When starting this blog, I hadn't really experimented much in the way of using recipes. I would only look through cook books, take ideas and make up my own dishes, but always forgetting what I used exactly in the way of quantities or method of cooking. This would make the same dish taste different every time. Not such a bad thing, but it can become a pain when you want to cook something quickly, something that you know is good for friends visiting.
From posting my fave dishes here, forces me to note down what I did, therefore opening up a new world of cooking.
I'm also always open to new ideas, especially ones which are easy to make, take little time, taste outstanding and of course are healthy.
I love it when friends are also interested in cooking, as this opens up new tasty doors. Jules, a friend of mine from New Zealand is a keen cook and always has great ideas in the kitchen. Being a yoga fanatic vegetarian and interested in healthful ingredients has possibly made her more experimental. I turned to her first because one of the first dishes of hers I tasted was right up my street. Curried barley and pumpkin. A really delicious side dish so full of flavour and very aromatic.
Sadly Jules had to leave Japan to return to New Zealand so no more sampling of new dishes that I can steal and no more yoga afternoons :( . Thankfully the power of the internet helps keep things close, so I asked her to send me some of her favourite meals, the ones she turns to most often. Luckily she sent me the Curried barley and pumpkin recipe I have been trying to copy for the past 6 months.
Tonight I followed the recipe for the first time and tried my best not to ruin it by adding extras before I'd even sampled the original recipe. The results, were just as I thought, super delicious. I served it with a tofu and edamame mixed salad and pickled cucumbers on the side (a new favourite of mine. Thank you Chisako for introducing them to me). I have sooo many left overs too. I doubled the batch as Andy is a huge eater and always worrying if he eats enough. He said he'd eat it again, however the only suggestion he made was to serve it with a saucy dish as it wouldn't work as a meal by itself. I feel that this dish as a meal by itself, wasn't the intention and works amazing with a crunchy salad and tofu. The quantities of spices were spot on and the sweetness of the pumpkin and the mirin pull out the spicy flavours. I loved how making this dish filled my apartment with mouth watering aromas.
I have no need to change anything, but I'm happy to hear what your opinions are.
Thanks Jules for this one!! x
1 cup barley
1 cup chopped pumpkin
2 teaspoons toasted and crushed cumin seeds
2 teaspoons curry powder
1-2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 teaspoons kombu dashi
1-2 cups water
Put all ingredients in to the rice cooker and mix together. Set the cooker to cook and let the rice cooker do the rest. Enjoy the smells and wait for the beep.