24 October 2017Last updated

Food | Recipes

Five delicious grain recipes

Sometimes sidelined as an accompaniment, staple cereals can take centre stage using any of these simple recipes

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17 Mar 2017 | 12:00 am

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Prep time 10 mins
Cooking time 15 mins
Serves 4

1 cup red and brown quinoa, rinsed well
1 cup water
1 cup coconut milk
2 tsp brown sugar
Mangos, strawberries, seedless green grapes, as desired, roughly chopped
Greek yogurt, to serve
Chopped pistachios, to garnish
For the dressing, combine:
½ tsp orange blossom water
2 tbsp mango juice
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp honey

Drain the quinoa and place in a saucepan with water and coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the liquid has been absorbed.

Add the sugar and stir through, then remove from the heat and rest for five minutes.

Toss the fruit in the dressing. Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Fold in the fruit gently, and pour a little dressing over the top. Serve with the yogurt and nuts on top.



Prep time 5-10 mins
Cooking time 10 mins
Serves 6

1 litre milk
½ cup caster sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
1 tbsp butter
200g short-grain black rice
1 tbsp orange zest

Place milk, sugar, ground ginger and vanilla seeds in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Immediately remove from the heat and set aside.

Melt the butter in a separate pan, add rice, stirring to coat, and cook for about a minute.

Adding a cup of the milk mixture at a time, stir with a wooden spoon, allowing the liquid to absorb after each addition, until the rice is tender and creamy.

Stir the zest through and serve immediately.



Prep time 1 hour
Cooking time 1 hour
Serves 6

1kg boneless lamb shoulder or leg, cubed
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground fennel
½ tsp turmeric or pinch of saffron threads
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp finely grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
300g barley
3 cups lamb stock
For the raita, combine:
A small handful each of coriander and mint leaves, chopped
½ cup plain yogurt

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Mix the lamb in a bowl with the spices. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for an hour.

Heat the oil in a large, oven-proof casserole dish, and brown the meat well, cooking in batches. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add a little more oil to the pot if necessary and sauté onion, ginger and garlic, until the aromatics are fragrant and the onions translucent. Add barley and stir through to coat. Return the lamb to the casserole, creating a layer on top of the barley, and cover with the lamb stock. Cover with a tight-fitting lid or tin foil and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the barley is cooked and the stock has been absorbed.

Season with salt and pepper and serve with dollops of the raita.



Prep time 15 mins
Cooking time 30 mins
Serves 4

2 fresh mackerel fillets
200ml fish or vegetable stock
100ml milk
1 tbsp butter and a little olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, sliced
150g spelt
½ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp cumin seeds
4 eggs, medium to hard-boiled
100g baby spinach leaves, wilted

Place the fish in a saucepan and cover with the stock and milk. Poach gently for about 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the stove, and strain the stock and milk mixture, reserving it for later use.

Heat the butter and oil in a clean saucepan, and sauté onion and leek until soft and translucent. Stir in spelt, mustard and cumin seeds, coating them in the butter and oil, and cook for about a minute.

Gradually add a little of the reserved poaching mixture at a time, stirring until absorbed. Continue to add the liquid, supplementing with stock if necessary, until the spelt is cooked through but still al dente. Season with salt and pepper.

Flake the mackerel into the cooked spelt, using the tines of a fork. Mix in the boiled eggs and spinach and serve.



Prep time 10 mins
Cooking time 1 hour
Serves 6

2 tbsp olive oil
500g skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed
6 spring onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
100g portobellini mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp fennel seeds
1½ cups brown basmati rice
2 tbsp lemon juice
2½ cups chicken stock
200g baby English spinach, torn
3 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
3 tbsp chopped mint
A handful of cashew nuts, lightly toasted

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and brown the chicken. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

In the same pan, sauté the spring onions, garlic, mushrooms and fennel seeds until the spring onions are tender. Add the rice and stir through to coat. Increase the heat and add the lemon juice and stock. Bring to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer, covered with a tight-fitting lid for 30 minutes.

Return the chicken to the pan, stir through and cook for a further 10-15 minutes.

Remove from the heat and sprinkle the spinach and chopped herbs over the top of the rice, cover with a lid and allow to stand for about five minutes. Serve with toasted cashew nuts sprinkled on top.

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