Spicy Barley Peppers


serves 4
1 tbsp (15 ml) groundnut (peanut), sunflower or olive oil
1/2 onion, skinned and chopped
1 large garlic clove, skinned and crushed
1/4 inch (0.5 cm) piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) garam masala
1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) turmeric
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) cayenne pepper
175 g (6 oz) pot barley
450 ml (3/4 pint) vegetable stock
100 - 150 g (4 - 6 oz) haddock fillet, skinned
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) black peppercorns
1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice
2 parsley sprigs
1 tbsp (15 ml) tomato puree (paste)
2 oz (50 g) frozen petits pois
salt and pepper, to taste
2 red peppers, cored, halved lengthways and seeded
2 green peppers, cored, halved lengthways and seeded
fresh coriander sprigs, to garnish


1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, until soft.

2. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute, then add the ginger, garam masala, turmeric and cayenne and stir for about 30 seconds.

3. Add the barley and stir to coat well in the spice mixture.

4. Pour in the stock and simmer, half covered, for 15 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, half fill a saucepan with cold water and add the haddock, peppercorns, lemon juice and parsley sprigs.

6. Bring to a simmer and gently poach for 4 - 5 minutes.

7. Drain the fish and allow to cool slightly, then flake, discarding any bones. Set aside.

8. Mix the tomato puree with 150 ml (1/4 pint) hot water.

9. Add to the barley mixture and continue cooking for 10 minutes.

10. Stir in the petits pois and seasoning and continue cooking, half covered, for a further 5 minutes.

11. Meanwhile, place the peppers in a steamer and steam for 7 minutes.

12. Lightly mix the fish into the barley mixture.

13. Spoon the mixture into the peppers and steam for a further minute.

14. Garnish with fresh sage leaves and serve hot.

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