An Armenian classic, this is eaten hot in winter and chilled in summer – the egg prevents the yoghurt curdling. Farro can be used instead of the barley and you can add chopped coriander or parsley at the end for extra herbal zing.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 110 g (½ cup) pearl barley
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1 litre (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
- 500 g (2 cups) Greek-style yoghurt
- 2 tsp dried mint
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 2½ tbsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- mint leaves, walnuts, or dried rose petals, to garnish
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium, add the onion and cook, stirring often, for about 6 minutes or until softened. Add the barley, bay leaf and stock and bring to a simmer. Partially cover the pan and cook for 30 minutes or until barley is tender.
Combine the yoghurt, dried mint, yolks and lemon zest in a bowl and whisk to combine well. In another bowl, stir the cornflour and lemon juice together to form a smooth paste then combine with the yolk mixture.
Stir about 375 ml (1½ cup) of the hot stock mixture into the yolk mixture to combine well, then pour into the pan. Stirring often, bring mixture slowly back to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes or until it simmers and thickens.
Season well with salt and pepper then serve.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O’Brien. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.