Cheese, Dinner, Entree, Gluten Free, HEALTHY COOKING, Non Vegetarian, Paneer, Salad, Salad Bowl, VEGETARIAN, whole grain



This month was my whole grain month. As I measured out the barley to cook that morning, I did not realize that I had to be creative about how I made use of it for the next three days.

Little did I know that after you have a decent portion of this grain, you won’t be hungry for hours. But isn’t that a good thing? Oh well, maybe. For me, it was ok. So, long story short, I cooked 4 cups of barley which turned out to be around 8 cups of cooked barley.  The kids were very apprehensive at the sound of the grain but it turned out they enjoyed it especially when I paired it with something they love.

Isn’t it a fact that if you have a big salad, you are allowed a slice of cake? 😉


I adore spicy food. In fact, I need to almost feel the spice in every meal. So, Indian pickles and sriracha are consumed in large quantities in our home. The kids have taken on me and love spice. I don’t know what I would do if they didn’t enjoy.

Harissa is not uncommon in the blogging world. I love my sriracha but off late, I’ve enjoyed harissa more, maybe just because it has some spices which are pretty common in Indian cooking. The nice thing about this is that it’s so versatile. It can be use in 1000 or a million ways, but only if we make buckets of it.

This combination works quite well with the spicy cheese, the calming crunch factor from the pearl barley, and the slight sweetness from the pineapple. This is another harmonious meal I would love to share with you all. I’m going to figure out what I will do with the rest of the 2 cups of remaining barley :).



5.0 from 2 reviews
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Healthy, Brunch
Serves: 4
  • 8 ounces or 250 grams Paneer or Haloumi cheese(I used both)
  • 4 tbsp Harissa paste
  • 4 tbsp Mango puree(you can use canned or fresh)
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 2 cups of Pearl Barley
  • 1 bunch dill finely chopped
  • ½ tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ⅓ cup of toasted sliced almonds
  • ½ cup pineapple chopped
  • 1 green chilly (or according to your taste)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ tbsp lemon juice
For Harissa
  • 4 ounces dried chiles of your choice(I used Anahiems, New mexico chillies)
  • 2 ounces sun dried roma tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • ⅓ cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
For the Paneer or Haloumi
  1. Slice the paneer or halloumi cheese to 2 inches.
  2. Mix 4 tbsp of harissa paste with 4 tbsp of mango puree.
  3. Marinate the cheese in the paste overnight or for 1-2 hours.
  4. Heat a non stick pan or a griddle and pour a teaspoon of oil and pan roast the cheese, on medium high heat. DO NOT over cook it.
For the Pearl Barley Salad
  1. Wash the pearl barley well and let soak for 10-15 minutes. Drain the water out.
  2. Bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add salt and the pearl barley to it and let it come to a boil. Cover and cook on simmer for about 45 minutes. Switch off the heat and let sit for 15-30 minutes before you use it.
  3. In a large non stick pan , add a tablespoon of oil. Add the pearl barley, roasted cumin powder and toss it in well. Toss in the finely chopped dill and take it off the heat. Add the toasted sliced almonds before serving.
For the pineapple salsa
  1. Slice the pineapple into small pieces
  2. You could either de-seed the chilly or leave the seeds in for more spice. Thinly slice it and add to the pineapple pieces.
  3. Add cilantro, salt and lemon juice. Mix well and keep aside.
  4. Serve the Barley, along with the grilled cheese and Salsa.
  1. Soften the chillies and sun dried tomatoes in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain out and keep aside.
  2. Dry roast the spices in a heavy bottomed pan until you smell the spices.
  3. Grind the spices, chillies and tomatoes, tomato paste. If it is hard to grind, add some of the soaked liquid we kept aside. add salt.
  4. Keep it in an airtight container with ⅓ cup of vegetable oil.
!Note about Chillies to use in Harissa.
Use any chiles you like and have on hand, either a single kind or a combination. For moderately spicy harissa, try a mix of Guajillo and New Mexico chiles. Add extra spice Arbol or Puya chiles. Add smokiness with Chipotle or Morita chiles. Add richness with Ancho, Mulato, or Pasilla chiles. For a very mild harissa, use roasted red bell peppers.
Add thinly sliced mint to freshen it up.
You can store this up to a week. Use it in marinades, spreads or just in place of sriracha or any spicy chilly sauce.



ENJOY! Thanks for stopping by and Have a beautiful weekend my friends.

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  • Reply gloria January 17, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Look delicious!!

