Barley, tomato, paneer, channa dal & cashew nut salad

27 Mar


Recipe 2: Barley, tomato, paneer, channa dal salad & cashew nut salad The definition of a salad seems to have evolved; this glorious, warm, spiced and zesty salad is full of wonderful surprise. The barley adds silky and nutty depth, the sweet tomatoes and spices mingle well with the spongy paneer and the channa dal adds a bite.  I like it with a bit of heat, so I went for the green chilies but you can moderate this if you wish.

I used Savera paneer for this dish and it works really well because unlike some brands of paneer, Savera paneer is moist and spongy (not hard and rubbery) so takes on the flavours and juices of the salad so well and is soft enough to add to the party of ingredients. Keep the paneer moist warm so that it retains a bit of that chewy glory.


Serves 4-6

Prep time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

225g paneer, cubed

75g channa dal, washed

100g pearl barley, washed

220g baby plum tomatoes, quartered

One medium red onion

100g cashew nuts

¾ tbsp. vegetable oil

For the dressing;

3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar

Salt to taste

3½ tbsp. sesame oil

1 tsp. cumin seeds

15g coriander, finely chopped

½ tsp. turmeric powder

2 green chillies finely chopped (use one if you prefer less heat)

6-8 curry leaves


  1. Boil the barley on a vigorous simmer for ten minutes and then on a medium flame for a further 30minutes. Drain it and allow it to cool
  2. Boil the channa dal for 15-20 minutes. It should retain a bite but be cooked. Wash the channa dal in cool water and drain it when it is cooked.
  3. Put the channa dal, tomatoes, onion and barley into a large shallow bowl.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a non-stick pan and stir fry the paneer until it catches a golden colour. Remove it from the heat and add it to the other salad ingredients.
  5. To make the dressing, heat the sesame oil in a non-stick pan add then chillies, curry leaves, turmeric and cumin seeds. Allow the seeds to sizzle before turning off the heat.
  6. Drizzle the dressing onto the salad and mix it well. Pour in the rice wine vinegar and then sprinkle in the salt and chopped coriander and toss the salad.
  7. Toast the cashew nuts on a non-stick pan until they are lightly golden and then allow then allow them to cool before tossing them into the salad.



This is a sponsored post but any views expressed are my own

32 Responses to “Barley, tomato, paneer, channa dal & cashew nut salad”

  1. Anita Menon March 27, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    I love barley in soups, as pasta ( instead of the real pasta),barley khichdi with veggies. Yum. The salad looks lip smackin’ good

    • Deena Kakaya March 27, 2014 at 9:03 am #

      Hi Anita, it is lip smackingly good! Barley Khichdi with veggies sounds gorgeous, have you got the recipe on your site? X

      • Anita Menon March 28, 2014 at 4:27 am #

        No I don’t have it. But I can email it to you if you want. Let me know

  2. Katie @ Whole Nourishment March 27, 2014 at 8:52 am #

    I love everything about this salad!! I know what you mean about rubbery paneer. We don’t have that brand of paneer here, that I know of. But I’ve been making my own, when time permits, and it’s quite rewarding!

    • Deena Kakaya March 27, 2014 at 9:02 am #

      Hi Katie, I’m so glad that you like the salad! Savera has not been selling but is in asda in April and Tesco in July.

      I know what you mean about making your own, it’s so simple but feels so clever x

  3. Joanne March 27, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen paneer in a salad before! How delicoius!

    • Deena Kakaya March 27, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

      Neither had I, but it’s becoming a feature in our house xx

  4. EA Stewart March 27, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    Everything about this sounds delicious! I’m thinking cooked sorghum would be fun to try in place of the barley for a gluten-free version. Loved your last post too about your “picky” childhood, turned super adventurous eater 🙂

    • Deena Kakaya March 27, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

      What a great idea to use sorghum, will suggest that to some of my friends! Ha ha, yes there’s hope for my boy still xx

  5. Deb March 27, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    My mom cooked with barley in soups but your vibrant salad shows just how versatile this grain can be. A scrumptious recipe!

    • Deena Kakaya March 27, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

      Thank you Deb, It works well to bulk up a salad in a health way, silky stuff x

  6. Praveen Kumar March 27, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    I am not a big fan of Barley but i must say this looks great.

    • Deena Kakaya April 23, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

      Praveen I am not a fan of barley on its own but in this sort of dish it adds the right amount of light and nutty depth. If you really dislike barley then you could use another grain, or pasta in this dish

  7. Akhila P March 27, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

    My mom used to make us food using Barley when we were kids. But since marriage, somehow the habit stopped.. I will have to try it this weekend. Thank you.

  8. matchamochimoo March 27, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

    The dish looks so inviting, will try it later, thanks! 🙂

  9. themuffinmyth March 29, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    What a great looking salad! I happen to have most of the ingredients on hand, other than the paneer. I usually make my own paneer because it’s quite hard to find in shops here, and it makes me feel like some sort of rustic food scientist. I’ll have to find time this weekend to make a batch and try this out!

    • Deena Kakaya March 30, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

      Hi Katie, thank you so much, so glad that you like this one. I have to agree, making paneer is so simple but feels so clever! Xx

  10. thejameskitchen March 30, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    I agree, looks & sounds delicious. My list of your recipes is getting longer & longer, need to change my plans. N.

    • Deena Kakaya March 30, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

      That is so kind, I am very flattered, thank you x

  11. Karen Burns Booth March 30, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    This is MY kinda salad Deena and I ADORE pearl barley too and often make Ottolenghi’s Pearl Barley Risotto, which is lush! Your salad looks amazing and is packed with all my favourite flavours, perfect for a light lunch at home or for the office, so I am emailing this to my daughter! Karen Happy Mother’s Day today too! XXX

    • Deena Kakaya March 30, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

      Thank you so much for your wonderfully kind and generous words Karen, so glad that you like the recipe. I hope you and your daughter both enjoy it and a very, very happy Mother’s Day to you xx

  12. kellie@foodtoglow March 30, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

    Lovely, hearty toothsome and flavoursome salad. Full marks!

    • Deena Kakaya March 30, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

      Thanks so much Kellie, it’s certainly full and loud! X

  13. mjskit March 31, 2014 at 2:14 am #

    I use to cook with barley quite often but haven’t in many years. This is such a great recipe, I can see me picking up some barley and paneer this week. Thanks for sharing!

    • Deena Kakaya March 31, 2014 at 7:03 am #

      Hello! It’s great to learn that this recipe has reignited your wanting to use barley, please let me know how it goes x

  14. Aneela Mirchandani April 1, 2014 at 11:43 pm #

    Very creative! Yes the definition of salad has certainly grown.

  15. kloesunny @ April 10, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

    Looks so good!


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