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  • Writer's pictureAdvitha

Barley Mushroom Risotto

Updated: Jan 24, 2022

When I first came across risotto, I had mistaken it for Pongal (a south Indian dish).

In my defense, the appearance was spot on! And then I read that Risottos are a creamy rice-based Italian recipe. Arborio rice is slow-cooked in a broth and is topped off with white wine and parmesan cheese. The broth can be vegetable, meat, chicken, or fish broth. The Arborio rice is a great choice for risotto because of its sticky nature that is due to the low amylose and high amylopectin, making the dish creamy without even adding cream! With barley, you can replicate the same texture because of the amylopectin content.

This is my take on the classic risotto, replacing the Arborio rice with barley. This recipe does not include white wine in it, but in case you feel you like it add 20 ml of white wine of your choice to the broth!

Barley takes a while to cook and the recipe is a slow cook method, which gives maximum flavor.

The prep is going to take you very little time because there is less chopping to do. Stirring a little once a while will do just to make sure the content doesn't stick to the pot.

What is the best vessel to cook it in?

Pick a vessel that is heavy bottom and made of cast iron or, a ceramic saucepan. Make sure the vessel has a fitting lid to cover and cook.

Servings : 3

Time to Prep: 10 minutes

Time to Cook: 50-60 minutes


1/2 cup Hulled barley/ Pearled barley

2 cups Vegetable/Chicken/Meat/Fish broth

100 g Mushroom

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 shallot/ small onions

1/4 tsp Pepper powder

Oregano (fresh or dried)

Thyme (fresh or dried)

3 tbsp parmesan cheese

1 tbsp Pomace Olive Oil/ Ricebran Oil

Sea Salt

Easy Prep!

This recipe requires less chopping. Use a crusher to mince the garlic or simply use a stone mortar to crush the garlic. Both works just fine!

Mushroom being a low-lying produce, it is bound to have enough dirt that needs to be cleansed. Mushroom contains 90% water so do not soak them in water for too long, lest you want the mushroom to absorb more water and let down excess water when it cooks! The best way to clean mushroom is to put it in a bowl of room temperature water with a spoon of salt! Toss for a minute and wait for the dirt to settle down! Remove the mushrooms to a clean bowl and discard the water. (Do not strain the water along with the mushroom in it!) Pat the mushroom dry with a clean cloth and then chop them!

Let's get Cooking!

  • In a pan add oil and heat. Add chopped shallots and minced garlic and sauté until the raw smell goes off and turns golden brown.

  • Add pepper powder followed by mushrooms and stir for 5 - 6 minutes on low flame or until mushroom turns golden.

  • Add 1 1/2 cup broth and bring to boil. Add the barley and stir well. Add salt as per taste and cook on medium flame.

  • Hulled barley takes around 50-60 minutes to cook and pearled takes around 40-50 minutes.

  • Add 1/2 cup of warm broth and cook until the barley is well cooked.

  • Add 1/4 cup warm milk, oregano, and thyme and stir well.

  • Top with parmesan cheese and serve with herb seasoning as per taste.

Vegan Alternative

  • Replace the parmesan cheese with a vegan cheese alternative, or simply top with powdered cashew.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 226kcal l Carbohydrates: 28g I Protein: 8g I Fat: 7g I

Saturated Fat: 4g I Cholesterol: 18mg I Sodium: 716mg I Potassium: 328mg I

Fiber: 5g I Sugar: 1g I Vitamin A: 215IU I Vitamin C: 1.4mg I Calcium: 71mg I Iron: 1.4mg

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