African-Spiced Black Barley with Okra and Tomatoes
- 1 1/4 cups black barley (about 1/2 pound)
- 3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 1 cup water
- 1 pound small okra, stems trimmed
- In a medium saucepan, cover the barley with water and bring to a boil.
- Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the barley has split and is tender but still slightly chewy, about 45 minutes.
- Drain the barley and transfer to a bowl.
- Wipe out the saucepan and heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in it.
- Add the onion and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and cook over moderate heat until their juices thicken, about 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and cloves and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Add the barley and the water, cover and simmer over low heat until the flavors are nicely blended, about 4 minutes.
- In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until almost smoking.
- Add the okra and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 6 minutes.
- Season the okra with salt and stir into the barley.
- Season the barley with salt and serve hot.