Thursday, September 10, 2009

barley in pasta sauce and corn-mung cutlets

I have been trying to include coarse grains in my food due to their nutritional benefits. All these coarse grains (and millets) are complex carbs, alkalizing in nature, high fiber and wholesome foods.

Hulled barley is a great choice for everyday meals but many of us think that it doesn't cook quickly. The trick is to soak it overnight or pressure cook a large batch and keep refrigerated. Making meals under 30 minutes will not be difficult with coarse grains if you do a little planning.

I cook many recipes with whole barley (hulled) like soups, salads, khichri , poha etc. and many of the recipes are in my archives. I like whole barley in all these forms and was planning to make it with pasta sauce or tomato concasse that I keep keep in the fridge all the time, paired with fresh basil leaves from the garden it will taste heavenly I knew but my routine has been in such a mess these days that cooking a proper meal for the two of us seems like a big task.

barley in pasta sauce and corn-mung cutlets

All this while I have been thinking of how a three course meal is possible in a busy life. If you have been watching my blog I did the post a balanced three course meal and was wondering how it can fit into a life like ours. Currently it is one pot meals mostly as I rarely get enough time to cook.

The thought has really been with me all this while that eating nutritious food throughout the day is not that difficult if you know what you eat and make the right choices. But serving a single meal with all the food groups together may not be a good idea. Like if you eat fresh fruits with the carb-protein meal, it may lead to putrefaction of the food before it's digestion and cause flatulence and other digestive problems.

Also, according to Ayurveda, too many food groups should not be grouped together for a single meal. Like milk should not be paired with spicy savory and tart foods and with non vegetarian foods. It is called vipareet aahar and those food groups should be avoided together.

At the same time some fruits are considered okay with meals, like mangoes, but that too is not good if taken with a heavy meal.

Cooked fruits are okay with meals but they loose some of their goodness while being cooked. A small serving of cooked fruits as a dessert can be a wise choice though.

Even raw salads using cucumbers and other veggies are not a good idea with meals. Raw salads can make a meal by themselves or may be a between the meals snack.

All said and done, we choose according to what suits our individual taste and constitution. Eating local and seasonal food gives great opportunities to follow beneficial combinations of food groups.

Now to the recipe of barley in pasta sauce and corn mung cutlets, and a wee dessert that rounds up a meal. A meal in 30 minutes or less.

barley in pasta sauce was easy...

The hulled barley is soaked for 4-5 hours and boiled till done and then is cooked quickly with lots of fresh basil leaves and tomato concasse. Served hot with a garnish of sliced boiled egg. It was a good combination and very filling too..

barley in pasta sauce

corn mung cutlets

These were not as quick as the barley but a close second.

Sweet corn kernels, soaked mung beans with skin, ginger, green chillies, salt n pepper were pulsed together in mixie to make a coarse paste. Mung sprouts can also be used.

corn-mung cutlets

Some grated processed cheese was added later and patty shaped cutlets were shallow fried in very little oil.

barley in pasta sauce and corn-mung cutlets

The dessert is an apricot compote

Chopped fresh apricots with skin are simmered in orange juice and reduced to make a nice thick syrupy compote. No additional sugar is needed if orange juice from carton is used. If using fresh orange juice you might want to add little sugar.

I keep this in the fridge and its good with ice cream or with a dollop of whipped cream on top. We enjoyed it as it is for the dinner.

Nicely served meals are good and this was a healthy one too.

I am sending this to Yasmeen's three course meal event even though the pictures look horrible. But I can't manage better with the kind of workload I have to deal with. Sharing my food on this blog feels great no matter how strapped for time I am.

Do try these recipes and let me know whether you like them. I love hearing back from you.


  1. Oh yes! Here it is:

    Thanks :D :D

  2. Too good! Your blog is a treasure trove of information on good food Sangeeta! :-)

  3. thanks for the compliment Sharmila.

  4. Corn Moong! You come up with such tasty and healthy recipes as always.

  5. Completely wholesome meal,sangeeta:).Love the barley in the tangy sauce,looks pretty with egg and fresh basil.The cutlets sound very nutritious and the dessert is simply delish :)

  6. Love your cutlets, nutritious and delicious.

  7. Lovely cutlets Sangeeta..nI love the fact that they are so healthy..:)

  8. This all looks so lovely. I love the cutlets especially. So healthy and delicious--I'm going to have to give them a try. You always have such interesting recipes, Sangeeta.