Roasted and Spiced Barley with Vegetables

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Everyone can eat this dish as part of a balanced meal, but it is a first choice for Kapha and good to eat on days when you are eating a lighter diet. The outstanding tastes of this recipe are pungent, sweet, and salty. It should be served as a side dish rather than the main course for Vata and Pitta. If you substitute cooked brown rice or kasha for the barley, it would make a more substantial main dish for thin people and Vata.

Serves 6 to 8

3 tablespoons ghee 1/2 teaspoon cayenne 1 cup barley, rinsed and drained 1/2 teaspoons salt 31/2 cups hot water

1 cup bite-size broccoli florets

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds

1 sweet red pepper, cut in i-inch squares

1 cup washed and chopped Swiss chard (mixed ruby and white look best)

1/2 cup washed and chopped beet greens

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1. To prepare the barley, heat the ghee in a heavy iron skillet or a 2-quart pot over moderate heat. Stir in the cayenne. Lower the flame to simmer and after the cayenne is heated, about 1 minute, stir in the barley. Roast the barley by continuously stirring it until the grains are medium brown. Watch carefully not to burn it. Then sprinkle on the salt, add the hot water, and stir once or twice. Cover nghdy and simmer over very low heat for about 1 hour. It’s all right if some liquid remains. Fluff up the barley with a fork, cover, and set it aside while you prepare the vegetables. Or make the barley ahead of time and prepare the vegetables just before serving.

2. To prepare the vegetables, steam the broccoli for 3 to 4 minutes and set it aside.

3. Heat the oil in a wok or a large heavy frying pan. Add the ginger and the sesame seeds. Fry over moderate heat until the seeds just start to pop. Add half the pumpkin seeds, stir, add the red peppers, and stir well. Stir in the chard and the beet greens. Add the steamed broccoli, the salt, and the pepper. Toss well and cover tightly. Turn off the heat and let the vegetables steam while you reheat the barley over medium heat, stirring until any remaining liquid is gone.

4. Fold in the remaining pumpkin seeds and spread the barley on a serving platter. Arrange the vegetables on the bed of barley and serve.

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