Introduction: Pearl Barley and Chickpeas

If you have never tried pearl barley before, this is the recipe you should start with.

This is a warm and comforting dish that you can enjoy at any time of the day in any season.
It is also a one-pot recipe!


  • Pearl barley - 120g
  • Chickpeas (already boiled) - 120g
  • Tomatoes - 2 large ones
  • Ginger - 1 cm long piece (optional)
  • Garlic - 1 clove (optional)
  • Rosemary - half a sprig
  • Coriander - a few leaves to garnish
  • Other spices of your choice - salt, chilli, ground coriander, cumin etc.

Cooks best in a pressure cooker. Saves you time.

Step 1: Prep and Cook


  • Dice the tomatoes.
  • Chop up the ginger and garlic if you are using them
  • If you started with dry chickpeas, boil them. If you bought a can of boiled chickpeas, you can use them directly.
  • Gather your spices


  • Heat a couple of teaspoons of oil in your pot. Olive oil, sunflower oil... your choice.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, ginger and garlic.
  • Toss in a pinch of salt and let the tomatoes get mushy.
  • Add spices at this point. I added a pinch of chilli powder and ground coriander.
  • Cook for a minute.
  • Add the grains of pearl barley to the tomatoes. If you are adding rosemary, do it now.
  • Pour in water at a ratio of 1 part barley to 2 parts water. If you used a cup of barley, add two cups of water.
  • Close the lid and pressure cook for 12 minutes.
  • After the barley has boiled, open the lid and add chickpeas.
  • Cook the mixture for a minute or two.

Tip: if you are using a pressure cooker like mine, put it on high heat till the pressure indicator (not the whistle) rises up. Then, lower the heat to a minimum and cook for 12 minutes. The cooker should not whistle during cooking. You can adjust the time to get a more crunchy or more soggy result.

Step 2: Serve

Garnish with fresh coriander leaver and serve hot.

The texture is a little crunchy and a little chewy.

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