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.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (45 votes)


  • 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

Cook's notes

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.