  • Reply Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen January 17, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Ash, this looks scrumptious! I am coming over to your house. Mmm…I just love spicy dishes. I’ll make dessert for ya! 😉 Your photography and styling is beautiful, girl. And, your writing is superb. Thanks for sharing and enjoy the rest of your weekend! xo

    • Reply Asha Shivakumar January 20, 2015 at 8:11 am

      Stacy, that would be so good girl. Your dessert I know for sure will be a hit with all of us, we probably will start off with dessert:). Thanks a ton for your support and kind words. Love you girl.

  • Reply valentina January 18, 2015 at 4:20 am

    I’m wishing I could pull this right off the page. Beautiful and delicious!

  • Reply Angie@Angie's Recipes January 18, 2015 at 7:03 am

    This is so tasty and good for you too. Those pan seared panner slices look utterly delicious.

  • Reply Medha @ Whisk & Shout January 18, 2015 at 9:26 am

    That paneer looks to die for! I’m loving this recipe and the pictures. Pinned 🙂

  • Reply Mike@TheIronYou January 19, 2015 at 5:39 am

    I love paneer. I even make it at home every once in a while. Next time I’m making it, I’m definitely giving this recipe a try, it looks amazing!

  • Reply Manali @ CookWithManali January 19, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    I’ dying over that paneer, looks so so good! I think I found a way to make my husband eat barley…add paneer to it! Thank you! Pinning this!

  • Reply Sippitysup January 20, 2015 at 10:40 am

    I don’t know about your kids, but when I was a kid I loved barley. Especially in soup. GREG

  • Reply Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl January 20, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Love the combination of dill and barely in this recipe. Such a refreshing and tasty combo for a dinner!

  • Reply Shashi at Runninsrilankan January 20, 2015 at 11:20 am

    First – Asha – I love your photos – those overhead ones are gorgeous! As for this dish – I would eat barley for ever and ever if I could have it with that paneer and pinapple salsa and homemade harissa! YUM!

  • Reply Amy Tong January 20, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    This is such a gorgeous and satisfying salad. I love it.

  • Reply Joanne January 20, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    As a fellow spice addict, I have to say I am DYING for a bowl of this! Love the pairing of Middle Eastern (harissa) with Indian (paneer) ingredients!

  • Reply Kiran @ January 20, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    A salad fit for royalty! Look at all the flavors and textures. Drool 🙂

  • Reply John@Kitchen Riffs January 21, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Sriracha is wonderful stuff, but I agree harissa is better. Love its flavor. So you know I like this — really nice recipe, and a great way to use barley. Thanks.

    • Reply Asha Shivakumar January 25, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      I agree we are are harissa believers now. Thanks. Hope you had a great weekend.

  • Reply Rekha January 22, 2015 at 1:14 am

    Can’t get my eyes of those paneer! oh looks so delicious Ash. So many flavours in there

  • Reply Easyfoodsmith January 23, 2015 at 1:29 am

    Your creativity is so inspiring Asha! Love the way you paired mango and harissa for the paneer.

  • Reply January 25, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    You really make it seem really easy together with
    your presentation but I to find this matter to be actually one thing which I
    feel I might never understand. It kind of feels too complicated
    and very wide for me. I’m having a look forward to your next publish, I’ll try to get the dangle of it!

    • Reply Asha Shivakumar January 25, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      Oh, you are so kind. Thanks for your supportive words and it is not that complicated at all:).

  • Reply Denise Browning@From Brazil To You January 27, 2015 at 6:51 am

    What a creative dish! I love paneer but I’ve never tried a flavored paneer… in this case, flavored with mango and harissa. Quite interesting!

    • Reply Asha Shivakumar January 30, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      Thank you so much Denise. I was quite surprised too how well it went together.

  • Reply January 30, 2015 at 8:58 am

    Love this take on paneer – I’ve tried Harissa but never with Indian food. Seriously you should publish book – I would love to be able to flip through all your recipes!

    • Reply Asha Shivakumar January 30, 2015 at 7:05 pm

      Oh, you are so kind. I wish for that to happen one day. xoxo

  • Reply inspiration February 1, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    I really like what you guys are usually up too. Such clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the terrific works guys I’ve you guys to my
    own blogroll.

    • Reply Asha Shivakumar February 2, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      Thank you so much. Really appreciate your kind words. Have a great week.

  • Reply rika February 10, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Lady you know how much I adore harissa and spicy food! Harissa is one of my favorite condiments and I’m bookmarking your harissa recipe! I love the addition of fresh dill to barley salad…I need to give it a try!

    • Reply Asha Shivakumar February 10, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      I know how much you love harissa, I’m always inspired by your yummy great lookin food. Thanks for stopping by sweety. xoxo

  • Reply February 10, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    You can certainly see your skills within the work you write.

    The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they
    believe. At all times follow your heart.

  • Reply viji June 4, 2015 at 1:19 am

    Beautiful and delicious!

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