I have mentioned several times that my family is a huge fan of avarekaalu/hyacinth beans/field beans/mochai. Come season and I’m ready to peel the tender pods and extract the beautiful seeds, fresh and green. These days we are getting fresh beans and to my delight it has a good flavor too.
Recently on my visit to a gourmet store here, I picked some barley dalia or barley’s coarse meal. I wanted to use it in an innovative way, especially since I was cooking the barley dalia for the first time. I was super excited with the preparation I wanted to try and at the same time apprehensive too. I thought for the first time I was getting a bit ambitious since I did not know how much time it would take to cook but I had used pearl barley in my cooking earlier, so that helped me. .. I realized while cooking, that’s what the foodie in me wanted, some adrenalin rush and then a hopefully a decent foodie treat at the end…
Before I elaborate more about the preparation, I do want to emphasize on the importance and health benefits of this grain. For me, Barley is a powerhouse of nutrition. This centuries-old grain is packed with fiber, contains important vitamins and minerals, is slim on fat, and, like all plant products, cholesterol-free. It is also low on GI (glycemic index) making it useful for diabetics. Since it is an excellent source of dietary fiber, especially the beta-glucan soluble fiber. Research shows that barley beta-glucan soluble fiber promotes healthy blood sugar by slowing glucose absorption and thus helping the diabetics. Barley is also a good diuretic and helps in cleansing the urinary system. With so many health benefits it is a grain to be eaten frequently and that’s what I’m going to do now..eat healthy and stay fit!!
Coming back to the recipe.. I did not take a risk and soaked the barley meal and kept checking the grain every 15mins and realized it soaks faster as compared to pearl barley, the grain had soaked well in an hour. I had the hyacinth beans peeled and stored in the fridge and also had freshly grated coconut. I walked on similar lines of the Avarekaalu Uppittu that my family loves. Fortunately, the cooking procedure was not at all daunting and the daliya/upma was ready in 20mins. I guess, the soaking helped and it reduced the cooking time too.. I ate a small portion of the upma and realized that the grain is very filling and the upma tasted good with the addition of the beans which also adds nice flavor. I also felt that I should have added more green chilies since the grain by itself is nutty and sticky. A spicy upma would have tasted better for my palate, sadly I’m not able to get hold of spicy green chilies these days… Next time I make this, it will definitely have more chilies!!!
3cups of soaked barley dalia/ coarse meal
1cup avarekaalu/ hyacinth/field beans/mochai
6-7 green chilies, finely chopped (use spicy ones)
3tbsp chopped coriander leaves and stem
2tbsp chopped curry leaves/ kadhi patta
1tsp mustard seeds
5-6tbsp refined oil
salt to taste
2tbsp urad-chana dal mix
3-4 cups,boiling water
Wash and soak the barley dalia for an hour.
Boil the avarekaalu/hyacinth beans with some salt to taste in a pan.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom non stick pan. Add the mustard, let it splutter.
Add the urad chana dal mix and fry it light golden.
Add the green chilies, curry leaves and sauté.
Add the coriander too and mix. This adds a nice flavor to the upma.
Tip in the soaked barley meal/dalia. In my case the grains had absorbed all the water. Mix it properly in oil and add salt to taste. Roast it in the oil for 2-3mins.
Add the cooked avarekaalu and give a good stir.
Add the coconut and mix.
Finally, using a measuring cup add 2cups of boiling water (remember avarkaalu also has water). I felt that 1cup boiling water to 1cup soaked barley was the ratio I followed. Once the mixture boils, put the lid and simmer the flame, cook till done. If required add more boiling water.