One Pot Barley Meal


One of my favorite activities is reading. I just finished a brilliant book called, “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari. I knew Barley was one of the first domesticated grains in the world. But had no idea that it was also used as a currency in the ancient world. It certainly makes sense. Its a very hardy crop and the grain has a really long shelf life. Its also very healthy and can be used in many different ways. This is a simple recipe that is full of goodness and bursts with earthy flavors.

You Need:

  • One cup of Barley, washed and soaked in water for about 30 mins.
  • 250 grams of Mutton.
  • 3 Large onions sliced really thin.
  • Butter and Oil.
  • Spinach or Basella, chopped up.
  • A large Egg Plant, cut into small pieces.
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste.
  • A little cardamom, star anise and cloves.
  • 3 whole green chilies.
  • A teaspoon of turmeric.

Heat butter and oil in a pressure cooker. Saute the cardamom, star anise and cloves. Fry onions in this till they are reduced in volume by more than half and are almost golden. Season with salt. Add the green chilies, turmeric and ginger garlic paste. When the raw edge is gone add the meat. Saute till its all white and then add enough water to cover everything. Pressure cook on high for a whistle and then simmer for about 10-12 minutes.

Open cooker and add the barley, greens and egg plant. You may need to add some more water. Everything must be almost covered in water. Pressure cook for one whistle. Let the pressure fully subside before you open the cooker. You may need to stir and cook on high heat to get the right consistency. Leave it a little wet. As it cools the barley will absorb a lot of the water.

Enjoy a scrumptious one pot meal.



Roasted Chicken and Aubergine


You Need:

  • A couple of pieces of chicken preferably with skin on.
  • A large aubergine, cut into large pieces.
  • A carrot. Skip this if you are into the Keto Diet.
  • A spring onion. The bulbs kept whole, the leaf chopped into 1 cm pieces.
  • Olive Oil.
  • Pepper and any dry seasoning powders or herbs.

Layer the baking dish with olive oil, aubergine, carrot, spring onions bulbs. Cover with the chopped spring onion leaves. Place chicken on top of this green bed.

Sprinkle salt, pepper and seasoning.

Preheated oven at 210 C. Roast at 210C for 20 mins. Then continue baking at 190C for 40 mins. Remove chicken from the pan. Mix vegetables and you will find there is a lot of water collected. Broil with only top heat set at a good 250C for about 5 mins or so.

Enjoy with a cucumber-pomegranate-greek yogurt salad.

Eggplant with Prawns

You need:

  • One medium onion, chopped.
  • Two medium tomatoes, chopped.
  • Three green chillies, chopped.
  • An inch of Ginger diced.
  • About half of kilo of small egg plants, cut into one cm size pieces.
  • Hundred grams of shelled and deveined prawns.
  • Two teaspoons of coriander powder.
  • Some coriander leaves and stems, finely diced.

Heat any oil and saute the onions, ginger and green chillies till the raw edge is gone. Add tomatoes, salt, turmeric and coriander powder. Mix well. After about a minute or two add the egg plants and mix well. Cook covered on low heat for about fifteen minutes. Occasionally open and stir them to avoid the base from getting burnt. When the egg plants are almost done add the prawns.

Mix well and cook covered on the lowest heat setting for about ten minutes. Garnish with fresh Coriander.

Serve with rice or rotis.

Prawns and Vegetables


This is a family favorite. Goes very well with both rotis and rice.

You Need:

  • 200 gms of shelled and de-veined prawns.
  • 2 Onions finely chopped.
  • 3 Tomatoes roughly cut up.
  • 3 Medium potatoes cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 1 Large brinjal cut up or 7 to 8 small brinjals slit in the middle.
  • 2 Medium carrots, this is optional.
  • 1 whole green chilly
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric.
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons of coriander powder
  • Finely chopped coriander leaves.

Heat oil and saute the onions with the green chilly, till translucent. Add turmeric and tomatoes. Season with salt. Cook on medium heat till the tomatoes have completely softened. Mix in the coriander powder.

Add the prawns and cook them for 2-3 minutes. They will start turning white in no time. Add the carrots, potatoes, brinjal and coriander leaves. Mix really well. Everything must get coated with the masala. Sprinkle a little water.

Pressure cook for exactly one whistle. As soon as the whistle starts, reduce heat to low. Switch off the stove after 5 mins.

Open only after the pressure has fully dissipated.

Enjoy a yummy side dish, which carries the flavors of its core ingredients.

Masala Brinjals (Vegan)


You need;

  • Half a kilo of Brinjals, cut into small pieces. Salted and kept aside.
  • One large onion, thinly sliced.
  • Two medium tomatoes, roughly chopped.
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger garlic paste.
  • 2 teaspoons of red chilly powder.
  • 2 teaspoons of coriander powder.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric.
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala.
  • 1 tablespoon of besan flour.

Do not wash the brinjals. If you do, then pat them dry. Cut them into small pieces and sprinkle salt with a pinch of turmeric. Rub it well and keep them in a colander. A plate under the colander will prevent making a mess in the kitchen. The salt will leach out the bitterness in brinjals.

Heat oil. Once its hot add the onions so they start getting fried right away. After 3-4 mins of frying on high heat, add the ginger garlic paste, coriander powder, turmeric, red chilly powder. Mix well. Then sprinkle the besan flour. Mix well and you will notice that the dry masala is slowly getting stuck to the base of your pan.

Now wash the salted brinjals and add them to the pan. Let them cook for about 5 mins while occasionally mixing them. By now its quite possible that the masala is slowly getting stuck to the pan. Its ok. Reduce the heat. Add the tomatoes and cook covered for about 7-8 mins.

When you open the pan, there will a little moisture release by the brinjals and tomatoes. Use that to fully deglaze the pan. If cooking in a non-stick pan, use a wooden spatula.

Sprinkle some garam masala powder and serve with rotis.


Brinjal in Spinach Sauce


A simple but wholesome meal with the king of vegetables aka the Mighty Baigan (Brinjal) Raja.

First we puree blanched spinach with a couple of green chilies and garlic.


Use long brinjals and cut them into halves with slits like in the picture. This will cook them faster and allow the sauce to get inside giving a consistent flavor.


Heat oil. Fry some mustard seeds, coriander seeds and cumin. Add the brinjal and cook on high heat. Once the outside is a little charred and the brinjals start turning soft add the puree. Cook on low heat and now season with any dried herbs, chilly flakes and salt.

Serve with boiled eggs to make it a complete lunchbox.