Barley Kachumber Salad transforms the comfort of Kachumber salad into a whole meal in itself. Inclusion of complex carbohydrate in terms of Barley pearls makes it the perfect meal in a bowl.
I love salads is no news to regular readers of the blog but today we will talk about Kachumber salad, one of the first salads that I fell in love with. This Barley Kachumber salad is just an adaption of the same.
Salads were very much a part of my growing up. Contrary to what my husband says, we always grew up with eating raw vegetables along with our meals. Be it cucumber and onion in summer or carrots and radish in winter, cut vegetables with a sprinkle of salt and a dash of lime was always a part of everyday meal. and when mum was in indulgent meal she would whip up a Kachumber Salad, specially during summer when we would get Kakdi’s (thin long cucumber) in the market. Kakdi, onions, tomatoes, green chillies chopped seasoned with salt, chat masala and garnished with coriander leaves and lemon juice. Simplicity that we used to look forward to so much. Simple dal, rice meals would specially be paired with this Kachumber salad and I would religiously remove green chillies from it and put it in my dad’s plate. The Kachumber salad continues to be a favorite still, only I now eat it with mutton curry-rice. Somehow eating this as a meal in itself (which I tend to do with many other salads) felt a little incomplete till I found the solution – Barley Kachumber Salad.
My first brush with Barley (specifically Barley pearls) was a couple of years ago when my mum got a radiation treatment for her arthritic knees at SBF Healthcare (on an aside do check out the site, the treatment seems to have helped mum and granny). The treatment had to be supplemented with a strict diet and one of the thing she had to consume was 2ltrs of Barley water everyday. To make the water, we would boil 100 grams of barley pearls in 2 ltr of water, drain and drink. For a few days we threw away the barley and then the heart started bleeding on the good food we were not consuming. Barley is an extremely nutritious grain with a very high fiber content, antioxidants, selenium, B vitamins, copper, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium and niacin. And it is also very helpful with water retention and promotes cartilage growth when eaten on a regular basis.
We started experimenting with cooking with those barley pearls. There was upma, khichdi and Barley Kachumber salad was the result of such experimentation. It also made the Kachumber salad a perfect meal in the bowl for me. Like they say – ek teer se do nishaan (using a single arrow for multiple targets). It is now a regular at home specially in summer when the tender kakdi is in season.