Although whole grain porridges are a staple breakfast food in my kitchen, I'd never considered barley a morning grain until I came across this recipe in my treasured copy of Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Café for anooshoavoor, an apparently traditional Turkish barley porridge that's flavored with apples, apricots, honey and cardamom. It's one of the most delicious and satisfying porridges I've ever had.
Cooked in a risotto style with liquid slowly added to very low heat, the result is a creamy, sweet porridge surrounding the still chewy grains of barley. But although the preparation and instructions are so extraordinarily simple, it takes about two hours to cook so it's not a breakfast for a weekday unless you make it the night before and reheat the next morning.
Mollie's recipe calls for cooking the barley in apple juice, but using apple cider instead gives the porridge an especially full, rich apple taste.
Update: It appears that I was a little prescient describing the dish as an "apparently traditional Turkish" porridge, as I have recently been informed that the dish is based on one of Armenian origin rather than strictly Turkish. Called anoush abour or "sweet soup", it typically incorporates apricots, dried fruit and walnuts, and is served during the Armenian Christmas and the New Year. I suppose that I can blame Mollie Katzen for the confusion, as the spelling that she gave returns no indication of the Armenian origin of the word in internet searches — it is quite possible that she was served the dish in Turkey. But in any case, do enjoy, it is one of my favorite breakfasts at any time of year.
|Anooshavoor (Turkish Barley and Apricot Porridge)|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Adapted from Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Café
Published on September 27, 2007
Sweet, creamy and wonderfully fragrant barley and dried apricot porridge spiced with cardamom and cooked slowly in a risotto style