This is an unusual version of the British Empire dish normally made with rice. I’m a great fan of barley. Give this a try for something a little different for a lunch or supper dish or, for what it was designed, breakfast.
100g of finely diced onion
One level teaspoon of garam masala
One rounded teaspoon of curry paste
Half a teaspoon of turmeric
150g pearl barley
400ml of good vegetable or light fish stock
225g smoked haddock
A handful of frozen peas
One or two eggs – hard boiled, cooled, shelled and chopped
Rapeseed or olive oil
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Place the smoked haddock in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for five to ten minutes until cooked. Remove to a plate, allow to cool a little and then flake.
Heat a little oil in a large saucepan and gently sweat the onions and spices until the onions are soft. Add the pearl barley and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the barley is tender. By that time, most of the liquid should have disappeared but add a little water at any time if the mixture appears too dry.
While the barley’s cooking, cook the peas in a little boiling water or the microwave until tender. Refresh under the cold tap to stop them cooking any more and drain.
Add the flaked haddock, chopped egg and peas to the barley and warm everything through, tasting before adding pepper and any necessary salt. Serve with a wedge of lemon.