Caramelised Onion Risotto with Barley 

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When I won first prize in a culinary contest, about 15 days ago I received a hamper as a gift in which I found a tin of white Pearl barley.

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To be very honest I had never ever cooked it or ate it before, so I was curious as to what all can be done with it..!! Then I took help of Internet and surfed about it. And to my surprise barley is grown most after rice, wheat and maize.

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It is a Eurasian crop, which is very versatile. It has a nut like flavour to it and a chewy, pasta like texture. It can be added to soups and salads. Barely is not as popular as other whole grain like Wheat, Oats or Quinoa but surely it is in race when it come to health benefits.

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It is very healthy as it is high in maltose which is healthy sugar and help to prevent diabetes. It’s high content of fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidant helps to improve heart health.

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After doing some research, I thought of creating a recipe of my own, a very unique one. Which is healthy, tasty, easy to make and filling. Personally I love onion, if they are caramelised I can have them just by itself. So I thought of giving barley onion flavour along with mint.

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This is how I ended up making this delicious, caramelised onion risotto with barely. This is perfect meal for either lunch or dinner. It goes well with a bowl of salad.
If you are looking for other healthy recipes do check out Pasta and Veggie Salad, Vegetable Sandwiches and more Sandwich options.
Here is a complete guide to “How to make Caramelised onion risotto with barley

Ingredients (Servers 1 as main dish 2 as side)

1 Bay leaf
2 green cardamom
1 black cardamom
2 cloves
1 star anise
1 table spoon butter ( separated )
2 big onions ( thinly sliced )
20-25 coriander leaves
7-8 mint leaves
1/2 Clove garlic
1 small green chilli
25 grams  processed cheese
1/2 cup uncooked white pearl barley
3 and 3/4 cup water (separated )
Salt to taste

Preparation

1) Wash barely, add 3 and 1/2 cup water to it and let it cook on medium flame for about 30-40 minutes, the more you cook more chewy it turns so cook according to your choice. Do keep on stirring it every 7-8 minute so they do not stick to bottom. IMG_8519
2) While barley is cooking start to chop onions ( into thin slice ), coriander, mint leaves, green Chilli and garlic. Chop them finely. [ In picture you can spot my favourite knife even though it is not that appealing, but it is very sharp 😉 ]
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3) Once chopped, take a medium sized pan add 1/2 table spoon of butter (save another 1/2 table spoon of butter for use later) to it add all whole spices once they sizzle, add thinly sliced onions. Cook them until they turn brown. Add salt to taste for onions.
4) Transfer them on a plate to cool. Once they attain room temperature, remove whole spice from it, add half of caramelised onions to a small food processor jar, along with half quality of coriander leaves. Add garlic and green Chilli, add 1/4 cup about 50 ml of water. Churn it all into a paste. Keep aside for use later.
5) When barley is cooked transfer them on kitchen towel, so that it won’t be too sticky.
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6) In the same pan that we used to cook onions, add remaining half table spoon of butter, once it melts add onion paste. Let it boil for about 2 mins, add cooked barley to it. Mix it well. Add salt to taste.
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7) Add half of saved caramelised onions and coriander leaves. Also add mint leaves and cheese. Give it a quick stir.
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8) Garnish with caramelised onions and coriander leaves. Serve hot.
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