Pearl barley risotto

Pearl barley risotto

Eat Right For Your Body Type
Lisa Linder

Pearl barley is a wonderful ingredient for kapha and pitta and a nutritious, inexpensive grain. It does take a long time to cook and needs lots of added flavours, such as these vegetable options, to make it interesting. This grain is great for reducing swelling or water retention. It is also beneficial for vata as long as it is not consumed to excess. Omit the Parmesan if you have been eating more dairy than you should (this goes for kapha and pitta).


Quantity Ingredient
700-800ml vegetable stock
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee, (kapha 1 tablespoon oil)
1/2 medium onion, peeled and chopped
handful sliced leeks, (white parts only)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
10 fresh oregano leaves
1 large garlic clove, peeled and chopped
100g pearl barley
handful rocket or watercress, to finish
1-2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated, (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
squeeze lemon juice

Vegetable options

Quantity Ingredient
butternut squash, roasted with 1⁄2 sliced red onion and thyme
mushrooms, sauteed with 1 teaspoon chopped garlic, lemon juice and parsley


  1. Heat the stock in a pan and keep it simmering gently. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Add the onion, leek and stronger herbs; cook until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the barley and stir for 1 minute, then stir in a ladle of stock.
  2. Once absorbed, stir in the next, and continue this way until the pearl barley is cooked al dente. Add your veg option after 40 minutes or if already cooked, stir into the finished dish with herbs or greens and Parmesan (if using). Season, add lemon juice.
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