Quick and Easy One-pot Vegan Barley Pilaf Recipe made with Pearl Barley, Green Beans, Chick peas and Carrots. It’s a quick, healthy side dish with a little spice. This recipe has me looking at barley in a whole new light. Its so easy to work with and can be flavored so easily.
I have never used Barley in a savory recipe before and I don’t know why!
This pilaf recipe turned out so delicious that its now permanently on my Saturday lunch menu! I put all the ingredients into one pot and let it cook by itself!
What I ended up with was MAGIC!
This recipe is a fusion of Indian spices and American ingredients. They blended so well together and I just fell in love with barley all over again.
I have to admit that I have used barley in soup only and never tried to venture into experimenting with other types of meals. It never occurred to me that I could put it into something where the barley was full frontal and the main ingredient!
Now that I see its potential, I have a feeling that I am going to be making a lot more barley recipes!
To make this pilaf recipe, I put toasted the barley with other ingredients which is what I usually do in a rice pilaf like my Brussels sprouts rice pilaf. It makes the barley very soft and practically melt in your mouth when you eat it.
One of the derivation of the word pilaf is from Sanskrit. Pulaka, translated, means “a ball of rice” because it was normally a giant ball of rice put on a plate. Then, everyone would eat from that ball and it was a great bonding experience.
I grew up using rice pilaf because its a very common meal in most of Eastern culture. Every country has their own version of pilaf. Most of the Middle Eastern and African cultures will add all kinds of beef to it.
For the Indian version, “pulau” is always made with fresh vegetables. I like experimenting with all kinds of vegetables like corn, potatoes and even artichokes. I also put a heavy dose of turmeric in it because I love that vibrant yellow color. If you aren’t afraid of turmeric, then you have to try my Turmeric Smoothie Bowl.
Saffron also plays a huge part in this recipe. It adds a nice yellow color, but, adds a nice exotic aroma to it. If you haven’t heard me proclaim fierce proclamation for Saffron, you have to read all about it in my Saffron Yogurt Mayo recipe.
This time, however, I went with green beans and carrots. They were the perfect texture and taste compliment to the barley. If you like peas, throw them in there because they work great with barley. I suggest using sweet peas because it adds a nice flavor to the barley
This recipe also uses Cardamom which is my favorite Indian spice because its so aromatic. Put it in Basmati rice and watch it go from blah to KA-POW! Mix it with pistachio and coat goat cheese with it to make an amazing salad recipe
The secret to cooking this barley recipe quickly is to use a really pan with a large surface area. I made sure that there was only 1 layer instead all the ingredients being stacked on top of each other. This way, the recipe was ready in about 45 minutes. I used a heavy duty 12″ non-stick pan which is my favorite kitchen tool ever!
This is a vegan recipe, but, everyone is going to love it. The moment you pull it out of the oven, the aroma is going to waft through the house. The cardamom and spices are so irresistible, but, don’t take my word for it! Make it and send me pictures of it.
I had quite a few Green Beans left over from this recipe, so, I used Debra from Bowl Me Over’s method of steaming green beans and saving them for future use. It proved to be so useful!
Now that you have tried this barley pilaf recipe, are you ready to try other savory barley recipes?
Vegan Barley Pilaf Recipe
A simple Barley Pilaf made with fresh veggies and Indian Spices
- 1 cup Green Beans cut into about 1 inch pieces
- 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil Or Corn Oil
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1/4 Red Onion Julienned
- 1 Tbsp Ginger Finely Crushed
- 2 cup Pearl Barley
- 1/2 cup Carrots I used Crinkle Cut
- 1 cup Chick Peas Save the liquid from the can
- 2 tsp Cardamom Pods See Notes
- 1 Tbsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 tsp Red Chili Powder More if you can handle the spice
- 1 Tbsp Cumin-Coriander Powder
- 8-10 Strands Saffron
- 3 tsp Warm Water For soaking the saffron
- 1 tsp Salt Adjust to your taste
- 3.5 Cups Water
- 3/4 Cup Aquafaba Liquid from the Chick Peas
- 1 tsp Whole Peppercorn
- 1/2 Cup Unsalted Cashews
- 1/2 Cup Raisins
- 1 Tbsp Almonds Roughly Chopped
- 1.5 tsp Lime Juice
- Cilantro For Garnish, optional
In a hot pan, add the oil and the cumin seeds
In a bowl, add the water and saffron. Set it aside
Add the onions after 30 seconds, add the onions and cook until transluscent
Add the green beans and carrots to the pan
Add the shredded ginger and mix well
Cook for about 5 minutes before added the pearl barley
Add the Chick Peas
Add the Turmeric, Cumin-coriander powder and red chili powder
Add the salt
Add the Saffron water
Peel the Cardamom pod a little to expose the seeds in it. Put them into the pan. See notes
Add the water and aquafaba to the pan
Add the whole peppercorns
Close the lid and let it cook on medium heat for about 32 minutes or until all the water has dissipated.
Add the almonds, cashews, raisins and coriander. Mix well before serving
- I used Cardamom with the pods because it add so much aroma. If you don't like the pods, just use about 1.5 tsp of cardamom seeds
- Your cooking time will vary depending on the size of the pan you are using. For best results, use a 12" or wider pan. You can also put all the ingredients after step 13 into a slow cooker and let it cook on its own for about 3 hours or until the water has dissipated