Toasted Barley, Pistachio and Barberry Pilaf with Yoghurt-Tahini Dressing

Toasted Barley, Pistachio and Barberry Pilaf

Who does not love a grain pilaf? – and we have a number of recipes. Each one is a variation on a theme. I love this recipe because it has a smoky flavour from the toasting of the barley and the spices. It is nutty and very delicious. Yoghurt is a common accompaniment, and today we combine tahini with it for a perfect dressing.

Similar recipes include Narangi Pulao, Matar Pulao, Barley and Lentils with Mushrooms, Freekeh Pilaf with Herbs and Yoghurt Dressing, Cypriot Grain Salad, and Mograbieh Pilaf.

Or browse all of our Pilafs and all of our Barley recipes.

Toasted Barley, Pistachio and Barberry Pilaf

Toasted Barley, Pistachio and Barberry Pilaf with Yoghurt-Tahini Dressing

ingredients for 4 – 6 people
400g pearl barley
2l vegetable stock or water
1 Tblspn fennel seeds, toasted
1.5 Tblspn sesame seeds, toasted
1 tspn cumin seeds, toasted
scant 0.25 tspn turmeric powder
juice and zest of 1 – 1.5 small lemons or limes (taste as you add until the balance is achieved)
handful of mint and parsley, finely chopped
5 Tblspn pistachios, toasted
2 Tblspn raisins
3 Tblspn barberries (available from Middle Eastern shops)
a drizzle of good quality olive oil
sea salt and black pepper

sauce
1.5 tspn tahini
100g yoghurt
A pinch of dried mint
fresh chilli, chilli paste or harissa, to taste

method
Heat 1 Tblspn of the olive oil in a heavy-based pan and toast the barley until golden and aromatic. Add the stock or water. Simmer for 30 – 40 mins until the barley is tender. Add the rest of the ingredients with a drizzle of good quality olive oil. Season to taste.

Mix the tahini and mint into the yoghurt. For a little warmth, add some fresh chilli or harissa, to taste.

Serve the barley on a platter with the tahini yoghurt.

recipe notes and alternatives
Serve with roasted winter vegetables of your choice eg pumpkin, Jerusalem artichokes, fennel etc.

Replace the lemon juice with pomegranate molasses or quince molasses.

Add some za’atar to the salad, and reduce the amount of sesame seeds added. Or add za’atar to the yoghurt sauce in place of the dried mint.

Welcome! I hope you are enjoying what you see here. Thank you so much for your comment and your thoughts.

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