Barley porridge

Barley porridge | Naturally sweetened, made in a pressure cooker

There was a time when I didn’t consider porridge normal food. It was too boring, too good. It must be for sick days. That was my notion. Like most other things in life, this too has come to pass. With age, with excess weight and with the constant deluge of over-the-top tasty foods, I’ve come to appreciate mellow, subdued, good for the body, good for next-day-morning foods. Did you know barley is packed with nutrients like potassium, Vitamin B6 and folate make it great for heart health? Barley is an excellent source of fiber, which helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood. Barley also contains Selenium which is not present in most foods. It plays a role in liver enzyme function and helps detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body. Barley is also useful in maintaining a healthy weight. I’ve taken a liking to porridge now. I find it comforting and satisfying. Also I am a sucker for sweet breakfasts. This naturally sweetened barley porridge is a great breakfast to start the day. The recipe I am going to share with you today will make barley porridge making a breeze. Barley generally takes a long time to make. So I dump the barley in a pressure cooker along with dates and cook them both together – 2 tasks in one shot. Barley is cooked through and so are the dates – all ready to be blended into a creamy porridge. The dates lend a lovely rounded sweetness without being cloyingly sweet. If you desire more sweetness, you can add some brown sugar or honey to the porridge. Adding just a pinch of salt balances the flavours and highlights the sweetness. You’re less likely to make the dish too sweet when you’ve added a pinch of salt. The toppings are everything. Here’s where you add crunch, texture and interest to the porridge. I went with toasted, slivered almonds, sliced cherries and bananas. You can go with any toppings of your choice – toasted cashews, chopped dates, chopped fruit, a drizzle of honey, anything you fancy! Enjoy!       Print Recipe Barley porridge | Naturally sweetened, made in a pressure cooker This naturally sweetened barley porridge is a great breakfast to start the day! Healthy and yummy! Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 35 minutes Servings 4 people Ingredients 1 cup Barley4 cups Water1-1/2 cup Milk1-1/2 cup Dates1...
Ice cream sandwiches

Ice cream sandwiches | Fun dessert to make with kids

Not all recipes are born from inspiration. Not all of them are from grandma’s handbook. None in my family had the forethought to document any of the grandmas’ recipes. They were all too busy stuffing their faces with food and gossiping about the Athai in Chidambaram and the Mama in Vellore. These ice cream sandwiches were born out of spending too much time on Amazon.com trying to figure out the best stuff in the US that is not available on Amazon.in and that’ll fit into the 35 kg baggage allowance. This is a legitimate thing. Everyone does it. I hope. “I am making the best use of the opportunity”, I tell Jagan. I’ve saved all the import duty that I’d be spending if I bought the same stuff on Amazon.in. Jagan: “What if you didn’t buy these things at all? How much would you save then?” Jayanthi: “That’s hypothetical.” I am shopping in the US without being in the US. Without the visa interview, 18-hour flights, toilet paper, decoction coffee and suddenly being polite and well-mannered and traffic law-abiding. That’s something. Jagan is my Kuruvi. If you don’t know what Kuruvi means you can watch Vijay’s “Kuruvi” movie. Kuruvis are the wonderful people who go on these long flights and drink decoction coffee so that they can carry stuff back home without import duty – Smugglers. Jagan isn’t a full time kuruvi. He does that only for me and unwillingly. For others he may do more willingly. His actual job is much less flashy – he does panchayat in the US, I mean project management. Before I go off on a tangent let me tell you about these ice cream sandwiches. I found these ice cream sandwich molds on Amazon a few years back and I couldn’t resist. Note that I had not tasted ice cream sandwiches before. But I had to buy them because they were too cute. My kuruvi brought them for me. I admired them and then safely put them away in my cupboard. I possessed them now and it was ok. I could get on with other things. So they sat in my cupboard for a few years. This year, I happened to catch sight of these ice cream sandwich molds when I opened that cupboard. I showed them to Hasini and Yuvi. That’s all the accountability that I ever needed. They made sure to follow...