and red chilli flakes. Chill the salad and eat.

Baked Barley With Veggies and Cheese

Soak barley for 2 hours, add to a pressure cooker, with some chopped assorted veggies (big chunks), a few garlic flakes, vegetable stock or water, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 2 whittles on high and 10 min on sim. Let it cool. Grate some cheese on top, put in a preheated oven for 10 mins.

Barley 2 Ways

Boiled Barley
Boiled Barley
(Photo: iStock)

Boil a big batch of barley (soaked for 2 hours) with water, and then eat it for breakfast mixed with walnuts, honey and a dash of cinnamon. And for lunch make it savoury, seasoned with salt, pepper and herbs of choice, topped with a fried egg and a sauce of choice.

Barley Roll

Cook soaked barley till done (20-30 min) and let it cool. Scoop it into a plastic wrap, and roll into a log. Chill for a few hours and unwrap. Then slice and grill or sauté, top with grilled meat or fish and roasted vegetables, and salsa.

Barley Stir Fry

Barley stir fry
Barley stir fry
(Photo: iStock)

Stir fry peppers, boiled chicken pieces and lots of garlic. Add boiled barley pearls and toss in peri peri sauce. To make peri peri sauce just bits red pepper, dried red chillies, garlic, mint, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.

Bajra Khichri

Make khichri with barley
Make khichri with barley
(Photo: iStock)

Grind the bajra coarsely in a mixer and mix with equal amount of the moong dal. Transfer the mixture in a pressure cooker with water and salt. Cook for three whistles on low heat. Add on top a tadka made in ghee with mustard seeds, kari patta and dried red chillies, and mix in 2 sliced deseeded green chillies.

Mutton Barley

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Cook boneless mutton in a little oil over medium-high for 3-4 minutes until well browned. Remove mutton from the pan and keep aside. In the same pan add mixed chopped vegetables - carrots, potatoes, onion and mushrooms, and cook covered till they are tender. Add tomato paste and cook for a couple more minutes. Transfer browned mutton and the cooked veggies and barley (soaked for a few hours) to a pressure cooker, add some water, and spices of choice and salt, bring to boil over high heat, and cook for 2 whistles on high and then 20-25 min on sim. Pair with a raita.

(Kavita Devgan is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico), Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa) and Fix it with foods.)

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