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Barley Spinach Risotto

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Recipe of a toddler- and kid-friendly risotto made using barley dalia and spinach.
Author Mukta Tikekar


  • 3 tbsp barley dalia you can coarsely grind barley grains in a mixer if you can't find this dalia
  • 1 tbsp blanched and pureed spinach To blanch the spinach, cook it in boiling water water for 2-3 minutes and then put it in cold water to prevent further cooking
  • 1-2 medium sized cloves of garlic grated
  • Half medium sized onion chopped
  • 1-2 freshly crushed peppercorns or a pinch of black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter I used salted butter
  • 1 cheese cube grated
  • Salt to taste


  • Wash barley dalia, and then soak it in some water so that it cooks a little faster.
  • Heat a pressure cooker, lower the flame, and then add olive oil and butter. (I have a small pressure cooker so it's convenient to cook baby/toddler food in small quantities. If you don't have one, you can cook the risotto in a pan with a lid but you'll probably need to cook it for a longer time.)
  • Add grated garlic and sauté it for half a minute, and then add chopped onion. (Don't let the garlic turn brown.)
  • Sauté till the onion turns translucent and then add crushed peppercorns or pepper powder. (The onions shouldn't turn brown.) You can add more peppercorns if you are making this risotto for grownups.
  • Drain water from barley dalia and then add it in the cooker.
  • Sauté the barley dalia for about a minute and then add one cup of water and salt. You can add vegetable or chicken stock instead of water if you want. (If you are making this risotto for grownups using barley grains, the proportion of barley: water should be 1:2 to make al dente risotto.)
  • Stir once and then close the pressure cooker with a lid, and on medium or high flame build up pressure.
  • When the cooker reaches pressure (should take about a minute), lower the flame and allow the risotto to cook for 10 minutes on low flame.
  • Turn off heat and allow the steam to settle till you are able to lift the whistle of the cooker without any resistance, and then take off the lid. (If you want to take off the lid immediately, you will need to cook the risotto for a longer time.)
  • Turn on heat again, add blanched and pureed spinach, and cook for a minute or so. (At this stage, you can add more water if you want to make it more runny for your baby/toddler.)
  • Turn off heat, add grated cheese, and mix it well with the risotto. (You can use Parmesan cheese if you want.)
  • You can add some grated cheese on top for garnishing.