Mixed Vegetable and Pearl Barley Curry
A comforting vegan curry perfect for a midweek meal. While it may look a little complicated that three different pans are used, it’s because we want each ingredient respected to ensure best results - while one is best fried, another is best boiled, and everything is cooking at same time anyway. The garnish calls for toasted almonds, if you cannot source these, you can make them by simply toasting flaked (slivered) almonds in a hot, dry pan until golden (do this first so you need not worry about it later when you have three pans on the go…)
80g pearl barley
1 TB olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp ginger paste
½ tsp garam masala
1 tsp medium curry powder
2 tsp tomato concentrate
50g peas, defrosted if using frozen
½ head cauliflower, cut into small florets
80g green beans, trimmed into thirds
salt and freshly ground black pepper
toasted flaked almonds, to garnish
coriander leaves, to garnish
In one pan, cook the pearl barley according to packet instructions in enough vegetable stock into which you should add a pinch of turmeric. This can take up to 20 minutes, so start on the cooking of the rest of the dish halfway through.
In a second (main) pan, heat the olive oil in a pan and gently fry the onions and carrots until the onions have softened. Add the garlic, ginger paste, garam masala, curry powder and tomato concentrate and cook until fragrant, adding a dash of vegetable stock and the peas. (If the pearl barley and cauliflower (see below) is not ready to be added at this point, remove this pan from the heat.)
In the meantime, in a third pan, bring enough stock to the boil (with a pinch of turmeric added again) and boil the cauliflower florets for 8-9 minutes, adding the green beans after 5 minutes. Drain and add to the onion and carrot spice pan (which may or may not be on the heat at this time.)
Once you are satisfied the pearl barley is cooked, drain (reserving a dash of cooking stock) and add to the main pan. Stir well to combine, adding the reserved cooking stock to bring it all together, if necessary. Keep on the heat until all liquid has cooked out. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve divided between two warm bowls and garnish with toasted almonds and coriander leaves.