30 in 30: pearl barley, labneh and parsley risotto

This week's recipe for two that can be made for less than Dh30 in no more than 30 minutes.

Pearl barley risotto with labneh and parsley. Emily Shardlow / The National
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Fresh ingredients
1 small white onion
1 bulb garlic
100g chestnut mushrooms
1 bunch parsley
1 lemon

Dry ingredients
1 small bag pearl barley
1 organic chicken or vegetable stock cube

70g labneh

Total cost: Dh27


Cut the onion into thin slices, peel and finely chop two garlic cloves. Slice the mushrooms. Melt a small knob of butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook for three to four minutes, until softened. Make up 700ml of hot stock.

Season the softened onion, increase the heat and add 200g pearl barley. Fry the barley for a minute or so, then add a splash of white vinegar, if available. Pour over the hot stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook the barley in rapidly simmering water until tender but with some bite (approximately 25 minutes).

While the pearl barley is cooking, heat a tablespoon of oil in a separate pan over a medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and fry until golden on both sides. Season with salt, black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Pick and finely chop the parsley leaves.

Remove the pan from the heat, mix in the labneh, mushrooms, a little finely grated lemon zest and the chopped parsley. Serve.

The 30 in 30 recipe works on the premise that you have some basic store staples – such as oil, vinegar, butter, salt and pepper – at your disposal.